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The Complete Works of Srila Prabhupada
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Listen to Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on-line
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read along on-line - Narrated by Amala Bhakta dasa:
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The Audio Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita
Please find enclosed details a being launched on Gaura Purnima day 2008.
It is a simple audio rendition of sections from "Prabhupada, your ever well-wisher" by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami.
It was recorded here in the UK back in the mid '90's by Bhagavat-Asraya prabhu (ACBSP) at my studio and I edited it into 8 short instalments for inclusion on my weekly radio programme "Nectar of Devotion".
We had such a good response from listeners that it was decided to add "The Audio Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita" to the Nectar of Devotion website archive page.
In doing so I felt it might be nice to create a very simple,
seperate website for the Lilamrita.
The result is http://www.lilamrita.page.tl
It will be officially launched on Gaura Purnima day 2008 for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava's.
I hope this humble attempt will add to the growing appreciation
of Srila Prabhupada's remarkable achievements.
If other Krishna conscious radio stations would like to broadcast this Lilamrita series they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send them mp3 copies.
Srila Prabhupada Vyasa-puja book 2007
Vyasa-puja is an annual celebration by the devotees of Lord Krishna to offer homage to their guru, or spiritual teacher.
There are two versions of the Vyasa Puja Book based on the speed of your internet connection.
If you are unable to open the file, download Acrobat Reader.
High speed connections, with pictures.
Vyasa-puja Book 2007 [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]
Low speed connections, no pictures.
Vyasa-puja Book 2007 (no pictures) [PDF/ZIP, 2.11MB]
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The compressed "self extracting" file mentioned is now currently
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Srimad Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7 - Knowledge of the Absolute
bijam mam sarva-bhutanam
viddhi partha sanatanam
buddhir buddhimatam asmi
tejas tejasvinam aham
WORD FOR WORD
bijam--the seed; mam--Me; sarva-bhutanam--of all living entities; viddhi--try to understand; partha--O son of Prtha; sanatanam--original, eternal; buddhih--intelligence; buddhi-matam--of the intelligent; asmi--I am; tejah--prowess; tejasvinam--of the powerful; aham--I am.
O son of Prtha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.
PURPORT by HDG Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swmi Prabhupad:
Bijam means seed; Krsna is the seed of everything. There are various living entities, movable and inert. Birds, beasts, men and many other living creatures are moving living entities; trees and plants, however, are inert--they cannot move, but only stand. Every entity is contained within the scope of 8,400,000 species of life; some of them are moving and some of them are inert. In all cases, however, the seed of their life is Krsna. As stated in Vedic literature, Brahman, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is that from which everything is emanating. Krsna is Parabrahman, the Supreme Spirit. Brahman is impersonal and Parabrahman is personal. Impersonal Brahman is situated in the personal aspect--that is stated in Bhagavad-gita. Therefore, originally, Krsna is the source of everything. He is the root. As the root of a tree maintains the whole tree, Krsna, being the original root of all things, maintains everything in this material manifestation. This is also confirmed in the Vedic literature (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13):
nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
He is the prime eternal among all eternals. He is the supreme living entity of all living entities, and He alone is maintaining all life. One cannot do anything without intelligence, and Krsna also says that He is the root of all intelligence. Unless a person is intelligent he cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.
- His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Copyright 1983 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.
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(here's some nectar, sometimes it comes in the form of Srutakirti prabhu's diary, other times from Govinda dasi's diary, Hari Sauri prabhu's Transcendental Diary, Bhurijan prabhu's book, or sometimes from a letter, or other related source, but still nectar...)
Return to Radha-Damodara
In August 1967, Srila Prabhupada returned to Radha-Damodara for the purpose of recuperating his health, which he had sacrificed during two years of strenuous nonstop preaching in America. Kirtanananda, an American disciple, attended him and acted as practical proof of Prabhupada's preaching. Greeting Prabhupada in Delhi and accompanying him to Vrindavan, Narayan Maharaj said that upon arriving at the Radha-Damodara temple, the proprietor offered them maha-prasadam.
Srila Prabhupada settled back into his old rooms at Radha-Damodara. He was relaxed and living simply, wearing only one piece of cloth wrapped around his waist from behind, crossed over his chest and tied behind his neck. In the bracing summer heat, Prabhupada's vitality bloomed like a lotus drinking sunshine. After one day in Vrindavan, Prabhupada felt rejuvenated and immediately planned his return to America. Thinking of his spiritual children, he wrote:
Srila Prabhupada: "Vrindavan is an inspiration only, but our real field work is all over the world. Even if I die, you are my future hopes and you will do it. I am feeling very much for you all. Please keep the ball rolling just as it is set."
