Gour Purnima celebrations


By Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey

Times of India: Gour Purnima celebrations – The world comes together at ISKCON Mayapur

KOLKATA: Devotees from 80 countries namely China, Japan, Spain, Russia, England, Brazil, America, Australia, Mexico, Trinidad, Ivory Coast, South Africa, European continent and many more were present at ISKCON Mayapur and their loud chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra resounded every corner of the holy Dham.

The biggest festival in the Gaudiya Vaishnav Sampradaya- Gaur Purnima, the appearance day of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was celebrated with fervour and gaiety at the global spiritual headquarters of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Mayapur, birth place of Mahaprabhu. The month long celebrations that began on 8th February included Sravan Utsav, Kirtan Mela, a weeklong Nabadwip Mandal Parikrama and many cultural programmes by western devotees touched its zenith on Friday evening at the ISKCON Chandradaya Temple , which witnessed a confluence of more than a lakh and half devotees and pilgrims across the world dressed in traditional colourful dhoti- kurta and ghagra – choli singing , dancing, chanting ecstatically to celebrate the 532st birth Anniversary of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

On Friday, the devotees fasted all day and took bath in Ganga and fetched water in pots for Abishek of Utsav Dieties. The entire temple premises were grandly decorated with multi-coloured flowers and were elegantly lit up using bright lights which added magnificence and fervour to the ambience.

Celebrations began from wee hours with Manglarti at 4.30am followed by class and Darshan Arti and in the morning. In the evening MahaAbishek of the Deity was performed amidst the clashing of kartals, sounds of conchsells, beating of mrdangas, drums. The chanting of Maha-mantra by the devotees in unison with the musical instruments reverberated the air. During the Mahaabishek the Deity of MahaPrabhu glistened with great splendour as devotees showered flowers.

Later delicious MahaPrasadam which consisted of many varieties of foodstuff and sweets were distributed to everyone who participated in the festivities. The devotees gleefully breaking the shackles of colour, creed, region, caste, country and submerged themselves together into an ocean of eternal bliss and mirth. The direct telecast of this Maha-abishek celebration was witnessed live by more than 20 lakh people from all over the world on Mayapur.TV.

It is mentioned in Chaitanya Charitamrita, biography of Mahaprabhu, that the Lord had foreseen that His teachings will be spread all across the world and the founder Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness, His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad turned it into reality. Today Gour Purnima festival is being celebrated in all 700 centres of the organisation around the globe.