ISKCON of Houston Celebrated Radhastami

Sri Sri Radha NilaMadhava on Radhastami Photos: K R Thejas & Nagalla Nagaraj

Sri Sri Radha NilaMadhava on Radhastami
Photos: K R Thejas & Nagalla Nagaraj

By Virginia M. Ford

HOUSTON: The Hare Krishna Dham, ISKCON of Houston, was lively on Thursday, September 12 as devotees celebrated with ecstatic loving devotion Radhastami. Radhastami is the appearance of Srimati Radharani, Lord Krishna’s greatest devotee. Radha is the feminine facet of the Absolute Truth and Krishna’s feminine energy. Just as the sunshine is the energy of the sun, Radha is the sum of Krishna’s energy in the mood of love. Her very name means “one who worships Krishna best”.  Additionally, this is the only day of the year that the public has the opportunity to view Radharani’s lotus feet. This privilege is known as taking “darshan” of Radharani’s lotus feet as they remain covered the remainder of the year.

The glowing deities, Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava, dressed in a beautiful shimmering silver hue outfit called Aradhita which is gleamed as bright as the sun. They were decorated with fresh colorful flowers of orange carnations, yellow and hints of red roses. At the deities feet were an array of fruit offerings of watermelons, bananas, plums and pears along with sweet cakes specially prepared for Radharani.  Radharani beamed upon the devotees and guests who appeared as she was surrounded by colorful decor of red apples, lemons and red bell peppers by ISKCON volunteers who worked diligently in preparation for this jubilant celebration.

Devotees Celebrating Radhastami

Devotees Celebrating Radhastami

 This auspicious festivities began at 6:30pm with kirtan led by Vatsal Das and by the Kirtan Rasa Group from the Philippines. HH Giridhari Swami blessed all with his presence and shared glories of Srimati Radharani.  He took sanyas in 1986 and serves ISKCON in the regions of Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines. He shared sweet nectar of how Radharani is the most compassionate and with her mercy, naturally we receive the mercy of Krishna. He assured, “No matter what a fool we are, if we receive the mercy of Radharani, Krishna cannot fail to accept us.”

 Radhastami was even more special this year with Consul General of India, P. Harish, his wife Nandita and their daughter gracing the function. Devotees were honored for sharing his realization on the importance of practicing bhakti for attaining the perfection of life.

 On this occasion, members of the media: Shobana Muratee, editor of “Voice of Asia” and Rajeev Gadgil, editor of “India Herald” were recognized for their contributions for promoting ISKCON Houston’s events.

 Then, HH Giridhari Swami started the chanting of the holy names in a kirtan that started out with a rhythmic of clapping and chanting leading to an intoxicating, electrifying atmosphere. Many devotees that filled the temple jumped to their feet to chant and dance for Radharani as the kirtan progressed!   At one point of the kirtan, the ambience became so charged with the chanting that the beautifully dressed women in their multihued saris, dancing on one side of the temple room broke out in chanting “Radhe! Radhe!” while the men dancing on the other side of the temple echoed “Shyam! Shyam!”.

 How does one explain how beautiful a rose smells or the feeling of a morning seabreeze? Sometimes, it is simply best to show them and have their own senses experience it for themselves.  One could tell everyone present cherished this festive occasion as smiles and eyes glowed with bliss filled the temple room.  My surmise, is that everyone directly observes and participates in an event with an overflow of  love as displayed at Radhastami.

 No festival is complete without a sumptuous prasadam! And Radharani’s appearance day would be no exception. The highlights of the menu were dokla, jamun, mutter paneer and specially made cakes.

 The deities of Sri Sri Radha Nila-Madhava presides over a welcoming aarati and kirtan each Sunday at 5:30pm at ISKCON Hare Krishna Dham located on 1320 W 34th St Houston TX 77018, close to the Heights and Galleria.

For further details, visit or call 713-686-GITA (4482).