Prabhupada had some charming acquaintances at Radha-Damodara. Sarajini, an old widow sporting a shaved head and sikha, used to sweep Prabhupada's kitchen and wash his clothes. Every evening one venerable babaji, who was constantly laughing, would bring sandalwood paste for Prabhupada.
On August 28, 1967, Janmastami day, ISKCON history was made at the Radha-Damodara temple. Srila Prabhupada gave sannyasa to Kirtanananda, his first disciple to enter the renounced order. To mark the auspicious occasion, Prabhupada organized a small festival.
Gopal Ghosh: "When I arrived Prabhupada called me over to sit down next to him, and we listened to Kirtanananda Maharaj's speech. Sweet rice prasadam was distributed that day, and Prabhupada donated new jari, mukut, dresses and nice makhara kundala for all the Deities at the Radha-Damodara temple."
- From the "Prabhupada at Radha-Damodara" by HH Mahanidhi Swami
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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
"Village Talk-Vaikuntha Talk"
Bombay, November 12, 1974
Listen to the entire lecture on-line:
Nitai: "After hearing of His mother's uncontaminated desire for transcendental realization, the Lord thanked her within Himself for her questions, and thus, His face smiling, He explained the path of the transcendentalists who are interested in self-realization."
iti sva-matur niravadyam ipsitam
nisamya pumsam apavarga-vardhanam
dhiyabhinandyatmavatam satam gatir
So transcendentalists, those who are advanced in spiritual life, when they hear some questions from persons to understand about spiritual life, they become very happy. Those who are transcendentalists, they are not interested in these worldly talks. That is very disgusting to them. They avoid such company who talks nonsense about these worldly affairs. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised His disciples, gramya-katha na kahibe. Gramya-katha. Gramya means pertaining to the village, society, neighborhood. People are interested in talking this gramya-katha. Grama, from grama, gramya. Just like the newspaper. This newspaper is full of gramya-katha. There is no spiritual understanding. The whole newspaper... Here we have got four, five, ten pages newspaper, and in USA they have got bunch, one load of newspaper-full of gramya-katha. There was an estimation that the New York Times required, to publish one day's publication, to kill so many trees. Because the paper is now in scarcity. Why? Because they're killing the trees and making this gramya-katha newspaper, bunch of. Useless. They are making profit.
Na yad vacas citra-padam harer yasah. The devotees, Bhagavata, they say, na yad vacas citra-padam [SB 1.5.10]. Very nicely spoken, figuratively, metaphorically, ornamentally, citra-padam. Na yad vacas citra-padam harer yasah pragrnita karhicit. But there is no sense of krsna-katha. There are two kinds of kathas: gramya-katha and krsna-katha. So any literature which is very nicely presented from literary point of view, metaphorically, figuratively, but there is no glorification of the Supreme Lord... Na yad vacas citra-padam harer yaso jagat-pavitram pragrnita karhicit, tad vayasam tirtham usanti manasah [SB 1.5.10]. That is like the place for pleasure of the crows. Even in the birds' society there are crows and there are swans. You'll find the crows are interested in a place where filthy things are thrown out. All nasty things are thrown out. The crows will come and they will enjoy there. By nature. But the swans will not come. The white swans, they'll require very nice, clear water, with lotus flower in a garden, and birds are chirping. They're interested there. Similarly, there are men crowslike, and there are men swanlike. That is nature's division.
So na yad vacas citra-padam harer yaso jagat-pavitram pragrnita karhicit, tad vayasam tirtham usanti manasah [SB 1.5.10]. Manasah means those who live in the manasa-sarovara. In Bombay I don't find any such place, but even in Western countries, especially in London, there are many nice parks, very clear water. And in America also. Wherever these Europeans have settled. In Sydney, Australia, there are many nice parks with water. Formerly, in India also, in old Dvaraka, Mathura, the parks were there. Parks are necessary for cleansing the mind. So the fact is that as there are classes of birds which are called crows and there are classes of birds which are called swans, white swans... "Birds of the same feather flock together." That is an English proverb. The crows will mix with crows, and the swans will mix with swans. Therefore the devotees are swans, and the most advanced devotee is called hamsa, paramahamsa. Paramahamsa. So those who are hamsas, they are not interested in the matter for the crows. Therefore a hamsa, a paramahamsa, when he hears a question from a person about transcendental, uttamam, sreya uttamam... Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. A person who is interested to enquire about the transcendental subject matter, krsna-katha, then the person who is questioned, he becomes very glad.
