Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Celebrating Rupotsava 2023 – A Cherished Tradition at the VIHE Continues to Bless Devotees
By VIHE Students   |  Oct 12, 2023

Rupotsava, an annual celebration dedicated to Srila Rupa Gosvami, unfolded its enchanting festivities at the Vrindavan Institute of Higher Education (VIHE) this year. Commencing on the 25th of August and concluding on the 28th, the event marked the disappearance day of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

The inaugural day dawned with the resonating melody of mangala arati at 5:15 a.m. As the VIHE staff and students formed a harmonious harinama team, the procession wound along the Vrndavana parikrama path towards the Sri Sri Radha Damodara temple. Entering through a side door beside the temple’s official opening, it felt like a secret journey to bask in the presence of Srila Rupa Gosvami. The ensuing kirtana, adorned with morning ragas, transcended into a serene atmosphere, captivating devotees in the essence of the holy name.

The VIHE pujari team gave heartfelt service, offering 1008 besan laddoos, garlands, bead bags, Harinama cadar, and arati to Srila Rupa Gosvami.

The devotees then shifted their focus to Sri Sri Radha Damodara, accompanied by an ecstatic kirtana. Curtains unveiling the deities marked the pinnacle, prompting jubilant dancing and circumambulation by devotees.

The second day ushered in Srila Rupa Gosvami’s ceremonial welcome at the VIHE assembly hall. A procession, marked by petals showering upon the revered acarya, set the tone. The hall, adorned by life-sized portraits and depictions of the sada gosvamis, immersed devotees in the festival spirit. The day unfolded with enlightening kathas, unraveling the profound contributions of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

The Rupa Map frame was a poignant highlight, tracing Srila Rupa’s life journey. The devotees embarked on a visual exploration, connecting with the significant places of Srila Rupa’s pastimes. HH Bhakti Dhira Damodara Svami Maharaj added depth by shedding light on Srila Rupa Gosvami’s humility.

As Srila Rupa Gosvami was honored with bhogas, a procession led him back to the VIHE temple, resonating with the bittersweet melody of ‘je anilo prema dhana.’ The event, broadcast live on YouTube, ensured a broader audience glimpsed into the Rupotsava celebration.

The third day, titled ‘Outpourings of Devotion,’ featured speakers’ recitations of astakas and verses. HG Prasanta Mataji’s rendition of ‘Atha Talavana Caritam’ brought Srila Rupa Gosvami’s literature to life, immersing the audience in the divine narrative. HG Dravida Prabhu continued with a rhythmic ‘Rupa Rap,’ covering various writings with contemporary flair. HG Divyambara Mataji’s lyrical and melodic recitation of Govina Virudavali piqued the interest of the devotees present about Srila Rupa Gosvami’s varied writing style, including repetition. The day concluded with devotees resonating with Srila Rupa Gosvami’s outpourings of devotion.

The final day, marking Srila Rupa Gosvami’s disappearance day, took devotees to Ter Kadamba, where the acarya spent much of his time in devotion. The day unfolded with gurupuja, katha, and the offering of a floral kunja for Srila Rupa Gosvami next to Sri Krsna Balarama and Sri Radha Govinda. An offering of 310 bhogas, sourced from various cities, was followed by joyous partaking of mahaprasadam. The evening sparkled with jhulan yatra, deepotsava, and the ethereal atmosphere of Ter Kadamba.

As the festival concluded with the singing of ‘Sri rupa manjari pada,’ devotees left for Vrndavana, traversing through the mystical night, carrying memories of the day’s events, prasada, mercy, and ecstasy. Srila Rupa Gosvami pada ki jaya!