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Festivals we celebrate

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PUSHYA ABHISHEK

Most festivals celebrated in the temple involve the Abhishek of the Utsav murtis (small brass deities); but on this special festival, the main Deities are showered with 1,000 kgs of colorful flower petals. The best flowers are procured from different parts of the country especially for this occasion – Roses from Vrindavan, Jasmines from Coimbatore.

NITYANANDA TRAYODASI

It is the most auspicious appearance day of Lord Nityananda. In his previous incarnations, He appeared as Lord Balaram, the beloved brother of Krishna, and as Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama. Lord Sri Krishna descended in Kali Yuga as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden avatar, to deliver the people of this age through Sankirtan, the congregational chanting.

GAUR PURNIMA

Gaura-purnima is the most auspicious appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Mayapur it is the biggest festival throughout whole year.
On Gaura-purnima devotees fast till moon rise. Anukalpa maha-prasada (ekadasi-prasada) is served after moonrise, while regular grain prasada is served on the next day, Jagannatha Misra’s festival which is starting a New Year for all Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

HOLI

Holi is a celebration of Life’s abundance, with its multitude of colours. It was celebrated by Lord Krishna, 5,000 years ago, along with his friends & especially with Sri Radha. At ISKCON GEV, the festival is joyously celebrated annually by offering emotions ( in form of both wet & dry colours) to the source of all love and life, Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Behari.

RAMA NAVAMI

Lord Rama appeared on this planet in Treta yuga on the 9th day in the month of Chaitra (March-April). He is glorified by his devotees and many poets as the ideal king, the ideal brother, the ideal husband, the most chivalrous warrior, the most handsome prince, the most virtuous hero, and the most righteous king.

CHANDAN YATRA

Chandan Yatra, the festival of sandalwood, is celebrated for twenty-one days in the hottest period of the summers. During this period, the Utsava murtis are completely covered from head to toe with sandalwood paste in day time. This keeps the body of the Lord cool, since sandalwood has a cooling property.

NARSIMHA CHATURDASI

Sri Narasimha Jayanti is the appearance day of Lord Narasimha, the half-lion half-man incarnation of Supreme Lord Krishna, who appeared to protect Prahlada from his demoniac father Hiranyakashipu. Narasimhadeva appeared at dusk on the Shukla Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the bright fortnight) in the month of Vaishakha (May). Devotees fast till dusk on this day.

JHULAN YATRA

Jhulana-yatra is a festival to celebrate Radha Krishna’s pastime of swinging on a golden swing everyday until Balarama-purnima.

At Mayapur, Radha Madhava is decorated nicely and seated on a swing. All devotees wait patiently in a queue to swing Their Lordships. The swing (jhulana) beautified with splendid flower decorations, colorful beads, etc. A special flower rope is used to pull the swing. An arotik is performed after Sri Sri Radha Madhava are seated on the swing, and devotees bring a variety of bhoga to please Their Lordships. Kirtana and bhajans go on for almost two hours, and many visitors join in to pull Their Lordship’s swing.

BALARAM JAYANTI

Balram Jayanti Srimad Bhagavatam Narration of Lord Balarama’s Appearance.
Lord Balarama is the adi-guru, the original spiritual master. In Chaitanya Lila, Lord Balarama appears as Lord Nityananda, the bestower of mercy to even the most fallen conditioned soul. Therefore His appearance as the son of Rohini and Vasudeva is celebrated by devotees with great jubilation.

On the day of Balarama-purnima, devotees fast till noon. Murtis of Krishna-Balarama are decorated nicely and kept on the altar platform. At around 11 a.m. an abhisheka is performed and bhoga of varieties of sweets, savories, chutneys, rice, sabjis, cakes and pastries are offered. Flowers are offered at Their lotus feet and a maha-arati is performed, and a grand feast is served at 2 p.m.

SRI KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI

Krishna Janmashtami, also simply known as Sri Krishna Jayanti, Krishnashtami & Gokulashtami is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. People celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna, who is the 8th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born around 5,200 years ago in Mathura.

