Nikunj Seva Mahotsava at Shri Radharamana Mandir

2024.06.018 (Vrindavan Today News):  It’s the time again when the much celebrated festivities start off for twelve days as part of ‘Greeshma Nikunj Seva Mahotsava’ at Sri Radharamana temple. The Seva Mahotsava is led by His Holiness Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami Maharaj, who will serve Shri Radharamana Dev ju for next 12 days amid various seva rituals.

.The ancient temple commonly known as one of the ‘Shad Goswami temples’, was established by Shri Gopal Bhatt Goswami in the lineage of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Sampradaya. The divine form of Sri Radharamana Dev ju, the presiding deity of the temple is self-manifested from Shaligram shila. For this reason there isn’t any consecration ceremony for the deity, it’s one of a kind and exceptional form of vigraha in the entire world.

In ‘Hari Bhakti Vilaas’, written by Sri Gopal Bhatt Goswami himself, there is a vivid elucidation of regulations for each and every service and related austerities to be taken care of, while making offerings for Sri Radharamana. The same instructions and process is diligently followed till date for the daily services as well as festivals.

During Greeshma Nikunj Seva Mahotsav, both daily services and special festive services are carried out simultaneously. As per the schedule, morning 4.30 am is Mangala Arati darshan, 9.00 am is Dhoop Arati , 10.00 a.m is Shringar Arati and 12.00pm is Rajbhog Arati before Thakur Ji is goes to the mid-day rest.

Evening Darshan starts post Dhoop Arati at 6.00pm, followed by 7.00 pm Utthapan, 7.20 pm Sandhya Arati, 8.30 – 8.45 pm Aulai Darshan, half an hour later Byalu bhog Darshan and around 9.30 is Shayan Arati after milk offering. This completes the daily order of services. Among these day to day offerings, Raag Seva and Bhog Seva both are very prominent. In sync with the theme of each darshan, Samaj Gayan and kirtan are performed here. The classical raag raginis based verses are intoned alongside the service being offered in the altar.

Coupled with this Raag seva, Bhog seva of Radharaman temple is unparalleled. The fire used to prepare the bhog offerings has been continuously going on since it was first ignited in 1542, at the appearance of Sri Radharaman. The same fire is used for arati and lamps offerings too.  Ashtayam Darshan and Ashtayam bhoga provisions follow a proper decorum here. Absolutely nothing, not even milk, prepared outside the temple kitchen is accepted here. Each food item is personally prepared by the Goswamis and sanctified by the divine fire aforesaid, only then can it be offered to the presiding deity.

The present service that has commenced on 14th of June will continue till 26th June Bhog Aarti. The Seva is being conducted as per the criterion and standards set by Jagadguru late Sri Purushottam Goswami Maharaj. This includes dressing the deity in new attires every day, adorning with appropriate jewels and matching jewelry, phool bangla seva every evening with flowers and banana stem to give refreshing coolness to Sri Radharamana ji. Besides, the devotees are also given prasad and cool drinks at Darshan times.

Altogether, this is a scene to behold for the visiting devotees during these days, singers and instrumentalists congregating from all over the world. Darshan, Raag seva and Bhog seva are bound to embrace and immerse one in divine ecstasy.

Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami Maharaj’s seva dedicated for Shri Radharaman is considered to be one of the best ‘seva’. The devotees eagerly wait for this seva for two and half years.

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