Radhastami in Finland

Bhrigu - September 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Because people couldn't make it on Thursday, we celebrated Radhastami over here yesterday. This time the location was my place. It is better than K & K's place in being easier for people to reach, but there is much less space. And no cameraman! :(


The attendants were Krishangi, Kamalaksa, Tadiya, Krishnavallabha, Tamalkrishna, Mohan, Sulocana (very briefly), Jayadeva, Jayananda, Astasakhi, their baby Nadia, Gopinatha, Shama and her kids Devamsu and Ahnika + our new friend Jonne.


As always, everyone helped in some way. Tadiya and Krishnavallabha came early to make garlands for Sri Sadbhuja and Radha-Govinda (see below), while Tamalkrishna decorated the apartment with balloons and festoons. K & K brought two subjis, one chutney, laddus and some juice. Jonne brought the ingredients for the abhisheka. Gopinatha brought carob cookies. Jayadeva and Mohan brought fruit juices. Shama brought her Radha-Govinda Murtis (her son told me they were "really" his ^_^ ) plus sweets. Jayananda and Astasakhi brought (obviously inspired by the Paramatma) fenugreek seeds (I was out of them) and (obviously not inspired by the Paramatma) buckwheat (I hate it).


We started the program at 2 pm with the usual krama-kirtana, mainly led by ever-expert Krishnavallabha, after which our Tadiya Dasi gave the first of the afternoon's lectures. Since Gopinatha's friend Shama does not speak so much Finnish, Tadiya had to change into speaking English at a moments notice. Those of you who know her know that she is quite fluent in English, but suddenly changing the language of a class you have prepared in your own tongue can be quite a challenge, but she pulled it off admirably. The theme of the talk was Radha as the source of all shaktis. I had to do the bhoga offering during her class so I couldn't focus as well on it as I would have liked, but I cought some excellent points that she made. One was about Radha's selflessness and how while she represents the very highest ideal, that shouldn't intimidate us into thinking that we shouldn't try to be more serving and selfless on a more every-day level. She also mentioned how Radhika will always step back to let others serve -- unless she knows that she can serve Krishna better, in which case she will never step back, knowing that Krishna will want her service. In the same way, we should also not be shy to serve Krishna in the ways which we are good at.


After this class we had abhiseka of Sri Radha-Govinda. During the bathing, we first chanted the Radha-Krishna-Kataksa-Stava-Raja from the Urdhvamnya-Tantra (munindra-vrinda-vandite...), after which first Jayananda and then Gopinatha led us in very sweet kirtana of the mahamantra. Mohan and Tamalkrishna served as expert curtainholders. This was followed by puspanjali.


Then it was time for our second and last class, this time by Srimati Krishangi Dasi. She gave a lively and interesting class in fluent English (even giving the Sanskrit names and words an American ring :D ) on her realisations about the diksa-mantras and about Radhika from reading Guru Maharaja's edition of the Gopala-tapani Upanishad. One of her points was that it is Radha who leads us to Krishna, and that Sri Guru is the most approachable representative of Radha for us. She did not take any questions, but she did let Mohan voice a comment about how it would be a good idea to give more stress to the worship of Radha also from the point of view of contemporary preaching.


Last but not least we had the feast: sak panir, green beans & potatoes in cream, sweet & sour subji, vegan subji, rice, cucumber raita, "Radha red" chutney, rasam, lucis, cauliflower pakoras, puspanna rice, tomato chutney, lemon sandesh, hazelnut burfi, carob laddus, carob cookies, apple marmelade, small fried pieces of dough soaked in a sweet syrup (name?), sweet rice, nimbu pani with mint, blueberry lassi & intoxicantly sweet charanamrita. Kamalaksa and Krishnavallabha helped me in serving it. I can guarantee you that nobody had to go home hungry, and according to Kamalaksa, Krishangi fairly glowed with all the ghee she had consumed (she especially likes the blobs in the charanamrita ;) )!


All in all, I thought it was a very successful festival. Now we are just waiting for Govardhana Puja!

Syamasundara - September 23, 2007 7:55 pm

Wow, I would have gone even just for the amazing feast, but everything sounds so devotional, that I would have soaked in the vibes even by just being there, even if there was no prasada and all the talks were in Finnish.

Krsangi Dasi - September 24, 2007 6:36 am
(even giving the Sanskrit names and words an American ring)

Hey, I can't help it! If I'm speaking in English it's English all the way. :D Thanks to everyone, especially Bhrigu, for a great festival!

Tadiya Dasi - September 24, 2007 5:20 pm

I want to echo Krsangi here and say a big Thank You to Bhrigu (and K & K as well ;):) ) for arranging such a nice and beautiful Radhastami -celebrations for the entire Finnish sanga.


I have to say that I was absolutely thrilled to have Krsangi give a class - and I was anticipating it the whole week! (Kamalaksa - I am still eager to hear you give a class! :))


Krsangi's speech was wonderful: insightful, funny, well-prepared and inspirational. After the festival me and Krishnavallaha decided to walk back home (after the prasadam-feast a walk in the fresh air was a very good idea :P The sweetness of caranamrta is almost too much for a sinner like me... :ph34r:) and during our walk we both agreed that Krsangi is our hero because she is such a strong woman; confident, yet humble, and someone who doesn't take herself too seriosly but at the same time is accomplished in so many ways. Krsangi, you could teach a lesson in assertiveness for the rest of us :lol: Guru Maharaj seems to attract many strong women (and some weaklings, too, ^_^) and it was great to see & hear Krsangi share her wisdom and experiences.


As for my own speech - I have to say that I wasn't really happy with my contribution: I forgot to say so many things, and really mostly I was just rambling :( and generally I simply wasn't present in a way I should have been. And since I wasn't there for the people I was speaking to, but preoccupied with other things, my speech lacked in heart and I'm not sure if I was able to reach my listeners. In fact, I almost decided not to speak (but then got distracted by making flower-garlands, and forgot to tell Bhrigu, and the next thing I know Bhrigu is anouncing to everyone that I'm giving a class...and then it was too late to cancel... :D ) But, a lesson learned...


It was wonderful to catch a glimpse of Krsangi's new comic book as well - as usual, it looked way cool B) and everyone should get a copy (myself included... :P ) And I must say that Mohan das' impresses me with his singing-voice everytime...


;) Jay Radhe! :Party:

Krsangi Dasi - September 25, 2007 9:35 am

Aaaaaw, you're making me blush... :blush: