Radhe Radhe!!

Wedding in Vrindavan! Vrindavan is an amazing holy city about 2.5 hrs by car from Delhi. It is close to Mathura which is the birth place of Krishna and it is apparently where Krishna played with the gopis, drinking the sweet milk and cream wherever he could find it as a youngster. Now the small city is filled with winding streets, lined with sweet shops and leading to a variety of temples almost all of which are dedicated to the great god, Krishna. One of the temples is that of my Foofaji (uncle – by marriage to my father’s sister). Before my Foofaji took Sannyas and dedicated his life to his spiritual journey, he had 5 children – all of the cousins that you have seen in the previous pictures. Below you will find a gallery of about 40 photos from the trip… Enjoy!

We left at around 4 pm on Wednesday which is when I started to lose track of the days. The kids had school that day so I relaxed, read the whole paper… etc. Once we were on the road, we were transported to another world. We arrived after dark in Vrindavan and wove through the streets until we reached the entrance to the Mungir (temple) which was all lit up for the engagement of Gopinath and Gopika – two of the devotees. We ate food, drank coffee and chai, had Mendhi put on our hands and sat around talking til after midnight. It was another wonderful reunion!

The next morning we woke up to the bhajans (songs of praise to the deities) and had some breakfast. I got to meet the sweet little cutie puppies born not too long ago. We all got dressed up in traditional Indian clothes – saris and suits for the occasion. When I came out, everyone proclaimed – Now you’re really an Indian!! HA HA HA. Amazing what clothes and some khaajal (ayurvedic eyeliner) can do! Of course being 24 years old and un-married is semi-unacceptable as a ‘real indian’ so the rest of the day was filled with jokes of how the next party will be my marriage – HA. HA. HA.

The wedding was beautiful and the bride and groom were so sweet! The groom was carried in to the main temple by my three male cousins – he was lifted on to their shoulders! And the bride was carefully prepared and walked to the temple by the females of her family and my family. Flowers and garlands were covering the entire temple and the little gazebo where the rituals were performed for hours and hours. For a while we sat and watched the rituals take place but we soon realized that food was being served. As the bride and groom were committing their lives to each other, we went and ATE! The great room behind the temple was filled with all different types of food, both Indian and Western (including an interesting form of pizza and pasta!). The aromas of chapatis and puris being fried in the open air  probably made my eyes bigger than my stomach… but it was worth it!!

The bride and groom were given words of wisdom by the Gurus and their families for a successful marriage. One of the highlights: Word of advice to the groom – Wake up with a ‘Sorry’ and go to sleep with a ‘Sorry’!! And then guess what happened? More food was served! However, we were tired and it was time for a nap.

I spent a good portion of the time getting to know Neha (Bhabi – ‘sister-in-law’ because she is my male cousins’ wife) better, sleeping, eating, drinking tea, sitting with family, learning more Hindi, and reading the teachings of my Foofaji. While his devotion is to Krishna, all of the ideas presented in his teachings ring true to me. The title of his book is ‘The Beauty of Real Love’ and the concepts center on quieting the mind, devoting oneself to meditation, peace and sharing love with the whole universe. Vrindavan is founded on those principles and is one of the most peaceful places on earth. As we were leaving, I truly had no idea what day it was and probably could have stayed for weeks… doing yoga, organizing the library, learning more Hindi, listening to the bhajans and playing with the puppies. It was a wonderful couple of days!

 

So, now: Merry X-Mas!! Enjoy the time off and relaxing with family 🙂 I am!

“We are all friends. We are all brothers and sisters heading for one goal. Our goal is the same. And we need each other to go together towards that goal. So in this way we are all brothers, sisters and friends. You try to help me. I try to exchange realizations with you, which inspire me and I am receiving inspirations from you, too. This is all by your mercy and by the mercy of Sri Sri Radha-Mohan. We are all very fortunate. At any moment mercy can come to us.” – Sripad BV Sadhu Maharaja.

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