Mankato celebrates its first Sri Radhastami

Hindu holy day celebrates Sri Radharani’s birthday, lover of Krishna

Maria Ly
News Editor

The Sacred Sounds Meditation club hosted Mankato’s first ever celebration of Sri Radhastami in honor of the birthday of the beloved goddess Sri Radharani on Sept. 6, 2019.

Sri Radhastami is a holy day in Hindu culture that commemorates the birth anniversary of Radha – the life energy of Krishna. 

Dolly Baruah, one of the event’s organizers says, “Sri Radharani is what we call the goddess and she is the lover of Sri Krishna. We consider Krishna the supreme personality of God, she’s the lover. But in that case when we see Radharani, even though we consider Krishna as the supreme, she is more important than him. Before offering our blessings to him we offer it to her first. In order to get Krishna, you have to impress Radharani.”

The holy day is mostly celebrated in south Asian countries but has now spread to the west and is highly celebrated. 

The love story, as described during the event, started with a loctus flower which Radharani emerged from. 

Radharani and Krishna’s time together was filled with fun and devotion towards each other. They would often play pranks and tease each other. Radharani would instantly come up every time Krishna played his flute. 

To show his love, Krishna would often decorate Radharani’s hair with flowers. 

Krishna would be with Radharani for all of eternity. 

Anastasia Viland, a student at the event says, “This is a very very special day for me, for a lot of people who follow the hare khrisna movement or they’re Hindu, this is the birth of Radha, and it’s really special.”

The event featured various forms of meditation. According to Baruah, the mediation they performed has been around for over 5000 years. 

Students, staff, faculty, and community members were given chanting beads as they peformed a chanting mantra, “Hare Krishna, hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, hare hare. Hare Radha, hare Radha, Radha Radha, hare hare.”

After the chanting meditation, guests were encouraged to provide offerings such as flower petals to the shrine, first offering to Radharani and then Krishna. 

After meditation and the ceremonial offerings, guests danced and sang along in a music chanting meditation. 

Tribhuban Thakur who took part in leading the music chanting meditations, says, “I feel inner peace. You can have inner peace through celebrating, dancing, singing, and chanting.”

He continues, “The last one we were chanting was in fact a mantra. A mantra in our culture, in Hindu culture, it has strength and power attached to it. The chanting, the sound that comes when we chant that mantra, the vibrations is linked with the universe. So, when you link yourself to the whole universe you become more inclusive. You become more conscious.” 

As part of the celebration, a vegetarian feast was served right after featuring samosas, potatoes, chickpea salad, chutney, cookies, and rice pudding. 

The Sacred Sounds Meditation club hopes to host a bigger event next year.

Meanwhile, they hold club meetings and serve free vegetarian dinner every Friday from 6-7:30 p.m. 

Baruah says, “Nowadays meditation is so important for everyone. We also talk wisdom on spirituality, and how to understand yourself, how to have a peaceful mind and peaceful life – that’s what we focus on. Any religion or any background, all people are welcome to this club.”

Header photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.

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