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Radha Ashtami Mahalaxmi Vrat
Radha Ashtami Mahalakshmi Vrat is also known as Mahalakshmi puja. This is the day when people observe fast to please Goddess Radha who is an incarnation of Shri Mahalakshmi. It is said that the people who worship Goddess Radha with full devotion always have the benign grace of Lord Krishna upon them and their family.
This auspicious day is also known as the ‘appearance day’ of Goddess Radha. It is believed that being an eternal and virtuous soul, she never takes birth nor she dies. On Radha Ashtami, people observe fast and perform Mahalakshmi puja for Shri Mahalakshmi or Laxmi, the Goddess.
This day is celebrated after 15 days of Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna). Radha Ashtami falls on the eighth day of Shukla Paksha (Dark phase) in the holy month of Bhadrapada (August- September).
It is believed that the Goddess Radha (an incarnation of Laxmi) was found lying on the leaves of the lotus flower in a pond in Barsana, a popular suburb in Mathura, by a couple named Vrisha Bhanu and Kirti (or Kalavati). This couple was known to be the partial depictions of Lord Narayana and Goddess Lakshmi.
Radha Ashtami Mahalakshmi Vrat is celebrated by the devotees who believe Lord Krishna to be their sacred deity. To understand the importance of this day one needs to eliminate all bad feelings from one’s inner soul. This festival is symbolic of a beautiful blend of a single human soul with the universal God soul.
Rituals and Observations
On Radha Ashtami, beautiful idols of Lord Krishna or Shri Krishna and Radha are adorned with beautiful jewels and people offer prayers to them to show their love and respect for the holy divine couple. On this day, people are not allowed to chant her holy name or take dip in the Radha-Kund or Radha Pond as these actions are believed to be disliked by her. Her followers have to wait religiously till midnight to chant her holy name and then take a holy bath in the pond.
It is believed that on this day devotees of Goddess Radha get a chance to view her beautiful lotus feet which otherwise remain covered. If anyone observes a fast on this day, they are said to be freed from all their past sins and mistakes they have committed. It is a means to obtain immense amount of peace and satisfaction not only in this life or on this planet but also in heaven. The day witnesses joy and happiness all around and divine chants fill the environment with merriment.
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