Sri Gaura Purnima Celebrations at Govindaji Gardens

Mar 15 2001 - Krishna Talk 16

Sri Gaura Jayanti, the holy appearance of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu was celebrated at Govindaji Gardens, Sri Narasingha Caitanya Matha on Friday 8th March.

The program began quietly in the morning with a class on the advent of Mahaprabhu given by Srila Narasingha Maharaja. In this lecture Srila Narasingha Maharaja spoke on the significance of the Srimad Bhagavatam verse ‘Krsna varnam tvisa krsnam’ and on the bala-lila (childhood pastimes) of Lord Caitanya. The class ended appropriately with all the devotees performing nama-sankirtana around the temple building.

For the rest of the morning devotees busied themselves in a variety of sevas — cooking, decorating, making garlands, preparing for pujas etc. By 3.30pm as many as 150 guests had arrived, some from local areas and others as far off as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and even Uttar Pradesh.

At the main program commenced with initiations and another lecture by Srila Narasingha Maharaja on the importance of panca-samskara diksa. Amongst the eighth initiates, Sriman Caitanya Dasa Adhikari took brahmana initiation and two children, Kunjavihari Dasa and his brother Kirtanananda Dasa, took upanayanam. A fire-yajna was then performed by Svami Bhakti Vijnana Giri and Sriman Nanda Kisora Dasa Adhikari. All the oblations were offered to Sriman Mahaprabhu and His eternal consorts, Sri Laksmipriya Devi, Sri Visnupriya Devi and Sri Navadvipa Dhama.

At 5.15 there was an elaborate abhiseka ceremony for the Deity of Lord Caitanya wherein the Deity was bathed in sesame-paste, panca-gavya, pancamrta, fruit-juices, jewel-water, kum-kum, candana and a variety of other items according to the procedures of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s book ‘Sri Janma Tithi Vidhih.’

This was followed by a palki (palanquin) festival. Firstly, an arati was offered to the protecting Deity of Sri Vira-Nrsimha before placing Him on the palki and carrying Him twice around the temple to the accompaniment of nagesvaram (a traditional South Indian wind-instrument). When He returned to the altar, the Deities of Sri Sri Radha-Gokulananda were taken around accompanied by Sriman Murali Krsna Dasa playing the flute. Lastly the Deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara were carried as Svami Bhakti Srirupa Madhava led the enthusiastic devotees in the chanting of ‘Hari haraye namah krsna’ and Maha-mantra.

When the Deities returned to the altar, Srila Narasingha Maharaja performed the maha-arati to Sriman Mahaprabhu while the devotees sang the gaura-arati song. Altogether ten lamps were offered including two sesha-dipams, a Meru-dipam and a huge kurma-dipam.

The fire raged on even after the arati, when a huge circle of camphor was lit all around the temple and fireworks were let off. As the rockets sped through the air, devotees looked up and noticed the huge golden-hued moon in the sky signalling the appearance of the Divine Moon of Gaudadesa, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

As the two-hundred guests and devotees took caranamrta and feasted on annakalpa (non-grains) prasadam, there was a short burst of rain, heralding an auspicious climax to a wonderful festival.