Category: Festivals

Rama Navami – 2019

Rama Navami – 2019

yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo
yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi

By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement.

It is solely by the mercy of the Spiritual master that one is blessed with the opportunity to take to the process of Krishna consciousness and perfect this human form of life. He is the one who gives Krishna to us and it is his mercy that is our sole qualification to have received this glorious Krishna conscious life. Similarly, the Shri Shri Radha Govinda Temple in Ahmedabad is the manifestation of Srila Prabhupad’s causeless mercy upon all his followers. It was on the auspicious occasion of Sri Ram Navami, in the year 1997, when, in order to engage his devotees in the service of Radha Govindaji in their very own abode Ahmedabad.


Today, on the 22th anniversary of the Grand opening, the devotees, being greatly indebted to Srila Prabhupad for having given us this gem of a temple, celebrated the occasion with great pomp and show. After the shobha yatra on the previous day, which marked the beginning of the festivities, the devotees assembled in the temple hall, on this blessed day of the appearance of Lord Ram, for Mangal Arati, to have darshan of the supremely sweet Lords in their new night outfits. After having glorified Prabhupad with the Guruvashtakam prayers and having had darshan of the Lords, the devotees proceed to offer their respects to Srimati Tulasi devi, followed by the chanting of japa in remembrance of the sweet names, forms, qualities and pastimes of the Lord and his eternal associates. Thereafter, the guru puja was performed and the deities then gave darshan in their splendid new attire, bedecked with strands of pearls and innumerable flowers of varied colours. Showering the nectar of their beautiful forms on the thirsty eyes of the devotees, their Lordships bestowed their mercy upon the assembled vaishnavas, who worshiped them with their doe like love laden eyes. Following the darshan, beautiful talks were given by a few of Srila Prabhupad’s disciples, glorifying the pastimes of Lord Ram. After two hours of spiritual discourses, all the utsav murtis from the three altars were brought out to the snan patras decorated with fragrant flower garlands. Accompanied by uproarious kirtan, sung melodiously for the pleasure of the Lord and accompanied by numerous thundering mridangas and kartals, the bathing ceremony of the Lords began with the offering of an arati and various articles of worship followed with the first of the five nectars, namely milk. The blissful bathing of the Lords continued for a quarter of an hour, after which a sumptuous bhoga offering, with various baked, fried, roasted and raw preparations, was awaiting the Lords. An arati preceded the sumptuous feast which was prepared for all the devotees and was relished by them with great pleasure. In the afternoon, the Lords were offered a beautiful flower outfit prepared with great love and affection by the devotees. These festivals are seen by the devotees as glorious opportunities to render extra service for the pleasure of the Lord and therefore they utilize all their energy in making elaborate preparations for the pleasure of the Lords, hoping to please them and receive their merciful glance, so that they may forever remain in their service.

Sri Srivasa Pandita – Appearance

Sri Srivasa Pandita – Appearance

Srivas Pandit, one of the most important personalities who assisted Sri Gaurasundar in his pastimes, graced the Ashtami tithi of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Chaitra by appearing on this day in this material world for the benefit of the conditioned souls, for without his mercy the holy names would not be spread out in the world, as it was his house where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started his Sankirtan Movement. During his pastimes in Navadwip dham, Sri Sachinandan Gaurhari used to perform tumultuous kirtan every night in the association of all his dear devotees in the house of Srivas Pandit, where he also performed many pastimes. It was here that Chand Kazi broke the mridanga, having received complains about the loud chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, after which Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu led a great kirtan party to the house of the Kazi, where they had a discussion and the kazi ensured that he and his entire dynasty would never again create obstruction in the Sankirtan Movement of Mahaprabhu. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Mahaprakash lila, when he sat on the Asan of Lord Vishnu and bestowed benedictions on the devotees, was another of the numerous pastimes that took place in the house of Srivas Pandit.
The divine character of Srivas Pandit is truly remarkable, and an inspiration for all the devotees. Once Mahaprabhu told him that he should do something to maintain himself and his family but he said that he would just chant and wait for a day, if he didn’t get anything to eat he would wait a second day and then a third day and if still something doesn’t come by Krishna’s mercy then he would give up his life in the Ganges. Seeing his staunch faith in the holy names of the Lord, Mahaprabhu reassured him that he would always be taken care of and he would never have to be concerned about his livelihood. On another occasion, Srivas Pandit’s only son died and all the members of his family were mourning, but in order to not obstruct the kirtan of Mahaprabhu, Srivas Pandit instruct his family to not mourn too loudly. Mahaprabhu, however, found out and pacified the family by bringing back the boy, who said that he was happy in his current situation and didn’t want to return, which pacified the grieving family members. These incidents depict the greatness of Srivas Pandit, who is none other Narad Muni, the great devotee of the Lord, who always sings the glories of the Lord while playng on his Vina.
On his auspicious appearance day we pray for a particle of his mercy, so that we may attain staunch faith in the chanting of the Holy names and in the Sankirtan Movement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Shri Gaur Purnima 2019