Therefore Kapiladeva, when she..., when He heard from His mother so many nice questions, "How to be delivered from this material bondage, envelopment?"... Sammoha.
atha me deva sammoham
apakrastum tvam arhasi
yo 'vagraho 'ham mametity
etasmin yojitas tvaya
This verse we have discussed. "I have taken shelter unto You..." This is the process. The mother is not ordering the son. It doesn't matter whether he is son or somebody else. When one is interested in uttamam... Tasmad jijnasuh sreya uttamam. Sreya and preya, there are two things. Sreya and preya. Just like children, they like to play. That is called preya, preya. Very nice. But sreya means go to school and take education for future improvement of life. That is called sreya. So human being should be interested in sreya, not in preya. That is not human life. Preya means immediately gives me some sense pleasure: "Oh, it is very nice." No. That is human life. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithuna. We require these things. We require to eat something for maintaining the body. But not that we shall be accustomed to eat very palatable things. No. That is not good. Bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe. Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised His disciples, "Never eat very palatable foodstuff. Never talk these village talks." Ordinary novel, literature, newspaper, He forbade. Fortunately, in our Society there is no newspaper. You may be surprised that "How is that, in modern age, especially these Europeans and Americans, they do not take any interest in newspaper?" In their country, if one does not get newspaper, it is horrible. It is horrible. Newspaper is so popular in the Western countries. There are so many newspapers. And each newspaper is publishing three, four times editions. But they are selling. But you'll find that these boys, these Americans boys who have come to Krsna consciousness, they have kicked out newspaper. No more newspaper. Because there is no krsna-katha, they don't like to read it. This is called bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. This is the test. We do not know what is the happening daily. It is, it does not matter, newspaper. It is a waste of time. Better that time read some literature like Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita. You'll be benefited. Why you should waste the valuable time of your life?
So Kapiladeva was very glad. Iti sva-matur niravadyam ipsitam. The mother, when He saw the mother is interested only for spiritual advancement... Niravadya. Niravadya... "I am contaminated." Avadya. Niravadya, ipsitam nisamya, "after hearing the question..." What, what sort of question? Pumsam apavarga-vardhanam. To answer to this question means "One who will hear these answers which I shall give, that is very, very congenial for liberation." Apavarga. This material world is called pavarga, and to nullify it is called apavarga. Pa and... Pavarga means pa, pha, ba, bha, ma. This is called pa-varga. In the letter arrangement, there is ka-varga, ca-varga, ta-varga, ta-varga... Five vargas. And pa-varga. The material life is called pa-varga. Pa, pha, ba, bha, ma. Pa means parisrama, simply laboring. And so much labor, now, pha, there is phena, foam. You'll find in the horses; hard labor, there is foam. We have sometimes foam, dry throat. That is pha. Pa, pha, ba. Ba means, bha means bhaya, and ba means vyartha. Vyartha means futile. Why they are laboring so much? Big, big men, they have no time. Big, big businessmen... I have seen in New York, big, big businessman. No time even to eat. Simply eating a dry bread and cup of tea. But he is working very hard, day and night. Pa-varga, pha-varga, and ba-varga. Ba-varga means..., ba means vyarthata. And bha means always fearful, bhaya. In this way, pa, pha, bha, and ma. Ma means marana, mrtyu. Finish. Pa to ma. Pa means beginning with parisrama, and ma means mrtyu. So this is material life, pavarga. So if you want to nullify this, that is called apavarga.
So here it is called apavarga-vardhanam, how to increase interest in liberation. People have become so dull, they do not understand what is the meaning of liberation. They do not understand. Just like animal. He... If an animal is informed that "There is liberation," what he will understand? He will not understand. It is not possible for him. Similarly, at the present moment, the human society has become exactly like animals. They do not know what is meaning of apavarga or liberation. They do not know. But time was there when people understood that this human life is meant for apavarga. Apavarga, to cease from the business of pa, pha, ba, bha, ma. That is called apavarga-vardhanam. So the questions made by Devahuti and the answers, which will be given by Kapiladeva, that is apavarga-vardhanam. That is wanted. This is the instruction of the whole Vedas. Tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovidah. For apavarga everyone would try. Everyone should try his best. "And what about my maintenance?" To maintenance the sastra never gives any stress, that "You try for maintenance." The sastra says, "It will come. It is already there. It will come." But we have no such faith that "God is given..., giving food to the animals, to the birds, to the beasts, to the trees, everyone, and why He shall not give me? Let me engage my time for apavarga." They have no faith. They have no such education. Therefore good association required, not the crow's association, but swan's association. Then this sense comes.
