Rain or Shine: Holi 2012 at Radha Madhav Dham

| No Comments | 5 TrackBacks
Rain or Shine: Holi at Radha Madhav Dham - by Joe Chorneau

Austin, TX. 12/3/2012. "Rain or Shine: Holi at Radha Madhav Dham". That was the headline of an email sent out late Friday night.  And so it was - the U.S. ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, Radha Madhav Dham, celebrated Holi on Saturday, March 11, 2012 - rain or shine.

On Friday, with hail in the morning and a cold barrage of nonstop rain throughout the day and into the night, everyone wondered what Indra, the god of rain, had planned. Would he force Holi to be played indoors with confetti and tinsel? There was no indication when the rain would stop; weather forecasters reported it would continue through Sunday.  

A man who had driven up from Houston with his family and had braved the brunt of the storm during his trip said, "We weren't sure if there would be Holi play, but we were happy to come in any circumstances. We always love to come to Radha Madhav Dham, no matter what happens."

But by 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Radha Madhav Dham was awash in color - red, pink, yellow, blue and green - layer upon layer everywhere, as though a great battle had been fought, but with gulal. The rain had stopped long enough to allow an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 people to do what they come to do every year: celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, at Radha Madhav Dham.  

Preceding this outdoor Holi play, the celebration began indoors with the chanting of Holi pads and kirtan, followed by the keynote speech by Swami Nikhilanand on the true meaning of Holi. Explaining the leela of Prahlad, he left us with three important points to remember. One, that God is omnipresent, so we are never alone. Two, that we don't need to ask God for any worldly thing, we just have to love Him selflessly and He will give us what's best. And three, that we don't have to think of God only as being supreme and almighty; we can love Radha and Krishn and play Holi with Them like we would with our own family.  

As Swami Nikhilanand lectured, the sky brightened and light poured in through the big windows of the Shree Raseshwari Radha Rani Temple, prompting him to say, "It looks like Indra is going to cooperate with us."  He then concluded the program with another Holi pad that enlivened the crowd with cheers of "Holi hai!" 

One devotee remarked, "It's something to see when, despite the weather, a crowd this size would come to Radha Madhav Dham on a festival day - because everyone is here not just to throw colored powder, but to experience the Grace through the whole experience of working together, doing the seva, doing the kirtan - it is really special."

Another agreed, "We're not going to let a little rain or cold stop us.  We are here for the grace of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj on Holi!"

This attitude was evident early on Saturday morning when, as the storm continued, a hearty crew of residents and community volunteers teamed up, as they have for so many years, to set up chairs in the prayer hall, remove picnic tables from the ras mandal in front of the Shiva Shrine, sweep debris off all the walkways, and fan the puddles with their squeegee sticks.  However, putting up the fire pit and setting up the gulal distribution stand would have to wait until it looked clear.  Inside, the cooks, who had been hard at work since Friday, were continuing with lunch and dinner preparations.

By lunch, large groups from Houston and Dallas had arrived to pitch in.  Throughout the afternoon, more and more people arrived, as the rain continued to fall hard.  The program directors with their clipboards of long lists were seen running back and forth, pointing fingers to ready plan A or plan B; there was even a plan C.  Where would the Holi play be?  Wherever it would end up, the celebration had already begun.  Despite the cold and rain, all who had come were all smiles, with remnants of early-Holi-play skirmishes already on their faces.

Following the afternoon program in the Temple, everyone proceeded to the dining hall to partake of a delicious prasad dinner, after which they gathered outside to play Holi.  Part way through the evening, young Krishn came, riding on the shoulders of a devotee, as He showered Holi powder on young and old alike. 

Not far from the Gopeshwar Mahadev Shiv shrine, the Holi fire was lit and flames towered up to seven feet high as devotees gathered around to do parikrama and offer coconuts.  All the while, the Holi play 'battles' continued as laughing and gleefully screaming children and adults darted back and forth throughout the Radha Madhav Dham grounds. The storm didn't return until much later that night, but the love of Radha Krishn 'rained' on one and all, putting a 'shine' on their devotional hearts. Holi Hai!!

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://swaminikhilanand.com/blog/mt-tb.cgi/158

Holi 2012 at JKP Radha Madhav Dham (Pictures!) from Divine Teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America on March 14, 2012 1:15 AM

Also read this wonderful article about a devotee's experience of Holi 2012 at JKP Radha Madhav Dham, the main ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America  The spiritual and cultural meaning of Holi is brought to life for this... Read More

Don't Miss Out! Ram Navmi 2102 at Radha Madhav Dham! from Divine Teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America on March 23, 2012 1:51 AM

Austin 03/20/2012 (Radha Madhav Dham Blog): Sunday, April 1st, no fooling! That's the day Ram Navmi will be celebrated from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Radha Madhav Dham in Austin, Texas. The program will include a re-enactment of... Read More

Glimpses of the annual Mela and open house at Radha Madhav Dham 2012 (With pictures) from Divine Teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America on May 13, 2012 1:16 AM

On the last Saturday of April, in the heart of the Hill Country, an auspicious event happened: Mela at Radha Madhav Dham. Thousands of people enjoyed the festive atmosphere with all the rich, exotic cultural aspects of India. Just... Read More

Six-Day Radha Madhav Dham Hindu Family Camp FRI June 29 - WED July 4 from Divine Teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America on May 20, 2012 4:30 PM

 Click here for more information and to registerWe would like to inspire you and your family to join our Hindu Family Camp at JKP, Radha Madhav Dham, Friday, June 29 - Wednesday, July 4, 2012.This summer create the opportunity for... Read More

Family Camp is Coming, Family Camp is Coming! from Divine Teachings of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in America on June 1, 2012 8:08 PM

"Family Camp is Coming, Family Camp is Coming!" - by Joe ChorneauThere's a peacock, affectionately named Shukdeo, who lives right off Barsana Ave. Most days you can see him on the grass across from the Ancient Yoga Center standing... Read More

Leave a comment

Connect & Share

Join our e-list

Daily Teachings

Powered by Movable Type 4.32-en

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Administrator published on March 12, 2012 11:33 PM.

Gita - Chapter 1, Part 3 by Swami Nikhilanand, disciple of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj was the previous entry in this blog.

Holi 2012 at JKP Radha Madhav Dham (Pictures!) is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.