Bengaluru, March 4, 2018: Sri Gaura Purnima festival was celebrated at ISKCON Bangalore on March 2, 2018. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is also called Gauranga due to His golden complexion, appeared on a full-moon day in the month of Phalguna in the year 1486. Therefore His appearance day is celebrated as Gaura Purnima by the followers of Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya.
Sri Chaitanya is none other than Lord Sri Krishna, who advented Himself in the form a devotee to teach the path of bhakti-yoga in this age of Kali. Lord Balarama also appeared at that time as Sri Nityananda Prabhu (also known as Nitai) to help Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His mission.
Sri Chaitanya advocated the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra (Harinama sankirtana) as the universal, most effective and sublime method of performing bhakti-yoga in this age of Kali.
The celebrations at ISKCON Bangalore began at 6:00 p.m. with a pallakki utsava of Their Lordships Sri Sri Nitai-Gauranga. The procession was accompanied by enthusiastic Harinama sankirtana. Hundreds of devotees joined in chanting the holy names while Their Lordships were being taken on the pallakki along the Brahma ratha route.
The pallakki utsava proceeded to the Open Air Theatre where Their Lordships received an elaborate abhisheka and arati.
His Grace Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, Temple President and His Grace Vasudev Keshav Dasa, Vice-President performed the ceremony.
The Deities were anointed with a paste of white sesame seeds & sandalwood and bathed with milk, curds, ghee, honey, sweet water, fruit juices, herbal extracts, perfumed water, etc. This was followed by a special arati to Their Lordships while the Gaura arati song was sung by the devotees. The abhisheka ceremony concluded with kalasha abhisheka (bathing the Deities with sanctified water from 108 small kalashas and nine big kalashas) and pushpa-vrishti (showering of a variety of flowers).
Devotees sang kirtans and chanted the Hare Krishna mantra melodiously while the ceremony was being conducted.
While the Deities were getting ready for the next programme – shayana arati, the audience watched an audio-visual presentation. It covered a brief life history of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the reasons for His advent, His mission and teachings, the places He visited on His pilgrimage in South India, and the Nitai-Gauranga Deities at different ISKCON centers around the world.
Shayana arati was performed to the accompaniment of Sri Sachi Tanayashtakam – eight prayers describing the divine features and activities of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The celebrations concluded with a pallakki utsava of Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga in the main temple hall.
Gaura Purnima Celebrations at Vaikuntha Hill, Bangalore