Sri Radha Krishna Jhoolan, the annual five-day worship of Sri Krishna, Radha and Bal Gopala was held in Rikhiapeeth from 1st to 5th August with the blessings of Swami Satyananda for the spiritual upliftment of all. This festival of pure bhakti and joy was well attended by hundreds of devotees, guests as well as enthusiastic local villagers and, of course, the kanyas and batuks.
Sri Radha Krishna Jhoolan is an opportunity to forget all daily worries and dive deep into the awareness of Krishna through kirtan, prayer, havan and dance. Throughout the five-day worship, Vrindavan was recreated at Rikhiapeeth and all present experienced the divine presence of Lord Krishna.
The kanyas and batuks attended in full numbers each of the evening programs and were the gopis and gopas of Vrindavan. They danced and sang to express their love for Krishna and in the spirit of Jhoolan, played and laughed a lot!
Daily bhoj was conducted for the kanyas and batuks alternatively, along with the old-age pensioners and gramins of Rikhia Panchayat. On the third and fourth day, 150 villagers of neighbouring villages were also invited for bhoj.
On 5th August, diksha into karma sannyasa, jignasu and mantra was given to hundreds of initiates by Swami Satyasanganda and Swami Niranjanananda.
Bhadrapad Krishna Ashtami, the birth of Sri Krishna, is celebrated as Janmashtami throughout India. This auspicious day was celebrated in Rikhiapeeth by offering kirtans, prayers and arati to Bal Gopala. The kanyas and batuks along with local villagers and guests from all over India joined this joyous celebration conducted in Yajnashala from 6.00 to 7.30 pm. A feature of the celebration was an animated film presentation about Lord Krishna which the kanyas and batuks loved. After the celebration in Yajnashala, the batuks, who in the spirit of Krishna skilfully formed a pyramid, broke the hanging matka which was full of sweets and toffees! The smallest batuk on top of the pyramid managed to break the pot and then the real fun began!