Mayapura Dham celebrates appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Posted March 8, 2004
On this most auspicious appearance day of the most munificent avatar, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu (March 6, 2004), we are having a large variety of festivities in Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir at Sri Mayapur Dham, with thousands of devotees from all over the world as well as with tens of thousands of pilgrims from the state of West Bengal and other parts of India.
All the devotees were as usual eagerly waiting to take darsan from Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Madhava during darsan arati, wondering what would be the new outfit for this magnanimous occasion. For each important festival like Gaurpurnima, Janmastami, Radhastami etc. the new dress design offered to the Deities becomes one of the most important attractions for our devotees on that day, since they spend a lot of time commenting about the opulences of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Asta-sakhis. For this Gaurpurnima year the dresses of Their Lordships are very colourful with a lot of embroidery and fine art work made at the Sri Radha Madhava dress department in Mayapur under the guidance of Jananivas das prabhu.
This year is the first year of the Gaurpurnima for the new life size Panca Tattva Deities installed Feb 23rd; every day They look more beautiful and attractive to all the devotees and visitors; the temple rooms are not big enough to accommodate thousands of pilgrims at the same time. For this year special security measures have been taken for the safety of the devotees in general.
There are kirtans and bhajans everywhere, the chanting of Hare Krsna can be heard in every corner of the temple and gardens, as well as from visitors who see every devotee chanting Hare Krsna.
Many pandal programs are going on simultaneaously in Bengali, Hindi, English and Russian. For today's program we had, in the morning after the darsan arati and the Gurupuja to Srila Prabhupada, a very long Srimad Bhagavatam lecture related to today's topic (the appearance of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.) The lectures were delivered on a rotating basis where Jayapataka Swami and Bhakti Caru Swami gave lectures from 9 am till 12 noon in English, Bengali and Russian in 3 different pandals while Lokanath Swami gave lecture in Hindi and Bhakti Purusottam Swami spoke in English and Bengali. Mahavishnu Swami gave lectures for the Russian devotees.
Free prasadam distribution is going on for the whole day in a groups of 1500 at the same time; devotees expect to distribute more than 50,000 plates of prasadam for today's blissful occasion.
From 12 noon there are many initiation ceremonies going on from different spiritual masters in the main pandal at the Lotus park. Today HH Bhakti Swarup Damodara Swami awarded the Sannyasa order to two of his disciples. Subhas Candra das now is Svayambhu Swami and Birkrishna das now is Bhaktivyasa Swami. Other spiritual masters -- Lokanath Swami, Bhakti Vikas Swami, Mahavishnu Swami, Subhag Swami and Jayapataka Swami -- gave initiations to various devotees from India and other countries.
A variety of Kirtans and dramas are scheduled from 2 pm. At 4 pm the Mahabisheka will start in Srila Prabhupada Park in front of the lotus building so that many can have the opportunity to perform abhisheka to Lord Gauranga.
At 6:30 pm will be the lamp offering of the Deities in the temple and at 7 pm will be the Anukalpa prasad. Devotees observe Ekadasi today. At 8 pm the English stage program will start with a variety of performances by devotees from different parts of the world.
At 7 pm Jayapataka Swami offers Ekadasi prasad to Srila Prabhupada's disciples in the roof top of the Lotus building.