Gaur Purnima Celebrations
Gaura Purnima is a Gaudiya Vaishanva festival that celebrates the divine appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadwipa, India. Gaura Purnima means “Golden Full Moon”. The name signifies that Lord Caitanya took birth at time of full moon and He blesses everyone with the moonlike rays of His teachings.
527th appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was celebrated on 27th March 2013. Lord Chaitanya, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, appeared in 1486 C.E. in Mayapur, West Bengal. Lord Chaitanya is very merciful, the plight of the people of this material world pains Him the most and so He incarnated to deliver all the suffering souls. He propagated the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra which cleanses people’s heart of all misgivings, helps them to develop genuine love for Krishna and get freedom from all the sufferings. The suffering souls soon realizes that real happiness is in living in harmony with Krishna and so they endeavour to return back to the spiritual world to live joyfully with Krishna.
For Gaudiya – Vaisnavas, Gaur Purnima is one of the most important festivals and they celebrate it with pomp and gaiety. On Gaura – Purnima day, hundreds of devotees congregated at 4:30 a.m. in the temple to participate in the Mangala – Aarti. Deities were dressed in beautiful garments and were decorated with colourful flowers. Melodious kirtan and Gaur – katha continued throughout the day.
In the evening, the program was organized at ISKCON House, 22 Gurusaday Road. More than 2000 people participated in the evening celebration. All were in the festive mood; several devotees had fasted from morning till the moonrise. Lord’s grand abhishek was performed with Ganges water, 5 different types of fruit juices, flowers, chandan (sandalwood paste), honey, ghee, milk and coconut water. The abhishek was accompanied with rousing “Hare Krishna” kirtan. Later H.G. Dayaram Prabhu, President of Iskcon Kolkata temple, gave discourse. He explained the significance of the appearance of Lord Chaitanya in this age of Kali – Yuga and he also discussed the various nectarine pastimes of the Lord.At the end everyone relished sumptuous dinner prasadam (blessed food) and within their heart prayed to Sri Chaitanya Mahabrabhu for His mercy.