It was a special Thursday evening on August 27, 2009 as devotees congregated at Toronto's Hare Krishna temple to celebrate the appearance day (birthday) of Srimati Radharani, the eternal consort of Lord Krishna. Five thousand years ago, when Lord Krishna came to this planet to perform His pastimes, Srimati Radharani also appeared.
Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple
Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre (ISKCON Toronto), has always been the hub of a rich, vibrant and enthusiastic community. Whether it be grand festivals, programs at local universities and yoga studios, philosophical discussions, cooking sessions, or singing and dancing on the streets, there are events taking place for everyone's interest.
Friday, September 4, 2009
7:01:00 AM By Kevala-Bhakti Dasa (Keshav) darshan, deities, festival, kirtan, pictures, program, temple 4 comments
Festivities began with a lively kirtan led by Krsndadas Kaviraja das and continued with a wonderful class given by Subha Vilasa das. The class focused on the story of Srimati Radharani's appearance five thousand years ago. Following the class, the famous bhajan (song) Sri Radhika Stava was sung.
As many regular congregation members know, Radhastami holds special significance to Toronto devotees. It was on Radhastami in 1972 that our Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha were installed in Toronto! Taking a trip down memory lane, the program then continued with Praharna devi dasi speaking about some of the memories of that amazing day 37 years ago! As she spoke, a slideshow was played showing pictures from the installation (you can view the same presentation below).
The highlight of the program was the traditional opening of gifts for Srimati Radharani. Every year, devotees offer gifts to Srimati Radharani and they placed on the altar and are then opened for Her amidst a jubilant atmosphere.
As the gift opening ceremony winded down, the final arati of the evening, led by Yajna Gauranga das, took over and the temple room was rocking! By this time in the evening, although a Thursday evening, the temple room was bursting at the seams with devotees and the atmosphere was electric!
Radhastami usually marks the final grand festival of the summer as things quiet down until Kartik (coming in October). It was a fittingly larger-than-life festival and smiles were abound as devotees celebrated a very special birthday for Srimati Radharani!
Pictures from Radhastami Celebrations (Click here for Downloadable Deity Pictures):
Slideshow of 1972 Installation of Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha (Along with Vintage Pictures):