Srila Gurudeva leads arati for Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihar
Srila Gurudeva leads arati for Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari.
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A report with photos
Janakpuri, New Delhi
September 19-25, 2005

Just before leaving for Taipei, and then Hawaii for his annual writing retreat there, Srila Narayana Maharaja held a three-day festival at the new Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari Gaudiya Matha in Delhi.

On the evening of November 19th Srila Maharaja delivered a lecture to over 500 devotees and guests, about the various stages of devotion and how to achieve them. On the evening of November 20th there was a grand procession around Janakpuri, with thousands of devotees and tens of thousands of onlookers participating. During the procession, Srila Narayana Maharaja was seated on a horse-drawn chariot, and there were other chariots including one carrying the Deities. There was also a band and several kirtana parties. By the morning of November 21st the three-story temple of Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari was fully transformed, as the gorgeous decorations for the installation festivities were completed.

Yellow, orange and maroon marigolds could be seen everywhere, in the form of designs made from a variety of hanging garlands. The base of the entire carved altar was in the shape of a white lotus flower. Sculptures of heralding elephants and flying heavenly damsels were carved in white stone on top of the altar, and there were many flower canopies over and around the Deities. The vyasasana had also been elaborately decorated, with greenery and orange and yellow flowers, and with beautiful saffron colored bolsters.

A grand fire sacrifice began that morning around 10 am, and continuous lovely kirtanas filled the great temple hall. Gradually the temple filled up with almost 1,500 devotees and guests in attendance, and after some time the Deities (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Sri Radha-ramana-bihari and Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) were brought to the altar. Smaller Deities had been worshipped there with devotion for a couple of years, but now large Deities would be installed as well. The Deities were bathed, and Srila Narayana Maharaja then led the congregation in performing the Deities’ arati. After that he gave a Hindi lecture on the basic tenants of Krsna consciousness and Vedic culture. He also spoke at length about the supreme reality and divinity of the Deities about to be installed, and he gave many evidences from histories in the Vedic scriptures. After Srila Maharaja’s lecture noon arati was performed, and that was followed by a large feast

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