Last night was the 2nd annual puspanjali festival in New Vrindaban. This is the festival where the Deities are showered with flower petals. Two pujaris stand behind Radha Vrindaban Candra and for the best part of an hour sprinkle lakhs of flower petals over them.
As the pile builds up to Their waists, two pujaris sit in front of them and throw the petals up into the air, looking like a fountain of flower petals. Gathering flowers takes a lot of effort by a lot of devotees and private gardeners also bring in lots of flowers from their home gardens, as did we.
After the Deities have been bathed in petals, the pujaris gather up the petals and take them up to the 3rd floor where sections of the vaulted stain glass ceiling have been removed and from three different places they begin fluttering the petals down on the heads of the crowd. That went on for another twenty minutes or so continuously.
Soon they accumulate enough on the floor that one can easily sweep one’s arm and gather handfuls and petal showers and skirmishes erupt.
This is a great festival for kids. A whole crew of them sat rapt through the Deities being showered and once the petals fall from the sky the gathering and tossing is great fun. This will make for some distinct childhood memories.
This year my energy level kept me confined to a chair, but I was still feeling so fortunate to be able to attend an event like this. It makes up for a lot of tolerating bodily discomfort just to stick around for. So fortunate to be in a place such events happen.
I have a feeling that over the years this could develop into one of New Vrindaban’s biggest festivals because it is so unique. Here we are able to grow most of the flowers for the festival, though I have already determined to double the size of the Deity flower garden next year to have even more flowers for this festival. We still had to buy some flowers for this years’ festival, due to the drought, so next year we need to grow more just in case.