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 Nand-Mahotsav celebration in Vraj, Pennsylvania
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Posted - 14 September 2004 :  11:57:55
Dear Vaishnavs,

Jai Shree Krushna !

It is my pleasure to share some of the experiences from my participation in the recent Nand-Mahotsava celebration at Vraj of the West, in the blue hills of Pennsylvania in North America. Ever since I visited their website (www.vraj.org), I had been eager to really go there and Shreeji Bawa gracefully granted that wish today. The site is in a curvylinear hilly region with green fields all around and thus is outside the hustle-bustle of city life. So when I reched the nearest station by public transport and was looking for ways to reach the site, I just called Vraj to enquire any option, and lo they didn’t allow me to consider any option and a vaishnav with a car was on his way to pick me up! The vaishnav couple was very cordial to explain various areas on the way and around Shreeji Bawa’s haveli and accompanied me till I was familiar with the haveli staff and areas within the Vraj.

The celebration started with a Shobhayatra where Kirtaniyajis were leading with glorifying kirtans of Thakurji’s appearance (Prakatya) which were reciprocated by all others. They were immediately followed by young girls and ladies having Kalash with Shreefal on their head. There were followed by other ladies and gents vaishnavs who were singing and dancing in colourful clothes. After the Shobayatra reached in front of the Ratan Chawk, there was a Pushti Dhwaj Vandan unfurled by one elderly enthusiastic vaishnav of North America. Thereafter, the young girls and ladies with Kalash were the first to be welcomed with flowers (Vadhavava) by Manorathis towards the central courtyard of the Haveli. Soon the whole chawk was full of vaishnavs and everyone was lost in having the beautiful darshan of their loved one, Shreeji Bawa and Balkrushnaji in Golden Swing (Palana)! To enhance the vaishnavs’ getting wet with the anand-ras, were the kirtaniyajis now singing the badhais and paryanks and of course “Nand gher anand bhayo, Jai Kanaiya lal ki…!”. Some young children were dressed like Balkrushnaji with pitamberi vastras and they were hailed up by dancing vaishnavs. Then came the most fun and bliss when Mukhiyajis started throwing the dry fruits and mishris towards the vaishnavs and see who was not excited to collect as much as possible!

After the darshan and felicitation of vaishnavs, there was really delicious mahaprasad, which every vaishnav enjoyed. Nice service was provided by volunteers so that all vaishnavs were sumptiously fed.

After the mahaprasad and little rest, there was the evening time and sandhya arati and shayan darshan were enjoyed by all the vaishnavs again.

The mukhiyajis are very cordial and graceous to enquire and encourage us. The staff of haveli is really so very cooperating and facilitating that we don’t miss slightest of bliss we can derive by benefiting from our stay in Vraj. The accomodation is top-class and service more than we could ask. Kiranbhai, Bipinbhai, Roshanbhai and many other resident vaishnavs and visiting vaishnavs are managing it very well. It will be a memorable experience for me, especially when in the early next morning I had to reach the station and the vaishnav who came to drop me was none other than an online vaishnav friend Bhavesh whom I was eager to meet and have satsang which Shreeji Bawa fulfilled! He is a regular visitor of pushtikul website and I would welcome him to share his devotional experiences. May Shree Vallabh bless them all with more and more blissful service in his lotus feet!

Jai Shree Krushna ! Dharmendra

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