Udupi, March 24, 2019: The 533rd anniversary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s appearance day was celebrated at the Rajangana Hall of Sri Krishna Matha by ISKCON Bangalore in association with Paryaya Sri Palimaru Matha, Udupi. The event was titled Sri Chaitanya Jayanthi Sambhramotsava.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a great saint and an incarnation of Lord Krishna, belongs to the Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya, originating from Sri Madhvacharya. Since Udupi Sri Krishna Matha which is closely connected to Sri Madhvacharya, was the venue of the event, it made the celebrations even more special.
The program was held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and began with bhajans by Katyayani Vipra Mahila Mandali, Kadiyali and Mahamaya Mahila Vrinda, Manipal led by Smt. Maya Kamath. This was followed by kirtans by devotees from ISKCON Bangalore.
His Holiness Sri Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji, Paryaya Sri Palimaru Matha inaugurated the event. Hon’ble Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri, Retired High Court Judge, Karnataka and Dr. D. R. Kaarthikeyan, Former Director, Central Bureau of Investigation were the Chief Guests at the inaugural ceremony. Vedamurthy Brahmashri Sri Shibarooru Vedavyasa Tantri, Diwan of Paryaya Sri Palimaru Matha was the Guest of Honour. His Grace Madhu Pandit Dasa, President, ISKCON Bangalore presided over the ceremony.
Among the other dignitaries who graced the event were Prof. Mallepuram G. Venkatesh, Former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka Sanskrit University; His Holiness Stoka Krishna Swami and His Grace Chanchalapathi Dasa, Senior Vice President, ISKCON Bangalore.
His Holiness Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swamiji said, “If we take a flower and use it to decorate the Lord or offer it at His lotus feet, it becomes spiritualized and glorious. Any inert object in this world, when connected with God, is spiritualized.” Swamiji used this example to stress the importance of dedicating our body for the Lord’s service.
Justice Ashok Hinchigeri recalled his association with some of the senior devotees of ISKCON Bangalore. Speaking about the two aspects of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu which impressed him the most, he said, “Lord Chaitanya is the founder of the sankirtana movement. He is an embodiment of compassion and forgiveness.”
Dr. Kaarthikeyan spoke on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s message, by referring to His quotes such as the one which says, “Be humbler than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, always offering respect unto others and never expecting anything in return.” He also quoted several famous personalities while describing Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His sankirtana movement.
His Grace Madhu Pandit Dasa said, “We can get Krishna-prema by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. By Lord Chaitanya’s mercy, Lord Krishna’s names are freely available. If everybody takes up distributing the holy names of the Lord, the spiritual poverty of the whole world is solved. This is the greatest welfare activity.”
The inaugural ceremony was followed by Prasangavadhana, a discussion on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes by eminent scholars and poets. Prof. Mallepuram G. Venkatesh presided over the session. Prof. V. Krishnamurthy Rao, Bengaluru delivered the introductory speech.
Smt. Jyothi Guruprasad, Karkala; Dr. Belavadi Manjunath, Chikmagalur; Smt. Hemavati Hanchipura, Nelamangala; Dr. Na. Gitacharya, Bengaluru; Dr. Pradeepakumara Hebri, Mandya; Sri Vivekananda Kamath, Mangaluru and Sri Satyamangala Mahadeva, Bengaluru were the scholars and poets who participated in the session. They spoke on various episodes in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life and read out their poetry.
The event concluded with a Maha Sankirtana by all the devotees present and Sri Vishnu Sahasranama recital by various Vishnu Sahasranama Mandalis from Bengaluru, Varthur and Malur.
Nearly one thousand devotees from ISKCON Bangalore group of temples participated in this event. They also visited Pajaka, the birthplace of Sri Madhvacharya after which they participated in the grand Ratha Yatra which was held at the Sri Krishna Matha in the evening.