for ISKCON News on Jan. 25, 2013
Abhishek in honoring the presiding Lordships of ISKCON, Juhu, Mumbai.
One of the most special festivals of the year at ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India, was celebrated on 14th of January, 2013, on occasion of the 35th Anniversary celebrations of Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Temple. It was on this day in 1978 that the supporters and disciples of Srila Prabhupada inaugurated the Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Temple.
In the early seventies, the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari were housed in a small shack and Srila Prabhupada promised Them “My dear Sir, please remain here and I shall build a beautiful temple for You”. Srila Prabhupada and his disciples underwent severe hardships and austerities to build the magnificent temple.
The festivities on 14 January 2013, began with mangala-arati celebration at wee hours of the morning when the temple was also abuzz with activity as hundreds of cooks and volunteers coordinated preparation and distribution of prasada (sanctified meal) which was served to every person who visited the temple.
The evening festivities opened with Dwaja Aarohan where three news flags bearing the symbol of Sri Garuda were mounted on the flag posts atop the temple domes. The temple hall was packets beyond its capacity as thousands gather to witness the maha-abhishek. This is the only day in the year when all the Deities on the altar namely Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari, Sri Govardhan and Sri Sri Sita Rama Laxman Hanuman are bathed together with sacred substances.
Distinguished sannyasis and senior devotees addressed hundreds of devotees on the temple terrace and recollected memories and pastimes from the early days at Hare Krishna Land. Gopal Krishna Goswami, Jayadvaita Swami, Bhima Das, Devakinandan Das, Narsimhananda Das, Tranakarta Das, Braja Hari Das and Narottama Das graced the program and shared their realizations.
Every visitor to the temple not only soaked in the colorful flower decoration and divine darshan of the Deities in Their golden yellow outfit but was also served a hot meal of rice, dal and halava.