To celebrate his day, people host Satsang, bhajan, offer prayers in the temples, and fast overnight which is followed by the celebration the next day. Sounds interesting right?

Let’s keep the spirit high and know more about Shri Krishna Janmashtami 2021; Date, Puja Timings, and Fasting rules.

SRI RADHASTAMI

Sri Radhastami The divine appearance day of Srimati Radharani, the eternal consort of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Radhastami is a very special day for all the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, as by obtaining the mercy of Srimati Radharani one can easily achieve Krishna-prema. Radha is Krishna’s dearest servant, and is his pleasure potency.

Srimati Radharani’s glorious birth occured on the eighth day of the bright moon in the month of Bhadra. Although generally not full on that day, the moon appeared full to celebrate Radharani’s appearance in this world. Among all of Krishna’s consorts in Sri Vrindavana, Srimati Radharani is the greatest. In fact, She is the queen of Vrndavana. At Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, we are fortunate to also worship Her eight dearest friends Lalita, Tungavidya, Chitra, Champakalata, Vishakha, Indulekha, Rangadevi and Sudevi.

SHARAD PURNIMA

This is the night when Lord Krishna performed Rasa dance. This dance represents the most perfect intimacy between the infinitesimal soul and the supreme soul, free of any material tinge of selfish desire, but charged with intense bliss. In reciprocation with the love of the Gopis, Krishna expanded himself to dance with each Gopi in their eternal spiritual bodies.

DEEPOTSAVA

Kartik month is also known as Damodar month. It is considered as the best, the purest of purifiers, and most glorious of all months. Kartik month is particularly dear to Lord Sri Krishna. This month is full of bhakta vatsalya. Any vrata, even the smallest, will yield huge results. The effect of performing a Kartik Vrata lasts for one hundred lifetimes, Kartik or the festival of offering lamps to Lord Krishna, glorifies Lord Krishna’s pastime of being bound with ropes by Mother Yashoda.

During Kartik hundreds of devotees will be offering lamps daily to the Sri Radha Vrindaban Behari and Sri Sri Radha Damodar every day. Radha Damodar temple will be lit with lamps every day and on Diwali day all the temples will be beautifully decorated; it is a sight unseen.

In Vedic literature there are several glories of lighting lamps in Kartik and there is an interesting story. Once, in a temple of Lord Visnu, there was a mouse living who was eating the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by others to Him. One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee from a lamp which was not yet extinguished. While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her teeth. Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front of the Lord’s Deity form and thus died due to fire. But Lord Sri Visnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit ghee wick in her mouth as His aratik. In the end, He gave her entry into His abode Vaikuntha.

In Skanda Purana it is mentioned, “A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krishna during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.”

It is also mentioned that, “O sage, a person who makes Lord Vishnu’s temple splendid with many lights inside and outside, travels to the supreme abode on the path shining with light.”

And even a greater benefit is for those who facilitate this offering of lamp for others. In Sri Hari Bhakti Vilasa, Sixteenth Vilasa, Sanatan goswami says, “Lord Krishna is pleased by the offering of a single lamp during the month of Kartika and He glorifies anyone who lights a lamp for someone else to offer.”

“Of all gifts the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartika is the best. No gift is its equal.” Says Narada Purana and those gift these will be gifted immense blessing of Lord Damodar and a special gift pack of organic products from Govardhan Ecovillage.

GOVARDHAN PUJA

Annakuta-mahotsava is a festival commemorating the day when the Lord lifted Govardhana hill to assure protection to His devotees. The Lord assumed a gigantic form and accepted all the offerings made by His devotees. This is recounted in Chapters 24, 25, 26 and 27 of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

As per the instructions of Krishna and following in the footsteps of the residents of Vrindavana, this festival is celebrated every year in the month of Kartika. Devotees prepare varieties of foodstuffs with grain and ghee (like rice, dhal, halva, pakora, puri, etc.) and all kinds of milk preparations (such as sweet rice, rabri, sweet balls, sandesh, rasagulla and laddu).

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