Festival for Subhadra Devi

N ovember 16th marked a historic moment in the Hare Krsna Movement. It was the first-ever official commemoration of the Appearance Day of Srimati Subhadra Devi in ISKCON. A grand Festival was arranged at the Jagannath Mandir at Rajapur to honour this auspicious day. The program began with bhajans being sung for the pleasure of Their Lordships. This lead up to the bhoga-offering and raj-bhoga arati.  Immediately afterwards the assembled devotees sat down to hear the Subhadra-katha. The talks began with an introduction by HG Pankajanghri Prabhu, followed by a history of Simantini Devi given by HH Bhakti Nityananda Swami and ended with some nectar from HG Jananivas Prabhu. Bhakti Nityananda Swami said that we observe Krsna Janmastami and Balaram Purnima but not the Appearance of Srimati Subhadra Devi. By the research efforts of HG Jananivas Prabhu today’s Festival had became a reality. The mic was then handed to Jananiva Prabhu. Jananivas Prabhu said that Subhadra Devi is mentioned several times in the Srimad Bhagavatam, giving evidence of Her identity and role. Actually, She is yoga-maya, and Her service is to bring devotees closer to Krsna. Her parents are identified as Vasudev and Devaki, and how She advented Herself was also explained. Jananivas Prabhu then explained how Lord Jagannath is approached only by the mercy of Subhadra Devi.

Then Prabhu explained that Pariksit was the grandson of Subhadra Devi, and to please the grandmother we should honour her grandchild. He hinted at the construction of a temple honouring Pariksit Maharaj. The island of Simantadvipa represents the process of hearing, and the personality who exemplifies this is Pariksit Maharaj. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur envisioned that there should be a temple honouring  each of the personalities who exemplified the devotional process for that island. This should be done on each of the nine islands. One other esoteric point mentioned was how Their Lordships Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Devi were the personification of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Subhadra Devi is “Hare”, Baladev is “Rama” and Jagannath is “Krsna”. So, the way to please the Lord is to chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This will be very pleasing to Subhadra Devi and we will get Her mercy. What a feast! Immediately after the katha-feast, the devotees were served the Prasadam-feast.

Srimati Subhadra Devi ki jaya!

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