Gaura Purnima Festival – The Rising Moon of Kali Yuga!

A n experience with thousands of sweet memories, leaving footprints behind that will forever be with us. Gaura Purnima festival is like the story of the gopis feeling of separation from Krishna when it finally came to an end, looking how it started seems like it won’t come to an end. Although, in Mayapur it is always a festival but there is no experience that can match that of the Gaura Purnima Festival.

Over thousands and thousands of pilgrims, visitor and devotees from all around India and outside of India were fully in participation. Going for Manga Arati and Darshan Arati is like getting ready to be swept by the ecstatic rushing of the locals and pilgrims who have especially come to take the darshan of Their Lordships.

From Mangal Arati to Darshan Arati, through Kirtan Purnima down to the most awaited abhisheka of Their Lordships, it was all just like a dripping nectar from that very merciful Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother Sachi Mata. The Climax for the festival was when it was time for Abhisheka, the open field was completely filled, everyone singing and dancing out their hearts, children running, playing and jumping in ecstasy. The festival ran down to very late in the night as Kirtan went on for a very long period of time, it seems like no one cared for anything else at this point. Jai Gaura!

Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya has written this song “Nava Gaura Varam”. The official name of this song is Sri Sri Sacisutastakam. In this song, Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya glorifies Lord Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother Saci

(2) He is endowed with ever-fresh love of Godhead. His radiant luster is like the color of fresh butter. His fresh attire is arranged in ever new fashions. He relishes ever new mellows of love for Krsna. He shines in nine-fold new ways while executing the nine-fold processes of devotion. He is permeated with a most auspicious loving nature. I bow down to Gaura, the beautiful son of Mother Saci. More…

Just after Mangal Arati we heard from HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and other senior devotees, who very nicely encouraged and urge everyone one to work co-operatively in the service of Their Lordships.

20210328 Śrī Gaura Pūrṇimā Lecture By HH Jayapata Swami Maharaj

Jayapatākā Swami:  Gaurāṅga! Today is a very auspicious day! This verse shows us how fortunate we are. Lord Kṛṣṇa has come to give out love of Kṛṣṇa. Previously to get Kṛṣṇa’s mercy one had to surrender. But now Lord Caitanya is giving out love of Kṛṣṇa. What a great opportunity! If we do not take this facility, then it would be nothing but sheer foolishness. So, Lord Caitanya, He was coming, chanting and dancing. He would embrace everyone and distribute Kṛṣṇa Prema, love of Kṛṣṇa. Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya he was a Māyāvādī. Then Lord Caitanya so expertly cultivated him. Within a week or so He made Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya a pure devotee! And even when He came into his bedroom after maṅgala-ārati, He gave him some mahā-prasāda, and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya took that without washing his teeth, anything, he was still on the bed.

So then Lord Caitanya asked, “You did not follow your rules of a smārta brāhmaṇa?”

Then Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya quoted a verse, and he said, “Whenever we get kṛṣṇa-prasāda, we should take it.” Like that, he was completely changed and became a devotee.

He came on this particular astrological constellation or tithi on this particular day of the lunar eclipse. At that time of the moon eclipse, all the Hindus were in the river chanting the holy names. But the system was that one should not chant the holy names out loud. But when one is in the Ganges, it is alright. So, when Lord Caitanya appeared in the world, everyone was chanting the holy names! Even Navadvīpa non-Hindus they also joked how the Hindus were chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa! Hare Kṛṣṇa! Ha! Ha! So, like this, we remember the pastimes of Lord Caitanya and also meditating on Lord Caitanya. Because His names, His pastimes, His form, His beauty all are one. And when one thinks of the Lord’s qualities and pastimes, or līlā, then they are meditating on the Lord. So, that is why we were discussing the topics about Lord Caitanya every day. Because by discussing His pastimes, we are also meditating on Him. Now when Lord Caitanya appeared, then at that time the neighboring ladies came to the house of Mother Śacī and saw that she had given birth to a golden colored child. Even from the heavenly planets some of the devīs came and took the form of earthly brāhmaṇīs.

