As we come together to celebrate this day with our hearts filled with devotion, woven with threads of remembrance and reverence, let us pray to always be in the mood of pure love for Sri Radha and Krishna. Today is not just the celebration of Lord Krishna’s enchanting pastime as a cowherd boy; it is also a day to honor and reflect upon the divine departures of three exalted souls: Sri Gadadhara Dasa Goswami, Sri Dhananjaya Pandit, and Sri Srinivasa Acharya.
Gopashtami, the festival that mirrors Krishna’s divine play as a cowherd boy, draws us into the enchanting realms of Vrindavan. The air is charged with the sweet melodies of kirtan, and the heart sways to the rhythm of devotion. Today, we celebrate the Supreme Cowherd boy of Braj, the eternal friend of the cows, who enchants our hearts with His mischievous smile and plays His enchanting flute, beckoning us into His transcendental pastimes. In Mayapur, the festivities unfold with a profound sense of spirituality. The temple is adorned with flowers, and the deities look captivating, creating a vibrant and joyous ambiance.
By the special mercy of Srimati Radharani, devotees also get to take darshan of her lotus feet, which rarely happens. In Mayapur, we get such mercy only on Gopashtami Day, which makes it an even more memorable day for us and our visiting guests. This day is packed with lots of activities, from the procession of Sri Krishna Balarama to the Goshala to lectures by Srila Prabhupada’s disciple, senior devotees, feeding the cows, Maha yajna, kid’s cultural programs, and lots of prasadam for everyone, down to our favorite Damodar Ashtakam in the evening to perfectly end the day.
One special highlight of the day is the worship of the cows. As devotees lovingly decorate them with colorful garlands and feed them special treats as a gesture of gratitude for their sacred presence, The cows, revered as gentle companions of Krishna, embody the purity and simplicity that characterise the Lord’s transcendental abode. Aside from this beautiful gesture, you can see the children, youths, and elders dressed like cowherd boys and girls, imitating the beautiful pastime of Lord Krishna, the cowherd men, and the gopis of Braj.
Gopastami in Mayapur is not just a celebration; it is a heartfelt communion with the divine pastimes of Lord Krishna. Through each ritual, each offering, and each shared moment, our devotion is strengthened, and our hearts are filled with the sublime presence of the Supreme Cowherd, making Gopastami a cherished and unforgettable experience.
Sri Gadadhara Dasa Goswami: A Divine Departure
On this auspicious day, we also remember and honor the disappearance of Sri Gadadhara Dasa Goswami, a stalwart devotee and intimate associate of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His life was a testament to unwavering devotion and surrender to the divine mission. As we offer our prayers in his remembrance, let us seek inspiration from his selfless dedication to the service of the Lord.
Sri Dhananjaya Pandit:
Today marks the disappearance of Sri Dhananjaya Pandit, a devoted follower of Lord Chaitanya. Like the lamp that gradually fades at sunrise, his departure reminds us of the ephemeral nature of our existence. Yet, in the face of this transient reality, his life teaches us to burn brightly in the service of the Supreme, casting aside the shadows of material attachment.
Sri Srinivasa Acharya: Dissolving in the Ocean of Devotion
As we contemplate the disappearance of Sri Srinivasa Acharya, we are reminded of his profound love for the Holy Name. Like a drop dissolving in the vast ocean of devotion, his life teaches us the potency of chanting the holy names and the transformative power it holds in guiding our souls towards the divine.
As we immerse ourselves in prayers, kirtan, and reflections on this auspicious day, may our hearts resonate with the devotion that these exalted souls embodied. Let us dance with the Supreme Cowherd, remembering that in every departure, there is an invitation to draw closer to the eternal embrace of the divine. Gopashtami and the disappearance days are not merely moments in time but windows into the eternal realm of spiritual bliss, guiding us on our journey back to Godhead.