On Sunday, October 11th, Toronto's Hare Krishna temple celebrated the appearance of Radha Kunda, a special festival which annually takes place during the month of Kartik.
There are many places of pilgrimage for Krishna devotees, especially in India. Devotees visit them to become inspired in their spiritual lives. Devotees of Krishna observe the appearance of Radha Kunda, also known as Bahulashtami.
Radha Kunda is a reservoir of water located in Vrindavan, India, where Krishna and Srimati Radharani had Their pastimes. It is mentioned in Sri Isopanishad and other Vedic texts as one of the most sacred places in the universe.
Festivities on Sunday evening began with the 6pm arati which seemed to prime the atmosphere for what was destined to be a kirtan-compressed evening. After the arati, the house lights were lowered and Gaura-Shakti once again led the weekly chanting of the Damodarastakam prayers, amidst candlelight and soft lighting.
Subha Vilasa das then gave a wonderful class about the significance of Radha Kunda as a place of pilgrimage for Krishna devotees. As the class finished, the focus shifted to the altar for Radha Kunda which was setup in the middle of the temple room.
Dhira Grahi das then led the singing of a beautiful bhajan, followed by the maha-mantra. Devotees then circumambulated the altar in the middle of the temple room as they were sprinkled with actual water from Radha Kunda!
The atmosphere suddenly became surcharged with kirtan and, like a spiritual powder keg, things suddenly got crazy! With mrdanga-drums thundering, voices soaring and walls shaking, the kirtan officially punctuated the evening's festivities! A splendid feast awaited all at the end of the program and smiles were abound!
At Radha Kunda, in India, spiritualists bathe in the holy waters to seek blessings and help strengthen their spirituality. On Sunday evening, at the Hare Krishna temple, those who gathered not only got water from Radha Kunda sprinkled on their heads, but also bathed themselves in the transcendent waters of kirtan!
Please view the festival picture gallery below (photos courtesy of Rishi Kumar):