By Acarya Dasa
Our padayatra party stayed in Trivelli from March 12th -15th where we preached in the city and nearby villages. Some of the All-India padayatris decided to go to Sridham Mayapur for the Gaura Purnima celebrations and for Navadvipa parikrama. The rest of us stayed with Nandakishor Dasa, a disciple of Bhakti Vikas Maharaj. He made arrangements for us and the bulls to stay at his farm house and we celebrated Gaura Purnima there.
Gaura Purnima in Trivelli
Finally, the most auspicious day of Gaura Purnima arrived, a day we wait all year for. The festival honors Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, an incarnation of Krishna. He is non-different from Lord Krishna and appeared in this age, disguised as His own devotee to propagate the congregational chanting of the holy names. Lord Caitanya taught that one can attain enlightenment by chanting:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
The deities were dressed in beautiful garments that day and decorated with colorful flowers. All the assembled devotees sang bhajans to glorify Lord Gauranga, followed by kirtana. There were about 80 devotees who attended the program; we had all fasted from morning to moon rise and everyone was in a festive mood. The program included a grand abhishek (bathing) of the Lord with Ganges water, five different kinds of fruit juices, flowers, chandan (sandalwood paste), honey, ghee, milk and coconut water. The abhishek was accompanied by a rousing kirtana followed by a discourse on the significance of the appearance of Lord Caitanya in the age of Kali Yuga and various nectarine pastimes of the Lord. We ended with everyone relishing sumptuous prasadam (blessed food). I am sure that all the devotees that day prayed within their hearts, for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy.
Praying for rains
Nandakishore Dasa’s mother, Purna Dasi was very happy that Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar and the padayatris came to stay with her family for the month. She is 65 years old and her love for Gaura Nitai and serving Them is very steady. There had been no rains in the area for some time, so Purna Dasi prayed to Nitai Gaurasundar for it to rain. She even decided that she would not leave Their Lordships presence until it rained. Then by the grace of the Lord, it rained on the day we were leaving to our next destination!
Sri Sri Nitai Gaurasundar ki! Jai!