ISKCON Bangalore along with the group of Hare Krishna Movement (HKM) temples organized its first Prabhupadanugas Parikrama of Sri Purushottama Kshetra, from October 11 to 15 this year. By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, the parikrama was a great hit and around 175 initiated devotees participated in this spiritually enriching tour.
Regarding the glories of Purushottama Kshetra, the Brahma-Purana states:
The transcendental significance of Purushottama Kshetra, which is the eighty-square mile field of Lord Jagannatha, cannot be properly described. Even the demigods from higher planetary systems see the inhabitants of this Jagannatha Puri as having exactly the same bodily features possessed by one in Vaikuntha. That is, the demigods see the inhabitants of Jagannatha Puri as being four-handed.
According to the scriptures, Jagannatha Puri is one among the seven holy places that can grant liberation to those who visit them.
Puri is called Sri Purushottama Dhama, the abode of Lord Vishnu on earth. It is also called Sri Kshetra, Nilachala and Jagannatha Dhama. The Jagannatha temple here is one of the most important temples in India. The worship of Lord Jagannatha is so ancient that there is no proper estimate as to how long it has been in existence and the present temple is only one in a long succession of previously built temples that have been ruined by time.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived here for 18 years after taking sannyasa. Many of Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes with His most intimate associates took place at different sites in Jagannatha Puri.
The parikrama started from the Hare Krishna Movement (HKM) centre in Puri and the devotees visited the following holy places.
Day 1 (October 12):
Sri Jagannatha Vallabha Garden, Sri Chaitanya Math, Sri Nilachala Chakra darshan from Simha Dwara, Kapal Mohan Mahadev, Markandeswar Sarovar, Chandan Sarovar (devotees took a refreshing dip here), Sri Indradyumna Sarovar, Yajna Narasimha, Gundicha temple, Chakra Tirtha and finally Mahodadhi. Devotees took a bath here and also in the sea water at Chakra Tirtha.
Day 2 (October 13):
Siddha Bakula, Gambhira (the room where Lord Chaitanya stayed), Sweta Ganga, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s house, Yameshwar Mahadev, Tota Gopinath temple (here devotees relished the special feast prasadam of Sri Gopinath), Chatak Parvat, Bhajan Kutir of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, Bhajan Kutir of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Lokanath Mahadev and Paramananda Puri’s well. Here all devotees drank the nectarean water of the well which is pure Ganga water.
Day 3 (October 14):
As part of the tour, devotees also visited Sri Alarnatha temple, Sri Sakshi Gopala temple, the famous Lingaraja temple, Sri Ananta Vasudeva temple and the Chandrabhaga river where it joins the sea.
Day 4 (October 15):
Devotees fasted on this day as it was an Ekadashi. They also visited Sri Jagannatha Mandir on a guided tour to each and every shrine within the huge temple complex.
Throughout the parikrama, senior devotees – His Grace Madhu Pandit Dasa, His Grace Jai Chaitanya Dasa, His Grace Stoka Krishna Dasa and His Grace Achyuta Krishna Dasa not only gave their wonderful association but also narrated pastimes illustrating the importance of the holy dham and holy name of the Lord.
The entire event was planned with the guidance of His Grace Jai Chaitanya Dasa.
Altogether, this parikrama aroused great devotional fervour and inspiration among all the participants.