The Last Day to Swing Radha Damodara: Balarama’s Appearance Day

For me this the Jhulan Yatra Festival is one of the fringe benefits of living at Gita Nagari. Surrounded by Their devotees Sri Sri Radha Damodara are brought out to Their kunja where we all have an opportunity to swing Them. When I first lived at Gita Nagari, this was my favorite part of the year. In this regard, not much has changed from those days.

Barefoot, soil dark and moist like coffee grounds between my toes, the experience speaks to my senses. Bali Prabhu, who’s largess of smiles reminds me that devotional service is joyful, raises the conch to his mouth and somehow manages to blow it mid-grin. Kirtan is sweet and harmonious, blending into the surroundings with the call of birds and the staccato of insects. Radha Damodara, glistening in the natural light, swing to and fro, veil and chaddar billowing silk. Dank and musty, sweet and grassy, the scents of the Dhama lure me into my natural state. For the briefest moment, I feel what it must be like to be a devotee, a servitor of the Lord. I participate in the enactment of the pastime. Here and now. One day, forever and always.

I have many nice photos from the Swing Festival and will try to post them as time goes on.

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