- Goswami Shri Krishnananda Bhatt from the lineage of Brajacharya Shri Narayan Bhatt Goswami will initiate the ‘Puja rituals’
- The celebration will begin in the wee hours on 23rd September
2023.09.20 (Vrindavan Today News): Brajbhumi is bustling with fervor as it prepares to celebrate Radhashtami, a revered occasion that commemorates the Divine Birth of Smt. Radharani, the Queen of Vrindavan. This festival is majorly celebrated in Barsana (where Shri Radha grew up), Rawal (birthplace of Shri Radha), Radhakund and Shri Dham Vrindavan.
Barsana is the focal point of the celebration of Radhashtami. This year’s festivities hold special significance as they coincide with the Moola Nakshatra, falls in the category of the Gandamoola Nakshatras, on September 23rd.
In a unique celestial alignment, the birth of Shrimati Radharani, who is the Ahladini Shakti (bestower of delight) of Shri Krishna, is set to take place under the Moola Nakshatra, which is intrinsically linked with her connection to the Jyeshtha Nakshatra. This alignment, believed to be highly auspicious, underscores the profound spiritual connection between Smt. Radharani and these Nakshatras.
The celebrations will begin in the early hours of September 23rd at 2 am during the pre-dawn period. ‘Garbha Griha’, the Sanctum Sanctorum will be the centre of where the actual ceremony will take place. It will be the focal point of the festivities. A traditional Moola Shanti ceremony will precede the Grand ritual of Mahabhishek, ensuring peace and auspiciousness.
The Moola Shanti ceremony involves intricate rituals, including the use of 27 pots filled with water sourced from 27 different wells, 27 types of tree leaves, and 27 types of soil from various locations, all meticulously arranged. Subsequently, a grand Abhishek (ritual bathing) will be performed, featuring 500 litres of milk and yogurt, 50 litres of Ganges water and rosewater, 50 kilograms of honey, 30 kilograms of ghee, along with fragrant substances like itra (perfume) and saffron.
According to Shri Krishnananda Bhatt Maharaj, the Acharaya from the lineage of Brajacharya Shri Narayan Bhatt ji, Radharani’s birth is associated with both the Jyeshtha and Moola Nakshatras. This dual connection has led to the practice of Moola Shanti before the Abhishek, a tradition faithfully upheld over the ages.
It should be noted that the deity of Shri Radharani at Barsana was manifested to Brajacharya Shri Narayan Bhatt ji, who worshipped Smt. Radharani as his daughter. Later, the seva of the deity of Radharani was handed over to one of his disciple. Since then Brajacharya Narayan Bhatt’s successors are invited to initiate the puja rituals on Shri Radhashtami.
Despite the fervour surrounding the celebrations, organizers face a significant challenge in creating adequate parking arrangements for the Radha Ashtami Mela. Recent heavy rainfall has led to waterlogged parking areas, intensifying the logistical hurdles.
Pooja Singh, the CEO of the Barasana Nagar Panchayat, has assured devotees that all parking facilities will be ready by September 20th. To accommodate the devotees and mitigate the impact of waterlogged areas, alternative reserve parking spaces have been arranged.
As the town of Braj anticipates the grand celebration of Radhashtami, the convergence of astrological alignments and spiritual traditions promises an exceptional and spiritually enriching experience. Despite the challenges posed by inclement weather, the devotees and organizers remain unwavering in their commitment to ensuring a memorable celebration of Maharani Radharani’s divine birth on September 23rd.