Festivals At Gopinatha Dham

Gopinatha's yearly Festivities

 

 

2002- Jhulan Yatra

 

 

We first came to Gopinatha dham in May 2002 and our first festival was Jhulan yatra, or Gopinatha's swing festival. Devotees shared an evening with us, hearing playful swing pastimes then swinging Gopinatha with kirtan.

 

 

 

 

                              

 

Gopinatha's swing is so small,because He is so small! Unlike most deities He is so small that He is neither dressed garlanded nor ornamented. Therefore the sweetness of these festivals is due to hearing His pastimes.
 
We also like to attend the beautiful flower bedecked swing festival at the Perth Temple where Sri Radha Govardhaneswari are swung by all the community of devotees.

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2002- Kartika Festival

 

Kartika is especially celebrated in Vrindavana,where the devotees gather to offer Radha Shyamasundara their prayers and their small lamps. The offering of lamps whilst singing the Damodarastakam prayers, is recommended in Nectar Of Devotion by Srila Rupa Goswami, as being an especially potent method of increasing ones advancement in devotion.The lamps are offered to Krishna tied to the grinding morter by His mother Yasoda.

Krishna is also known as Damodara as well as Gopinatha.These are just a few of His sweet transcendental Names

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout all ISKCON temples Kartika is observed by some simple dietary restrictions and the chanting of the Damodara prayers and the offering of lamps.

However, to remember the special nature of this month in Vrindavana we wanted to do something more. Having observed the specialities of  Vrindavana during this month we decided to take Gopinatha on a small Gopinatha-sized Vraja Mandala Parikrama.

 

 

 

 VRAJA MANDAL PARIKRAMA

 

 We first began holding this festival for Gopinatha in 2000 after making this simple "model" of Vraja. We then placed Gopinatha upon a small cart and with kirtan we would take Him round and round Vraja.

Every day for first two weeks we would hear some of the pastimes of the place which He would "visit" on that particular day.After two weeks of parikrama our Kartika festival ends with the celebration of Govardhana Puja.

 

 

 

 

This year's festival was attended by many devotees.

 

 

                            

 

                               

 

 

 

 

Jaya Gopinatha

 

 

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2002- GOVARDHANA PUJA

 

 

This is one of the most popular festivals for all the devotees.

 

Once when Indra became angry He threatened Vrindavan with horrible storms.In return Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill to protect all the cows and residents of Vrindavana.  Govardhana puja or the worship of Govardhan Hill is a very happy festival which is celebrated every year.

 

 

 

 

We celebrated outdoors.Saci made coloured popcorn balls,We set up our hill [as seen above] and with kirtan we circumnambulated the hill

 

 

                  

 

 

 

 

Gopinatha [another name for Krishna] is seen here atop our model of Govardhan Hill, along with Giriraja,a sacred worshipful stone from the hill.

 

 This festival is important for us here at Gopinatha dham because the celebration of Govardhana Puja promises to safeguard against the danger of snakes.We have many snakes on the property.

Of course there are sweeter, more devotional rewards as well!!!

 

Govardhana Puja Kijay

 

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Gopinatha's festivals 2003 - 2004

During these two years we were somewhat unable to keep Gopinatha's festivals going due to travel.

2005 - Occasions to celebrate

 

Spiritual celebrations

Every day is actually a festival in the spiritual world, for there there is no dullness.There is no boredom,and no satiation of spiritual energy as there is within matter.

Here we eat one slice of cake and it is so tasty we eat more. But were we asked to eat only cake, all day, forever, we wouldnt find that exciting.The reason is because our enjoyment would naturally decrease. Everyone is interested in pleasure, but different people enjoy different pleasures.

Here, at Gopinatha dham, we are trying to gain a taste for giving happiness to Gopinatha. I know it sounds simplistic but that is what we would like to be able to do.

So we place a lot of emphasis on the various Appearance Days and other special festive occasions . It is an important part of life at Gopinatha dham.

At the same time we also always attend the temple's programmes on these coccasions. So we celebrate twice!! That keeps us pretty busy.

Here are some of our festival offerings for Gopinatha

2006 - Giving and receiving happiness

Taking time for making time

The month of Sravan [Aug-sept] is the time of year when there are most festivals. Before each occasion work is required. Sometimes Jagattarini spends a week or more working through the night in preparation. Effective use of that time, is possible if she can create permanent displays and store them carefully.

The Sravan festivals this year are being accepted as the time to create such pieces.