So this Krsna consciousness movement means they are creating a society of swans, not of crows. Not of crows. The crows are not interested. They are interested in that left-out, I mean to say, garbage. They are interested. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Punah punas carvita-carvananam. Just like we throw away... After eating, we throw away the leaf. There are some remnants of foodstuff, and the crows come, the dogs comes. They are interested. They will not say... A sane man will not go there. But these crows and dogs will go there. So this world is like that. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Chewing the chewed. Just like you chew one sugarcane and throw it on the street. But if somebody comes again to chew it, then he's a fool. He must know "The juice has been taken away from that sugarcane. What shall I get by chewing?" But there are animals like that. They want to chew again. So our this material society means chewing the chewed. A father gives education to his son to earning livelihood, gets him married, and settles him, but he knows that "This kind of business, earning money and marrying, begetting children, I have done, but I am not satisfied. So why I am engaging my son in this business?" This is called chewing the chewed. Chewing the same thing. "I have not been satisfied with this business, but why I am engaging my son also?" The real father is he who does not allow his son to taste the chewing the chewed. That is real father. Pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat, na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum. This is real contraceptive. A father, a man should not desire to become a father, a woman should not desire to become a mother, unless they are fit to save the children from the impending clutches of death. That is the duty of father and mother.
And how one can be saved? The saved means if the father and mother together gives education to the son about Krsna consciousness, then he can be saved. The father-mother's duty is... The same, apavarga-vartmani. Apavarga-vartmani. To give education in such a way that no more pavarga. No more parisrama, no more phena, no more bhaya, no more vyarthata, no more marana. That is called apavarga-vardhanam. This is here real human life -- human society cultivating knowledge in such a way that apavarga-vardhanam, gradually we are going forward for liberation. That is human civilization. Otherwise it is cats and dogs civilization. The same thing. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Again eating, mating, sleeping... That's all. Fearing and dying. This is general process. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca. Eating, sleeping and sex life, and defending, and dying. So this is... Under these regulations the dogs and cats are there. But the human life is meant for other purposes besides this. Of course, we have got this body. We have to maintain it. It is not that we should neglect... In our society we don't advise that you should neglect your body. But don't unnecessarily be engaged simply for maintaining the body.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
Janesv abhijnesu. Just like we are reading this literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam. They are very abhijna. Kapiladeva... Devahuti is asking from Kapiladeva because He's abhijna, He knows very well how to liberate. So people who are not interested janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah... [SB 10.84.13]. The animals are not int... Here, in this temple, the human beings are expected to come here, not the animals. Cats and dogs, they cannot come here. So anyone who does not take advantage of the instruction of abhijnah, they are simply cats and dogs. They are not human beings.
Here we have got, in India especially, so nice literature. Vedic literature. Essence of Vedic literature-Srimad-Bhagavatam. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam [SB 1.1.3]. It is recommended that nigama means Vedas. Nigama is compared with a tree. Nigama-kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. From the Vedas you can take all kinds of education, knowledge. Therefore it is called kalpa-taru. So as of the tree there are fruits and ripened fruit... Just like mango tree. There are fruits, green mango and ripened mango. The ripened mango is very interesting. So Srimad-Bhagavatam is the ripened mango of the desire tree of Vedic knowledge. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam suka-mukhat [SB 1.1.3]. And everyone knows that the, if the ripe fruit in the tree is tasted by the parrot, it becomes twice tasteful. So Sukadeva Gosvami, suka-paksi. Suka means parrot. He's speaking. Suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam, pibata bhuvi bhavukah rasam alayam. These are the recommendations. So people are not interested. It is a great regret, matter of regret, that in India, where these literatures are available, where the sages and saintly persons left for us such nice literature, vidya-bhagavatavadhi, the limit of all education, Srimad-Bhagavatam, they are not interested. They are interested in some other, Marx literatures, Karl Marx literature, not Bhagavatam. This is the India's misfortune.
