Chandan Yatra Celebrations
After a week of intense sandalwood grinding by devotees and congregation members at Srila Prabhupada Quarters, the paste was ready for Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari and Sri Sri Sita Rama Laxman Hanuman. For the first time in its history, ISKCON Juhu celebrated chandan yatra on 17 May 2009 . After mangala arati, Bhima prabhu (Zonal Secretary) along with several other brahmana initiated devotees, applied chandan to all the Deities. All devotees eagerly beholded the Divine darshan of the Lord during Sringar-darshan and danced joyously to the melodious kirtan.
Chandan yatra begins from Akshaya Tritaya and is celebrated for 21 days mainly in the summer for the pleasure of the Lord and his devotees. As part of the festival, the Deities are applied fresh and cool sandalwood paste to give relief from hot summer.
In relation to this Ramarupa Das, Head Pujari, narrated one pastime. Once Lord Gopalji apperared in a dream to Madhavendra Puri (a prominent acharya in Brahma Madhava sampradaya) and told him 'I am feeling very hot and thus please go the forest nearby Puri in Orrisa and bring sandalwood for me". Thereafter Madhavendra Puri went to Puri and fetched sandalwood as per the instructions of Lord Gopal. On his way back, Gopalji apperared in a dream to him and told him 'There is no difference between me and Sri Gopinath. So apply chandan to Sri Gopinath whose temple is in Remuna". Thus, Madhavendra Puri applied the sandalwood he brought for Gopal to Gopinath.
So like that there are many pastimes of Lord in this regard. Henceforth ISKCON JUHU shall start celebrating Chandan yatra each year.
For Chandan Yatra Photo gallery please click here