Shri Gaur Purnima 2019

As the honey gently flowed down the transcendental golden limbs of Sri Sachinandan Gaurahari, the entire crowd of the assembled vaishnavas raised their arms in the air and called out the Lords holy names in great bliss, their ecstasy and loving sentiments being nourished by the melodious kirtan and the thunderous mridangas. The auspicious Abhishek ceremony of their Lordshiships Gaur Nitai on the auspicious occasion of Gaur Purnima was held in the evening in the sacred Temple Room of the Shri Shri Radha Govinda Temple in ISKCON Ahmedabad, amidst a crowd of saintly souls, submerged in the ecstacy of Gaura prem while relishing this beautiful festival of the Lords bathing. After the ceremony, the Lords were offered a huge variety of delectable bhoga preparations prepared by the devotees, who had been cooking for their pleasure the day before, preparing numerous sweets, and the entire day of Gaura Purnima, preparing various varieties of vegetables and rice preparations for the satisfaction of the Lord.
Preceding these evening festivities were the morning memorable moments, which included taking darshan of the Lords in their beautiful new outfits, expertly dressed and decorated with various flowers by the pujaris, and hearing the talks given by senior prabhupad disciples, who very elaborately described how Srila Prabhupad brought to us the movement of Mahaprabhu and how it is by his mercy today that we have become the recipients of the mercy of the magnanimous Lord Gaurahari.
The evening festivities after the Bhoga offering concluded with a grand Gaura Arati, in which Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur’s words took everyone to the spiritual abode, where Lord Gaurachandra, surrounded by his associates like Nitaichand, Gadadhar, advaita, Srivas and others, while being seated at the bank of the Jahnavi river, is being offered an arati by Brahma and the other demigods, and this divine scene steals the hearts of all the onlooking Vaishnavas

Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra

Srimati Lalita devi, the most intimate and dear sakhi of Shrimati Radhika, who instructs and guides Shrimati Radhika in her dealings with Shyamsundar and who engages Rupa manjari and others in the service of the divine couple, appeared in this age of Kali as the very dear and intimate associate of Mahaprabhu, Shri Swaroop Damodar. Growing up in Nawadwip with Nimai Pandit,who was his very life and soul, he was known by the name Sri Purushottam acharya, but when Mahaprabhu performed the pastime of taking Sanyas, Purushottam acharya became like a madman and went to Varanasi, where he took sanyas from a Sanyasi named Chaitanyananda. Due to his not accepting the outwardly dress of a sanyasi, except for giving up his brahman thread and shikha, he was called Swaroop, which is a brahmachari name. Thereafter, following the order of his Guru he went to Shrikshetra Puri dham, where he met Mahaprabhu again and falling at his Lotus feet he begged for forgiveness for having gone away. Thereafter, he stayed in Puri with Mahaprabhu, assisting him in relishing the inner moods of Shrimati Radhika, along with Ray Ramananda, by reciting verses from the Gita Govinda, and verses composed by Chandi das and Vidyapati, in accordance with the mood of Mahaprabhu to highten his transcendental ecstacies. While residing there, any work written by any devotee would first be presented for approval to Sri Swaroop Damodar, who would check the consistency of the writings with the shastras, before it could be presented in front of Mahaprabhu. Being extremely dear to Mahaprabhu, Mahaprabhu placed Raghunath das Goswami, when he was present in puri, under the guidance of Sri Swaroop Damodar. After having served Mahaprabhu in this way and after Mahaprabhu brought to an end his manifest pastimes, Sri Swaroop Damodar Goswami left this world on the auspicious dwitiya tithi of the bright fortnight in the month of Asadh.

This day is also celebrated in Shridham Puri and throughout the entire World as Jagannath Rathayatra. On this day, Lord Jagannath, the master of the entire Universe, along with his elder brother Baladev and Subhadra, are seated on Beautiful Chariots constructed of wood, covered with beautiful canopies and decorated with traditional paintings. The Lords are carried from the temple to the Rath by placing them on numerous pillows as they sway back and forth in their majestic beauty on their way as millions of people from all over the world, gathered to take part and take darshan of the Lords on this day, watch on in utter amazement.Thereafter, the king of Odissa comes and taking the role of the servant of the Lord sweeps the path, and all the devotees join in tugging at the ropes of the Chariot to pull it forward. In this way the Lord starts his procession from the Jagannath temple to Gundica temple, where he will stay for a few days. This festival is symbolic of the pastime of taking Shri Krishna from Dwarka to Vrindavan. After having left Vrindavan and plunging all its inhabitants in an ocean of distress, Sri Krishna first sent Uddhav to pacify them and then later onwards Lord Balaram also went to Vrindavan, and seeing the distressed condition of the Vrajavasis he promised to bring Krishna to Vrindavan. However, for a long time after that also Krishna did not return to Vrindavan to desipate the burning fire of Separation of the Vrajavasis. This festival commamorates the pastime when Krishna finally goes to Vrindavan to meet all his beloved Vrajavasis, and remembering these pastimes Shri Chaitanya MAhaprabhu along with all his associated would sing and dance in ecstacy, and Mahaprabhu would display various transcendental sentiments. May the Lord of the Unniverse, Shri Jagannath dev, bestow his causeless mercy upon us all on this auspicious day.