So anyway, if somebody's interested, it is his fortune because such kind of instruction as they are available in the Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita, they are apavarga-vardhanam, apavarga-vardhanam. Nisamya pumsam avaparga-vardhanam. Pumsam, for the people in general. Apavarga-vardhanam, dhiyam, dhiya abhinandya. When actually a person advanced in spiritual knowledge, somebody comes to him to enquire... Because it is the system. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. This is the instruction. So when a person comes to a transcendentalist to inquire about sreya uttamam -- uttamam means transcendental subject matter -- he becomes very happy. He becomes very happy. One who hears very attentively about the spiritual subject matter, the spiritual master becomes very happy. So Kapiladeva became very happy by seeing His mother so eager to understand about the spiritual subject matter. Therefore, dhiya abhinandya, thanked her, "Oh, My dear mother, thank you very much. You are so interested in the subject matter." Because people are not interested. But when He saw that the family, head of the family, His mother, was interested, He became very happy, and therefore abhinandya, thanked her, "Yes, thank you, mother." Why? Now, atmavatam satam gatih: "You are asking the subject matter to know from Me which is approved by the atmavatam."
Atmavatam means self-realized persons. Self-realized... Without self-realized person, nobody can inquire about uttamam, sreya uttamam. Everyone is interested the immediate pleasing things. Immediate pleasing things. "I want to taste something which is very tasteful to my tongue. Never mind whether it is not eatable or eatable..." Just like hogs and pigs. They have got a taste to eat stool, and they like it. They like it, immediately. Everyone have, I think, in India, they have got experience. When they go to pass stool in the field, the hog is waiting to taste. They are so much addicted. Similarly, we have become to taste anything and everything, like hog. There is no discrimination. There is no restriction. Because they have no tapasya. Tapasya, when you are engaged... And this subject matter, spiritual realization, means tapasya. Tapasya. But it has been made easy by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, very easy. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Little tapasya. Just spare little time and chant Hare Krsna. This much tapasya, we are not ready. Etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah. Krsna is more interested to get us in the apavarga-vartmani, in the path of liberation. And He has given very simple method: chant Hare Krsna. Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam [Cc. Adi 17.21]. Still... Namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah. And to practice this chanting of Hare Krsna, there is no hard and fast rule. Niyamitah smarane na kalah. Any time suitable you can chant and you get perfection. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. This much little trouble, austerity, or whatever you call. But we have no interest. Being contaminated by this material, this Kali-yuga... Etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam, misfortune, durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah. "I have no attraction."
So therefore Kapiladeva or His representative, when he sees somebody is little interested, he becomes very glad and thanks him, "Thank you very much." Because people are not interested. So Kapiladeva, when He saw His mother interested, He thanked within. Not openly, but within the mind: "Thank you, mother. You are so interested." So dhiya abhinandya atmavatam satam gatih. The process, the questions which she put, that is atmavatam satam. Not ordinary persons. Satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah [SB 3.25.25]. Krsna-katha becomes interesting in the association of satam atmavatam, those who are interested in self-realization, those who are devotees. Satam means devotees. Atmavatam satam gatih, their path. Then He begin... Babhasa. He began to talk. And because He was very glad... Isat-smita, smiling: "Thank you, mother. You are so much interested. So I shall speak." And because He is incarnation of God, Kapiladeva, naturally, young boy, He... sobhita ananah. His face became very beautiful; to answer this question, He became very beautiful. Naturally He's beautiful, and when He smiled, being very much pleased with the question of mother, He became very much beautiful. Sobhitanana.
So similarly, Krsna also becomes very... Krsna and Kapiladeva, no difference. So Krsna also becomes very beautiful. He's already beautiful. But when a devotee serves Him, a devotee comes to Him, He also becomes very beautiful. A devotee, when with his heart and soul, serves Krsna in dressing Him, in feeding Him, in giving Him flower, He becomes smiling. And if you can get Krsna, once smiling upon you, your life is fulfilled.
Thank you very much. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.12 -- Bombay, November 12, 1974
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© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.
SRILA PRABHUPADA'S QUOTE OF THE DAY
Vedic mantras gone to hell
Because it is Kali-yuga. Nobody is reading, cultivating Vedic mantras. So in this age, this mantra is called maha-mantra, chant Hare Krsna. That's all. All Vedic mantras are now gone to hell. You see? Nobody can properly chant Vedic mantras and take the benefit out of it. But this mantra, any way you chant, neglectfully or properly, chant Hare Krsna and the result is there. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. There is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative, kalau, in this age. So the Vedic mantra is now gone. This is also Vedic mantra, but this is Vedic maha-mantra, the greatest of all mantras. Yes. So sacrifice everything and chant this mantra and go to Krsna, back to Godhead.
