A Simply Magnificient Diwali Celebrations at Radha Madhav Dham

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Beautifully decorated lights at Radha Madhav Dham.

AUSTIN, TX: Amazing fireworks, captivating rangoli’s, beautifully adorning lamps sparkling up the temple grounds, mouth-watering delicacies and raas garba dancing until midnight – Diwali at Radha Madhav Dham was buzzing with energy and activity until late into the night on October 18.

Over 6,000 people flocked into the temple premises. It was a perfect family event with something for everyone – face painting, games, arts and crafts booths for kids, a mela-style setup with vendors displaying and selling traditional Indian jewelry and clothes. People gathered around the numerous food stalls, enjoying the taste of delicacies like dosa, chana bhatura, pakora, samosa.  And, everyone got a Diwali Goodie bag as their momento from the temple… “I forgot that night that I live in the U.S., this feels so much like being in India”, stated a first time visitor at the event.

Rangoli outside temple

Rangoli outside temple

Inside the temple, the altar with deities of Radha and Krishna was mesmerizing, with rangoli of flowers and traditional patterns dressed up with sparkling lights and diyas lighting up the shrine and captivating the hearts of everyone that set eyes upon them.

The Diwali program started with the singing of Ramayan Chaupais, describing the glories of Lord Ram followed a talk by Swami Nikhilanand Ji, explaining the significance of Diwali through the leelas of Shabri, the old and devout lady, whose only aim in life is to have Darshan of Shree Ram. Following the talk, the audience witnessed these stories performed live, through leela enactments  by the devotee community of the temple. The single-minded devotion and love of Shabri and the sincere bhakti of Hanuman towards Lord Ram touched the hearts of everyone who witnessed the leelas.  The cultural program ended with a mesmerizing jhanki (glimpse) of the Ram Darbaar – where Shree Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman were seen in all their glory as classical performers danced to the stuti in praise of Lord Ram.

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Ram and Sita darshan

Then came the spectacular fireworks show choreographed with the chants of Raaadddhhhhheeeeeyyy. People stood in rapt attention, eyes focused on the sky as the fireworks and chanting sounds filled the skies. Soon after, the live band started the traditional dance of Raas Garba in the Maharaas Mandal (outdoor shrine), and hundreds of people, young and old, came together to participate in the joyous dancing and togetherness.

Meanwhile, inside the temple chanting continued with enthusiastic devotees, singing and dancing to the tunes of beautiful bhajans and naam sankirtan.

Diwali was a memorable experience for all those who participated!  Radha Madhav Dham consistently and uniquely provides the ambience and energy that makes everyone gathered there feel like they are celebrating the festival back home in India.  This place truly offers everyone a home away from home.

For more photos of the event, like the Radha Madhav Dham’s  Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RadhaMadhavDham.