Summer festivals in Mayapura
Posted June 30, 2004
For an entire month (April 13 to May 13), the devotees of Mayapura, India, celebrated Tulasi Jaladana, a festival in which Srimati Tulasi devi enjoys a continuing shower of Ganges water through the heat of the day. A brass pot is mounted over Tulasi devi; the bottom of the pot has a hole to allow a wick to pass through, which drips water continuously on Tulasi's soil.
The spectacular candan festival of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava is celebrated in a unique way in Mayapura; all the community devotees participate in hand-grinding sandalwood into a cooling paste, which is generously applied to the bodies of the Deities. Each evening, for the first seven days of Candan Yatra, small Radha-Madhava Deities are taken by palanquin to Srila Prabhupada's pukar (lake) to enjoy a boat ride. The devotees brought all kinds of food and flower offerings for Radha-Madhava. After They had enjoyed Their boat ride, They would sit on the bank of the kunda (lake) while Their prasada was distributed.
Nrsimha Caturdasi was celebrated with a fire sacrifice and an elaborate abhiseka ceremony. After an ecstatic oil bath and flower petal bath, lasting over seven hours, Sri Nrsimha deva was standing amid a small mountain of flowers, casting His loving glance over all the devotees. The devotees, with purified hearts, would beam back at Him.
From May 5 through June 3, Sri Sri Radha-Madhava enjoyed a month of water pastimes. Each evening They came down from Their altar to enter a flower bungalow, where They would enjoy a scented water fountain and sweet-smelling seasonal flowers. As the devotees queued up, Jananivasa das prabhu would give a flower and speak one of the names of the Lord to each devotee, who would chant that name while offering his or her flower to Radha-Madhava. In that way, the chanting of the 108 names of Radha-Madhava, the 1000 names of Srimati Radharani and 1000 names of Krishna was completed.
Now the summer festivals are over, and the rains have begun.
[1. Photo collage by Padmalochan das]
[2. Ingenious mechanism to water Tulasi devi]
[3. Sri Sri Radha-Madhava at Candan Yatra]
[4. Soothing sandalwood paste adorns Deities]
[5. Radha-Madhava Deities enjoy nightly boat ride]
[6. Flower abhiseka for Sri Nrsimha deva]
[7. Scented water fountain and flowers for Radha-Madhava]
Devotees may see more photos of these blissful events at www.dipika.org. We have also prepared a one-megabyte Acrobat PDF newsletter which devotees with broadband access may download on request from Padmalochan das.
All photographs Copyright © 2004 by Vrindavan Lila dasi -- All rights
reserved. Photographs may not be reprinted without permission.