March 28th 2014 (Indo American News and Voice of Asia): A Magical Experience of Colors at Radha Madhav Dham. It was a beautiful day at Radha Madhav Dham, the US ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, on March 15 2014, where over 4000 people gathered to celebrate the Indian festival of Holi 2014 despite weather forecasts of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Although the day started with showers in the morning, it stopped by 2 PM when the actual festivities began. The festival of Holi 2014 marks the onset of spring, and is celebrated in unique 'Braj' style at Radha Madhav Dham every year.
People assembled on the grounds of the Ashram, founded by Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, and enjoyed the tastes, sights and sounds of India as they were greeted by peacocks, deer and singing birds. Throngs of people flocked around the food booths eager to taste the delectable Indian dishes like freshly made dosas, paav bhaji, chhole bhature, chaat, samose mango lassi and hot jalebis, not to mention delicately spiced hot chai for a cold rainy day.
Inside the prayer hall, the deities of Radha and Krishna looked stunning in special Holi 2014 Shringar (adornments) that included charming hues of holi powder on their cheeks, beautifully decorated pichkaris placed at their feet, painting a colorful depiction of the festival of Holi that originated in the land of Braj (Vrindavan) in India, 5000 years ago.
Programs throughout the day included Swami Nikhilanand ji's (a sanyasi disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj) explanation of the spiritual significance of "Braj Style" Holi, spectacular enactment of the legendary story of young Prahalad's victory over Holika and Hiryanakashipu and a cultural program showcasing children's performances of folk and classical Indian dances.
Around 6 PM, people started gathering at the Maharas Mandal to play with colors. Loud cries of "Ho Ho Ho Ho Holi Hai" were heard from the grounds. The atmosphere quickly turned exuberant and joyful colors of spring could be seen flying everywhere creating clouds of pink, purple, blue and red hues in the air. A live band played the saxophone and guitar on ancient Braj tunes and got everyone dancing in excitement and merriment. People from all walks of life, young and old, Indian and Western, and devotees of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, opened their hearts in sharing the joy and celebrating the human values of compassion, forgiveness and love, that underlies the spirit of Holi.
A Magical Experience of Colors at Radha Madhav Dham
In the words of a visitor, Holi 2014 at Radha Madhav Dham, the US ashram of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, was a magical experience that will be remembered for a long time to come. "Thank you for allowing Gabriel and me to be a part of Holi. It was a very magical experience for both of us. Gabriel is still talking about it"- Facebook comment by Lynn Peach
For further information on this Holi event, check out our facebook page for event photos at www.facebook.com/RadhaMadhavDham.