Radhavallabhji in winter, 2017
Vrindavan, 2017.11.21 (VT): Deities throughout Vrindavan are beating the winter chill through the loving offerings of their devotees. In each temple, the Divine Couple Shri Radha and Krishna are dressed in warm sweaters and shawls. Stylish mittens, and socks embroidered with golded threads, adorn their hands and feet.
Food and drinks that are considered heating from an Ayurvedic perspective are offered in this season; Gur (jaggery), nuts, ginger, cloves and so forth are part of the winter offerings. For their daily bath, the water is heated to a comfortable temperature, and warming attars (fragrance oils) like saffron and heena are applied to their bodies for comfort. And at night, the Divine Couple sleep wrapped in a soft, warm blanket or comforter (rajhai).
Does God feel cold?
One may wonder, does God feel cold? God doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t experience hunger, thirst, and so on. He is not affected by anything. This is true everywhere except Vrindavan. Vrindavan’s Krishna is not just God; he is more than God. He is the Supreme Being who is bound by love.
Radharamanji in winter, Feb. 2017
In Vrindavan, love is supreme. Krishna is beyond hunger, but his mother’s love makes him feel hungry. It makes him crave the food she makes for him. He is beyond cold; yet the winter chills him, for his devotee stands ready with a soft blanket and a cup of warm milk.
Once there was a devotee named Krishnaprem. He was from England, but had converted to Vaishnavism and took initiation in the Radharaman Temple tradition.
One night in winter, Krisnaprem had a dream that his deity of Gopal – the Child Krishna – was shivering with cold. He woke up and went to the altar. There he found that he had accidentally left the window open, and it was actually very cold.
Looking at Gopal he said, “Oh! Do you really feel cold?”
Two teardrops fell from Gopal’s eyes, and Krishnaprem realized his mistake. He immediately closed the window and covered Gopal with a warm blanket.