Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Here is the entrance to the Radha Raman temple area. The temple houses the figure of Krishna that you see being worshiped in the video in the previous post in the video -- a smooth black stone figure, which is said to have sprung from a Shaligram (one of those smooth black Nepali stones) of its own accord. Every evening we would go thru the archway you see here to the temple for the evening Seva, which always involved chanting and drums, and sometimes singing or dancing. During these services, sometimes 3 or 4 hours long, one could meditate or really think, surrounded by the kind of joyful concentration of those around... often others at the service would be overcome, and start dancing or crying, both of which seemed like extensions of the same emotion. The women wore stupendously beautiful sarees, heavy silks for wintertime with amazing prints on them, and thick silk shawls. This is a video of one evening seva:

Following is a picture of Mira Bai, another 16th-century saint and friend of Sri Chaitanya. She wrote great volumes of poetry to Krishna, and was considered an incarnation of Radha, Krishna's consort. Her poems, like most mystical poetry in India, are songs (Bhajans). She was a great inspiration, one of those women who broke all kinds of taboos and suffered all kinds of consequences -- and managed, despite everything, to leave a literary legacy. There is a temple to her in Vrindavan, which was being renovated when we visited, but the priest let us in anyway.

Following are pictures of Aaron drawing the children of Gambhira (Jai Singh Ghera)'s manager, Prakash and his wife Lakshmi. Prakash was absolutely wonderful to us during our stay there, and asked Aaron to draw his two daughters Amrita and Pragya. When Aaron visited Vrindavan three years ago, he drew Prakash and Lakshmi's son Hemanth.

Prakash and Lakshmi and the children had us over for tea. We had an amazing time with them -- Lakshmi showed us how to apply the sindoor powder that symbolizes marriage -- and told us that Aaron had to apply it to my head the first time, and that I could do it thereafter... she gave us a little container of sindoor and some stick-on bindis. By the time we left I looked like a proper wife. The girls seemed very very pleased with their likenesses.


At 6:42 PM, Blogger MIRABAI said...

Thought you might be interested in a new site dedicated to presenting the life and spiritual teachings of Mirabai.





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