A midst the Covid situation of this year, pilgrims from far and across the country are visiting Sri Dham Mayapur during this auspicious period of the year to partake in the various auspicious pastimes of the Lord. From Govardhana Puja celebration, to Gopastami, down to the most auspicious days of Bhisma Pancha, Devotees all over the Dham are observing various vrata, taking cold and auspicious bath in Ganga while reciting various sacred mantras, offering seva to our Mayapur Goshala, Sri Radha Madhava, Sri Pancha Tattva, Sri Prahlad Narasimhadeva, Sri Jagannath, and to Srila Prabhupad Pushpa Samadhi while following the prescribe injunctions of the auspicious last days of Kartik like offering Padma (lotus) flowers to the feet of the Lord, Bilva leaves( wood apple) to the thighs of the lord, Gandha (scent) to the navel of the Lord, Java flower to the shoulders of the Lord and on the 5th day which is today being Sri Krishna Rasayatra ( Rasa Purnima) devotees has offered malati flower to the head (siro-desa) of their Lordship.
Thus, the celebration of Rasa Purnima has commenced in such a reverberating auspicious atmosphere.
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated the rāsa dance took place on the full moon night of the śarat season. It appears that the festival of Govardhana Pūjā was performed just after the dark moon night of the month of Kārttika, and thereafter the ceremony of Bhrātṛdvitīya was performed; then the wrath of Indra was exhibited in the shape of torrents of rain and hailstorm, and Lord Kṛṣṇa held up Govardhana Hill for seven days, up until the ninth day of the moon. Thereafter, on the tenth day, the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana were talking amongst themselves about the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa, and the next day, Ekādaśī was observed by Nanda Mahārāja. On the next day, Dvādaśī, Nanda Mahārāja went to take bath in the Ganges and was arrested by the men of Varuṇa; then he was released by Lord Kṛṣṇa. Then Nanda Mahārāja, along with the cowherd men, was shown the spiritual sky.
In this way, the full moon night of the śarat season came to an end. The full moon night of Āśvina is called śārad-pūrṇimā. It appears from the statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Kṛṣṇa had to wait another year for such a moon before enjoying the rāsa dance with the gopīs. At the age of seven years, He lifted Govardhana Hill. Therefore, the rāsa dance took place during His eighth year. On this most sacred and holy evening on the full moon night in the month of Kartik, in the forest of Vrindavan the moon starts rising on the eastern horizon. It is a beautiful golden color and all around the atmosphere is surcharged. The sky; it seems as if it is painted by the beautiful golden illuminating aura of the moon. The birds are singing with sweet sounds; most pleasing to the ears. The wind in its charming way is blowing through the leaves and the trees are singing a beautiful song. The whole forest of Vrajdham was intoxicated with the sweetness of this most auspicious evening and thus within the heart of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Shyamsundar awoke the desire to enjoy the beautiful Lila of the Rasa Dance with His most beloved Gopis.
Devotees of ISKCON Mayapur most aware of the significance of this festival has beautifully decorated the dancing deities of Srimati Radharani and the Asta Sakhis, each with their own Madhava, set up on the platform just below Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s altar. The Vaisnavas make sweet rice and many other milk sweets for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Madhava on the night of Their Rasa-lila to offer to the Lord.
Mayapur community devotees from all over the world, from different nationalities, young to old, men or women by the divine mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu proactively partake yearly in preparations of Rasa Purnima from Flower decorations to Bouquet making, from paintings and art works to rangolis.
Rasa Purnima also marks the first day of
in Mayapur. During this festival, Their Lordships come out of the temple and go on a procession around the Mayapur campus on the back of an elephant. Sri Sri Gaura Nitai from Srila Prabhupada’s Bhajan Kutir also come along and lead the procession. The harinama party leads ecstatic kirtans as the Lords proceed around the campus.
As Their Lordships move about, auspicious mantras are constantly being chanted by the Mayapur gurukula boys, along with the sounds of their conch shells. Other gurukula boys play the vibrant drums, electrifying the atmosphere, announcing the arrival of the Lord. The whole pathway is illuminated by lamp light and all ISKCON campus is lit up with lights.
On the pathway, the community devotees design stunning rangolis. Using coloured powders, chalks, mineral paints, flowers, cow dung, ganga mud, and fire. The devotees create breathtakingly stunning offerings. They also get the opportunity to prepare different cuisines to offer to their Lord.
This specific pastime of the Lord has a special significance because anyone who properly learns about this pastime of the Lord will certainly be dissuaded from mundane sex desire and be placed on the path of sublime devotional service to the Lord.
Wishing You a Happy Rasa Purnima!!!