HKM devotees celebrate Panihati in Kurmakshetra
HKM devotees from Vishakhapatnam celebrate Panihati in Kurmakshetra
This year Panihati festival we had celebrated in Sri Kurmakshetram. This is the only temple in the world where the presiding deity is Lord Vishnu as Kurma avatara. 500 yrs ago Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited this place and performed sankirtan here enroute to his south india pilgrimage. He also cured a Brahmana Vasudeva from leprosy and gave him the most famous instruction - yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krishna’-upadesh/ amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desha.
After 500 yrs we HKM Vishakhapatnam devotees were instrumental in taking Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to the same place where he had displayed the above pastimes on the occassion of Chida Dahi festival. The cheif pujari of the temple who is a sri Vaishnava and also an ardent devotee of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu welcomed the Lord with special garland and vedic hyms. This pujari also has a photo of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the temple which he revers. Then the Lord was taken into the sanctum sanctorium for darshan of Sri Kurmanatha swamy following which there was a grand Pallaki utsava for Sri Nitai Gauranga. Ecstatic Kirtan was performed where in devotees sang and danced with great joy. Abhishekam was performed for the Lord with Panchamruta and Panchagavya. Later Sri Nitai Gauranga were taken for a dip in the holy Chakra Thirtam following which all devotees also jumped in and sanctified themselves with the holy waters. After the special final arati, prasadam was distributed to all. Around 200 devotees came from Visakhapatnam to Sri Kurmaksetram travelling a distance of about 130km to participate in this festival. Apart from them there were hundreds of local people who also witnessed the grand festival.