This year's Radhastami day, the appearance day of Srimati Radhika, was celebrated on September 1st. Just as the morning program had transpired two weeks earlier, on Lord Krsna's appearance day, Srila Narayana Maharaja came to the temple room at 6 am and led the devotees in singing bhajanas and astakams (hymns and prayers) glorifying Sri Sri Radha and Krsna and Their pastimes. In addition, in between the songs, he explained their purports in Hindi.
One of the many prayers sung is as follows:
bhajami radham aravinda-netram
smarami radham madhura-smitasyam
vadami radham karuna-bharardram
tato mamanyasti gatir na kapi
["I worship Radha who has lotus eyes, I remember Radha who has a sweet smile, and I speak of Radha who is melted with compassion. There is nothing else for me. She is my life and soul." (Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Visakhanandadabhidha-stotram 131)]
Leading the devotees in kirtana.
Immediately after his class Srila Narayana Maharaja and the devotees performed the auspicious abhiseka (bathing with five auspicious substances) of Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda Bihariji.
The abhiseka of Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda Bihariji with yogurt and honey
Sri Sri Radha-Vinode-Bihariji in their Radhastami outfits.
After the bathing ceremony, Srila Narayana Maharaja sent out three kirtana parties to different neighborhoods in Mathura, to collect the gifts that the local devotees had prepared for Srimati Radhika. These gifts were then carried back to the temple in a colorful parade. Upon the devotees' arrival at the front gate of Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Srila Narayana Maharaja welcomed them and showered them with rose petals.
Young girls dressed up as Radha and Krsna, performing a traditional dance with sticks, while the devotees carry the colorfully wrapped gifts on their heads back to the temple.
Srila Maharaja showering blessings with rose petals.
After returning with the gifts, all the devotees reassembled in the temple room for a program of Vrajavasi folk dance and music. At the same time, prasadam distribution to the public began on the roof. Thousands of people came and honored the feast that was prepared in celebration of Srimati Radhika's divine appearance.
In the evening, festivities continued with two drama plays by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. A group of young ladies from various countries around the world presented in brief a play taken from one of the pastimes in Camatkar-candrika. After this, Madhu dasi and her local troupe of girls performed the pastime of Prema-samput.
Sri Sri Radha and Krsna enjoy sweet pastimes after outwitting Radha's in-laws, Jatila, Kutila and Abhimanyu.
Srila Narayana Maharaja giving blessings to the drama players.