So, the Lord came from the spiritual world on this planet. In Navadvīpa the spot where He appeared that place is known as Yogapiṭhā, where the Lord had connected Himself with this world. In the other yugas, the Lord comes as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is why one of His names is Triyuga. But this Kali-yuga, He comes in a covered way. He came as a devotee. So, this is a rare opportunity for us to have the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Bhāgī Mahārāja was taking the Ganges down from the heavenly planets, then at that time the Ganges was flooding Jahnu Muni’s āśrama. So Jahnu Muni swallowed the whole Ganges! So Bhāgī Mahārāja, he was bewildered, “Where do the Ganges go?!” So, one of the nine islands in Navadvīpa is Jahnudvīpa. And he realized that Jahnu Muni had swallowed the Ganges.

So, he asked Jahnu muni, “Please reinstate the Ganges. I will take her away from your āśrama.”But he said, “I am sorry, I digested her!!”Then Bhāgī Mahārāja said, “If you can drink the Ganges, you can reproduce it too!”

Then Jahnu Muni reproduced the Ganges from his knee. Therefore, she is known as Jāhnavī. But then, just by the birthplace of Lord Caitanya she stopped. Bhāgī Mahārāja, has been in so many problems!

He prayed to Ganges, “Why have you stopped again?”

The Ganges said that, “Very soon the appearance day tithi is approaching and in order to celebrate that I will remain here. Because whoever bathes on this tithi, they get love of Kṛṣṇa!” If they take bath by Ganges at Gaurāṅga’s birthplace. So, there is always difficulty as today is celebrated as Holi and the Ganges is colored if you go to take bath in the Ganges. At least up till mid-day. So, we see that Ganges has some special līlā with Lord Caitanya. He would go and bathe in the Ganges every day.

And when He was doing kīrtana in the house of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura’s maid servant, Duḥkhīnī she would bring in pots of Ganges water. With that Ganges water they would bathe Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya said that, “She should not be called Duḥkhīnī, she should be called Sukhīnī. So, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu had predicted that pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma – that My name will be spread in all villages and towns of the earth. Śrīla Prabhupāda started that, now we should finish it! So, people are put to great tests with this pandemic. It is our chance to get everyone to chant the holy names.

So, this is a very special day. Lord Caitanya appeared in this world 535 years ago! According to Anuttamā Prabhu [ACBSP]. And this is Śrīla Prabhupāda’s 125th appearance anniversary. So, this is the year we should concentrate on expanding the recognition of Śrīla Prabhupāda and Lord Caitanya. Expanding Śrīla Prabhupāda’s history, and about him means glorifying Lord Caitanya. Because Śrīla Prabhupāda’s appearance was only meant for the service to Lord Caitanya.

So, Lord Caitanya has encouraged everyone to chant whether they are gṛhasthas or renounced. Śaṅkarācārya, he taught if you want to get mukti, you should be a sannyāsī. Lord Caitanya said, gṛhe thāko vane thāko sadā hari bole ḍāko – Lord Caitanya said whether you are staying at home or in the forest always chant the name of Lord Hari. You can get the kṛṣṇa-prema which is the post graduate mukti! So, this was the teaching of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and also the teaching of His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted that all the followers of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura should cooperate together to expand this saṅkīrtana movement. Anyway, this is our mandate in ISKCON.

We see that Lord Caitanya said, bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra/ janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra We see that Lord Caitanya had mentioned that one who is born in the holy land of India, they should make their lives successful and engage in welfare activities of others. So we see that so many devotees in different countries now come from India. It is their duty to perfect their lives and spread the message of Lord Caitanya.

Jai Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu Ki… Jai!!!

Gaura Purnima Darshan Gallery
Gaura Purnima Abhishek Gallery

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