ISKCON celebrated the 531st birth anniversary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at its temple on 18th Cross, Jayanagar on 12th March, 2017. Commemorating the festival, devotees went on a Nagar Sankirtan, chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna, in the morning at 6:30 a.m.
The evening festival started at 6:00 pm with Tulasi Puja followed by an elaborate Abhisheka (bathing ceremony) of the Deities of Gaura Nitai (Lord Chaitanya and His associate Nityananda) along with Arati & Sankirtan.
A highlight of the festival was a play performed by a group of young students titled — Bhakta Vatsala Chaitanya — based on the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during His South India Tour.
The drama depicted how Lord Chaitanya, who is the most munificent incarnation of Lord Krishna, made even the animals in Jharikhanda forest to chant the holy names of the Lord. Further, the drama highlighted the episodes of Lord Chaitanya protecting His devotee Kala Krishnadasa, who was allured by a class of nomadic people called Bhattatharis.
The drama also enacted Lord Chaitanya protecting the devotion of His devotee Ramadasa Vipra, by presenting the evidence from Kurma Purana that Ravana kidnapped only the Maya Sita and the real Mother Sita was protected by Agnideva, who was returned to Lord Ramachandra carefully after the killing of Ravana during Agnipariksha.
The most confidential form of Lord Chaitanya, who is Krishna Himself in the mood of Srimati Radharani which was displayed to Ramananda Raya was also depicted.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advocated a universal religion for everyone, a scientific process of spiritual awakening and gave an opportunity for spiritual emancipation to all regardless of religion, caste, creed or colour.
He inaugurated the Sankirtana movement – the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna in the form of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Over five hundred years ago, Lord Chaitanya predicted that the chanting of Lord Krishna’s Holy Names would spread throughout the world. This prophecy was fulfilled by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON and the eleventh in the disciplic succession (parampara) of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The beautifully decorated Deities of Sri Sri Nitai-Gauranga
Abhisheka was performed on the Deities of Their Lordships Sri Sri Nitai-Gauranga by Sri Jai Chaitanya Dasa (Temple President, ISKCON Mysore)
A drama was performed on the life and times of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu