Don't Miss Out! Ram Navmi at Radha Madhav Dham!
Sunday, April 1st, no fooling! That’s the day Ram Navmi will be celebrated from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Radha Madhav Dham in Austin, Texas. The program will include a speech by Sushree Diwakari Devi, a re-enactment of a Ram leela, the chanting of Ramayan verses, abhishek of Sita Ram, Ram kirtan, and the jhulan of baby Ram in the cradle, all of which will be followed by prasad lunch.
When asked to summarize the meaning of Ram Navmi, Swami Nikhilanand explained: “Ram Navmi is the day many years ago that Bhagwan Ram appeared on this earth planet, in the city of Ayodhya, in the house of King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya. On this day we remember that Ram took avatar to reveal the Divine leelas, so that His devotees would have a way to remember Him. Through such remembrance of His leelas, a devotee can cross this ocean of maya and attain the Divine vision of Bhagwan Ram. This is what we remember on Ram Navmi.”
With this in mind, the Austin community and residents of Radha Madhav Dham will celebrate this year’s Ram Navmi by viewing a presentation of one of the beautiful leelas described in the Ramayan of Shabri receiving the long-awaited darshan of her beloved Bhagwan Ram and Lakchman. Produced as a jhanki, with dohas sung from the Ramayan, the scene depicts Shabri’s unparalleled devotion to her Divine beloved, as she steps outside her humble hut, deep in Dadank Forrest, to lay fresh rose petals on the pathway every day, where she hopes her Lord will come and place His lotus feet. She also makes ready a fresh bowl of ber fruit from the wild bushes that she picks from the forest. She chooses only the sweetest ber fruit by tasting each one with a tiny bite as a test. In this way, Shabri made sure she would be ready for Her Lord when that day would finally come.
A devotee happily anticipating this year’s jhanki remarked, “To me, Shree Ram always represents what is the best thing to do; what is the absolutely correct thing to do in all situations. So I am so excited to see how He will receive Shabri’s half-eaten bers that she will present to him. Of course, He will discard all the Divine rules in favor of the love she offers to Him with her simple loving heart.”
Following this beautiful leela presentation, satsang will commence with devotional kirtan of Sita Ram. During chanting, all will be invited to come forth to participate in the jhulan of Shree Ram in His cradle, next to the shrine. Attendees will then be enlightened with a lecture by Sushree Diwakari Devi on the meaning of Ram Navmi.
After arti, an abhishek will be offered to Shree Ram inside the temple, where attendees can imbibe the darshan of the flower-adorned deities of Sita Ram. Panchamrit will be provided to pour over Their lotus feet as an offering, then taken as prasad.
Concluding the day’s celebration, all are invited to partake of the specially prepared prasad lunch.
Radha Madhav Dham is looking forward to seeing you here next Sunday.