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Radha Ashtami Festival - Radha Ashtami 2016 - Radha Ashtami Fast
Radha Ashtami is celebrated on Ashtami of Shukla Paksha in Bhadrapad month. This year, it will be celebrated on 9 September, 2016. Devotees visit Gahavar forest which is situated on the hills of Barsana. Barsana is crowded during this part of the year. A lot of devotees can be seen celebrating Radha Ashtami. A lot of traditional programmes are organized. Religious bhajans and kirtan can also be heard.
Radha Ashtami Story
Radha Ashtami story is associated with the birth of Goddess Radha. Radha was born as a daughter to Vrishbhanu Gop. Her mother’s name was Kirti. According to Padma Purana, Radha ji has been said to be King Vrishbhanu’s daughter. According to Padma Purana, Vrishbhanu received Radhaji when he was cleaning the floor for organizing a Yagya. Vrishbhanu considered Radhaji to be his own daughter and took care of her.
It has also been mentioned in Padma Purana that Lord Vishnu asked his family members to come to planet Earth as incarnations before being born as Lord Krishna. Therefore, Goddess Laxmi who is Lord Vishnu’s wife incarnated as Radhaji. According to Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Radhaji was a friend to Lord Krishna. She was married to a person named Rapan or Rayan. Radhaji is also considered to be Lord Krishna’s lover.
Radha Ashtami Worship
A fast is kept on the day of Radha Ashtami. Radhaji’s idol is cleaned with panchamrit. After this, the idol is decorated. An idol made of gold or silver is established in the house. Radhaji’s idol is worshipped with total devotion and dedication. Aarti is performed with dhoop and lamps. Prasad is also offered to her. According to many religious scriptures, Radhaji should be worshipped with Lord Krishna on this day.
First of all, Radhaji should be cleaned with panchamrit. Then the idol should be decorated. Leaves from 27 different trees and water from 27 different wells should be collected in a temple on this day. A worship should be organized with milk, curd, ghee and bura. Shyama Shyam should be chanted while worshipping Radhaji. According to Narad Purana, a person fasting on this day is able to gain knowledge of all secrets related to Braj. Such a person is free from all sins.
Radha Ashtami in Braj and Barsana
Just like Janmashtami, Radha Ashtami is also celebrated in a big way in Braj and Barsana. This day is celebrated as a festival in the temples of Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Rawal and Maant. People of Goswami community can be seen celebrating this day in Radha Vallabh temple with a lot of zeal and excitement. People are very excited and happy on this day.
Turmeric and curd are collected in the temples. This mixture is thrown on the people of Goswami community. They can be seen getting more excited when this happens. Bhoga is offered to Radhaji once the temple doors are closed. Bhajan and kirtans are organized throughout the day. Once the doors open again, people can be seen chanting Radhaji’s name. In the end, an Aarti is performed.
Importance of Radha Ashtami
According to Vedas and Puranas, Radhaji is also known as Krishna Vallabh. Lord Krishna was very fond of Radhaji. People listening to Radha Janma Ashtami story are free from any problems. They are blessed and live a prosperous life. Such people are wealthy and receive all material desires. People chanting Radhaji’s mantra attain salvation. It is believed that Lord Krishna’s worship is incomplete without Radhaji’s worship. Radhaji is believed to be the controller of Lord Krishna’s life.