Appearance Day Celebrations of the Most Merciful Lord Caitanya
One of the most merciful events of the year – Gaura Purnima was celebrated on 16 March 2014. Gaura Purnima is the appearance day of Lord Caitanya, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, who appeared 500 years ago, as His own worshiper. A wide variety of events were lined up to celebrate the festival, which began with mangala-arati and was followed by Shobha yatra to Juhu Koliwada garden, which was recently adopted by ISKCON Juhu. HH Badrinarayan Goswami gave a detailed slideshow presentation on ‘World of Hare Krishna’ in the temple hall, which showcased the several milestones in the history of the Hare Krishna movement and extraordinary achievements of devotees. Besides a week long Gaura-katha (narration of the pastimes of Lord Caitanya) preceding Gaura Purnima, several discourse were held throughout the day in the temple hall and Auditorium to explain the glories of Lord Caitanya as described in Caitanya-caritamrita and Caitanya Bhagavat. A drama depicting the merciful nature of Lord Caitanya, in this troubled age of Kali-yuga, helped the audience to easily understand why Lord Caitanya emphasized chanting of the holy names Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare as the best means to attain love of God. The maha-abhishek of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai in the evening was another opportunity to soak in the mercy of the Lord, by watching the Deities being showered in sacred substances with chants of Hare Krishna maha mantra enveloping the entire temple hall. While devotees fasted till dusk, almost all visitors to the temple treated themselves to sabudana kitchari and kadhi prasada which was served out hot and in unlimited quantities, by the Food for Life department. A delicious Ekadasi feast also awaited devotees after the main evening (sandhya) arati in the temple hall.