A Magical Experience of Colors at Radha Madhav Dham, Austin

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The shrine at Holi

AUSTIN, TX: After weeks of cold and gloomy weather, Saturday, March 7, turned out to be a cool spring day – warmed up somewhat with the sun trying to peek in from behind the clouds. Despite the lingering cold and threats of rain, more than 4,000 people gathered to celebrate the Indian festival of Holi.

The sights, tastes and sounds of India greeted people as they strolled around the 200 acres of beautiful Temple grounds, along with chirping of birds, beautiful peacocks and deer that came to witness the scene. The Holi Mela, hosted by community volunteers, was enjoyed by Indians and Westerners alike, who flocked around the food booths eager to taste the delectable Indian dishes being prepared right in front of them – freshly prepared dosas, paav bhaji, chhole bhature, papdi chaat and samosas, along with mango lassi and sweets like hot jalebis and gulab jamuns, not to mention the delicately spiced garam chai for a cold day. Sunita Lal Email: sunita@radhamadhavdham.org

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Holi crowd at RMD

Kids were transported into a fun world of games, as they rolled around the grass inside a Zorb ball, jumped up and down in the Bounce house, toured the grounds in a mini train, watched funny clowns festooned with painted faces – all were delighted to be spending a fun day with friends and family.

Inside the Prayer Hall, the deities of Radha and Krishn looked stunning in a new Holi Shringar (adornments) with heaps of colorful Holi powder and decorated pichkaris placed at their feet, creating create a colorful depiction of Holi, as played in the land of Braj (Vrindavan) in India, 5000 years ago when Radha Krishna descended on this Earth Planet.

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All Temple programs celebrated the spiritual aspect of Holi, enabling loving remembrance of Krishna’s mischief in the play of Holi with Gopis in Vrindaban, and bringing to life the theme of “Braj Style” Holi. Uplifting Braj kirtans, and fun folk dances showcased Krishna’s naughty leelas. The speech by Swami Nikhilanand Ji explained to the audience how to practically integrate this devotional remembrance into their fun festivities.

At 6:00 p.m. sharp, gulal play began with loud cries of “Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Holi Hai!”, reverberating throughout the grounds – as it was sung by the live band and repeated by the thousands of participants playing Holi.  The atmosphere quickly turned vibrant, exuberant and joyful – bright florescent colors of spring could be seen flying everywhere, creating clouds of pink, purple, blue and red hues in the air.  The live band was electrifying as it brought the entire crowd to its feet, dancing in excitement and merriment.  Young and old, male and female, Indian and Western – all opened their hearts, sharing of the joy and in celebration of the human values of compassion, forgiveness and love, which underlies the spirit of this colorful Indian festival called Holi.

In the words of one enthralled visitor, Holi at Radha Madhav Dham was a magical experience – “It’s the best, it’s so magical, I want to thank the temple for letting my children experience our culture in this way”

For more on this Holi event, check out their Facebook page for event photos at www.facebook.com/RadhaMadhavDham.