Monday, December 3, 2007

Tour of Alachua (4 of 5): The Templeroom of Radha Madan Mohan

Imagine the evening has settled in on Alachua and the stars twinkle on in the sky. Cars pull into Raghu's driveway, and gurukulis wrap scarves and sweaters tighter as they hurry into this warm templeroom.

It's 8:00pm. It's Kartik.

For the past four years, Raghu and Yamuna have hosted this tradition of singing the Damodar Prayers to his deities, Radha Madan Mohan, and we all offer a candle. (And can you believe someone different sings every single night?) I believe Radha Madan Mohan are the ishta-deva of Kartik in Alachua for the gurukulis. Well, that's certainly how I feel.

Now that Kartik has ended, Raghu's house has quieted once again. For the past year, I have come to dress Radha Madan Mohan every other Sunday morning. Even though I am not initiated and They are installed, somehow They smile, roll Their eyes, and allow me to dress Them anyway.

I feel this templeroom is an integral experience of Alachua for me. It is where I draw closer and closer to Radha and Krishna in Their deity form. On Sunday mornings I taste peace for two hours as I listen to soft bhajans or hum to myself, entranced.

Raghu makes much of his own jewelry for his Deities. These are handmade tikas, chokers, and bracelets for Srimati Radharani.

Even though this is my 19th time dressing (Raghu is militarily precise on these matters) it still took me three hours to dress my Lords.

Ah, whatever, time becomes irrelevant on these mornings anyway.


Anonymous said...

Hare Krishna!
The dieties look beautiful. Can you please tell me where I may be able to get a similar pair for myself? I have been looking around for some time but have had no luck...till i came across this writing.
Thank you very much,

Jahnavi said...

I just love your writing Bhakti! Thankyou for being the facilitator to me having this same special experience in Alachua - I think of it often, especially when I dress my own deities. I hope I can show them the same devotion one day as Raghu and Yamuna and you - and everyone else that dedicatedly comes to worship them!

Vinod said...

Definitely girls will be better in dressing deities coz they have an eye for jewellry ,taste for d right combination of colours n not to mention the time

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