Vrindavan, 2017.10.06 (VT): Sharad Purnima is the night when Shri Krishna danced the Raas Lila with Shri Radha Rani and the gopis of Vrindavan. On this full moon night, the moonlight pours down upon the camphor-like soft sands of the Yamuna bank. All the night is shining white.
As if clothed in moonbeams, the deities of every temple in Vrindavan are dressed all in white with silver or gold accents. Shri Krishna wears a special tilted crown known as Braj Chandrika. Lila songs depicting the Raas Lila are sung for the pleasure of Shri Radha and Krishna, and devotees dress up in their best outfits – usually white to match the dress of their beloveds.
In his book Stavamala, Shri Roop Goswami describes the beauty of Radha as she runs to meet Krishna on the full moon night.
राग – धनाश्री
हरिमभिसर सुन्दरि सित-वेषा
“Tonight the moon is full. O beautiful Radha, dressed all in white! Your elegant chain of white pearls dances upon Your breast as you run to your Beloved, and your smile makes the moonlight even brighter! Your dress is white like buffalo yoghurt, and a thick layer of white sandalwood paste adorns your body. When you finally meet with your beloved, even the white lotus flower tucked behind your ear smiles with bliss!”
The special bhog offering on Sharad Purnima is makhaane ki kheer and chandrakalaa.
Makhaane ki kheer is made from sweet thickened milk with popped lotus seeds cooked in it till they become soft. Chandrakalaa (literally “phase of the moon”) is a kind of circular biscuit, similar to sweet mathri or even a puffed puri, but extremely light and fluffy, and covered in powdered sugar. Indeed, it looks very much like the full moon.
The entire temple of Shri Radharaman Lal was draped in white on this night and Radharamanji sat on a golden throne, while at the Banke Bihari temple, Bihariji gave a rare darshan holding a flute and at Govardhan, Chandra Sarovar was decorated with 11,000 ghee lamps.
Be sure to see our feature gallery: Sharat Purnima Darshans.
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