Chakra Living

Gaura Purnima Fasting And Feasting: Prabhupada's Instructions

by Kristo Falaya

Posted March 14, 2009

This is in response to Jagad Bharata prabhu's inquiry re. prasadam restrictions on Gaura Purnima. Here is what Prabhupada wrote in 1968-1970:

"So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode's book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple." (San Francisco, 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)

"Lord Caitanya's Appearance day falls on March 22 (1970), that is on a Sunday. The devotees should fast until evening, when there is a ceremony and offering of a small amount of Ekadasi preparations. The next day, the devotees should celebrate amongst themselves with a small scale feast. You may hold the celebration open to the public on the following Sunday. The preparation to be offered specially on this occasion is bhuni kichri: Fry equal parts dal and rice in ghee and massala. Add two times water as dal and rice, and add vegetables (if you use more ghee, use less water). Cook it until it is dried and the rice is soft."(Letter to Krishna dasa. 18th February 1970. Los Angeles.)

"P.S. No feasting in the evening of Caitanya's birthday. Fasting all day till evening moon rise. Then take Prasadam like Ekadasi. Next day you can have full swing feasting. On the birthday if can take a procession of Kirtana on the street it is very nice." (Post Script to Letter to Rayarama dasa. September. Unknown place unknown date Ref:91-05-14.)

"You can take quotations from the above mentioned books, and have discussions. Fasting should be continued up to evening, then you may have food like on Ekadasi, fruits, milk, etc. On the next day you may observe festival. Janardana consulted me and said he thinks Sunday feasting would be best, so you may do that if you like. Or you may do both days, as you feel best." (Letter to Mahapurush. 7th March 1968. Regarding Gaura Purnima)

Proof that Srila Prabhupada followed this too: "We performed Lord Caitanya's Birthday ceremony, not very gorgeously, but amongst ourselves, and Govinda dasi cooked very nice Ekadasi foodstuffs. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Letter to Purusottam. 6th March 1969. Hawaii)