It is said that the love of Gopis, the cowherd damsels of Vrindavan, for Krishna is the topmost love. It is without a tinge of selfishness and material motivation. The Gopis are the embodiment of the highest expression of the soul’s love for God, because pleasing God is their exclusive aspiration of life. Sharad Purnima is celebrated on the full moon night of Sarad-ritu (October). This is the night when Lord Krishna performed Rasa dance. This dance represents the most perfect intimacy between the infinitesimal soul and the supreme soul, free of any material tinge of selfish desire, but charged with intense bliss. In reciprocation with the love of the Gopis, Krishna expanded himself to dance with each Gopi in their eternal spiritual bodies.
Devotees at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir celebrate this full-moon night of love and affection by dressing their Lordships with magnificient dresses and glittering ornaments. The entire altar is decorated with flowers brought from different parts of the country, especially from Vrindavan, the eternal abode of Radha and Krishna. The eight prominent gopis – Lalita, Visakha, Chitra, Champakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi manifest on the altar with garlands, flowers, musical instruments, chamara fans and butter pots to serve Raha and Krishna. An ambience of the starlit, full moon night of Vrindavan, filled with fragrant flower bushes and tender green creepers is created. The enchanting atmosphere surcharged with melodious kirtans is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!