Govindas the temple-cum-vegan restaurant in Gothenburg aka Göteborg in Sweden celebrated Lordess Radha’s Appearance Day or the Birthday or Ashtami on Monday, 17 September 2018. Radha is the consort of Lord Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead for Hindus.
The temple noted that Radha is ‘the female counterpart of Lord Krishna and hence the female aspect of God. She is also known to be the original Guru who possess bhakti, loving devotion, in its completeness’. Filip Westerlund a devotee of ISKCON said Radha is the ‘divine feminine form’ of Lord Krishna and worshipped with devotional service.
A stream of Hinduism puts masculine and feminine forms as genderless or androgynous (Radhakrishna or Radha Krishna – not-so uncommon name among Hindus) and at the same time emphasising the importance of women in Hinduism by not absolving them from devotional service but putting at par and above with their male counterparts generically attributed as ‘devi’. Thus most gods in Hinduism has a consort or a feminine form except for Lord Hanuman the monkey god and Lord Ganapathi the elephant-headed god.
The chef-cum-devotee István Sándor expected about 50 people for the celebration of Srimati Radharani but more than 50 people came to participate in the guru puja, kirtan, bhajan, offering of flowers to the deity of Lordess Radha and followed by a brief lecture on the significance of Srimati Radharani on Radha Ashtami by Jahnava Karunamayi. István Sándor prepared a delicacy for the occasion named halwa sprinkled with Swedish cherries.
All the devotees were served with ‘gaur arti’ by Dharani Lakshmi and prasadm the sanctified food by the temple for free as a spiritual gesture.
Srimati Radharani Ashtami follows fifteen days after Sri Krishna Janma Ashtami the appearance day or the birthday of Lord Krishna.
The children were bedecked like little Radhas and they danced to the songs of Radha.
As the prayers came to close, the devotees danced and chanted in sheer spiritual ecstasy. The glow of the temple and the music of devotees’ cymbals-chants diffused out to the street banishing the darkness of September evening.
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