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PANIHATI CHIDA DAHI MAHOTSAV
(Panihati Chipped Rice festival)
last updated 4th June 2006
Full version from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita:
Chipped Rice Distribution
New Panihati - Atlanta and their 3 day festival each year:
A picture of the altar at New Panihati Dham with all the chiradahi on the altar:
History of the Panihati Festival in Atlanta
The recipe:(in essence)
Actual Recipes in Detail - how to make
The Chida-dadhi Festival of Panihati
Panihati Festival at Kolkata 2003
The Chida-dadhi Mahotsav, also known as the Chipped Rice Festival of Panihati, is a yearly celebration of the pastimes of Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. This astonishing pastime took place on the banks of the Ganges at Panihati, which is just north of Calcutta. Lord Caitanya and his associates enjoyed many transcendental pastimes here. Chida-dadhi Mahotsav remembers how the Lord mercifully reciprocated with His devotees by arranging, through Nityananda Prabhu and Raghunatha dasa, to provide an ecstatic feast of yoghurt and chipped rice, along with various other nectar foodstuffs. Linked below is an excerpt from Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila chapter 6, which describes this wonderful pastime in detail.
The chipped rice festival took place just before the monsoons, when it is very hot (45 - 50 C) and muggy (80 - 90 % humidity), so naturally the most cooling of foodstuffs were offered. Cool yoghurt (dadhi) and chipped rice (chida) were offered with sugar, bananas, milk sweets and cakes.
Our feast menu begins with Ganges Curd Upma, a moist and delicious preparation of vegetables and grain. Before offering, a flavorful stream of yoghurt is poured around the base of the Upma, in honor of the festival goers who had to stand in the Ganges to enjoy their prasadam because there was no room left on the river banks.
A light and simple Cracked Urad Dal is offered, with a side of Banana Chapatis drenched in Orange Cardamom Butter. A sumptuously rich Cauliflower & Red Pepper Sabji is simple to make, and brings smiles to the devotees.
A dry curry of Peas and Paneer is stuffed in a hollow Lemon, which adds nice flavor to the preparation. Rava Idli is a savory cake that goes nicely with the Aloo Kerala Fry, a spicy fried patty of potato and bitter melon.
Nestled amongst the whites of rice and yoghurt is a delightful Stuffed White Baby Eggplant which is filled with spiced almond butter, then wrapped together with lemongrass and baked.
Another pungent savory is the Baigan Sarson, a treat of diced eggplant wrapped in mustard greens, then crispy fried in ghee. Roasted Okra Raita provides a smooth and mellow touch with the spicy dishes, while the Rhubard & Dried Cherry Chutney adds a tangy flavor to the Idli and savouries.
The nectar preparations from the original Chida-dadhi festival are, we hope, faithfully represented by Chida-dadhi Pots. These two wonderful sweet rices are served in traditional clay bowls. In one pot, chipped rice is prepared in sweet yoghurt with bananas, while the second pot contains rice in a sweet, thick kheer with ghee, bananas and camphor.
A milksweet cake, the Gunja-Mala Malpoori is encircled with fresh red and black berries, reminiscent of the garland Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave Raghunatha das to wear around his neck.
Srila Raghunatha dasa gave up eating all foodstuffs after the departure from this world of Srila Sanatana, and from that time on Raghunatha would only take buttermilk in leaf cups. He continued in this way until the departure of Rupa Gosvami, after which Raghunatha gave up all eating and drinking. In honor of this topmost associate of the Lord, we offer Banana Leaf Cups of Buttermilk
The feast is complete with a tart Lime Cooler blending honey, ginger and anise that would surely please all those sitting in the Panihati sun, on the banks of Ganga-Ma.
Where is Panihati? Panihati is located on the banks of the Ganges 10 miles North of Calcutta (North 24-Parganas north of modern day Kolkata - Calcutta), in West Bengal India. It is the site of many wonderful spiritual pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His close personal associates. In this region at this time of year June, pre-monsoon it is so hot, often up in the mid-to-high 40s C (45 - 50 C), and so humid. The most cooling of foods in such a temperature is yogurt, cool yogurt (dahi or dadhi or doi) This pastime of the Lord is about how the devotees pleased Lord Chaitanya and how the Lord reciprocated with the devotees in a very wonderful and pleasing festival called the Panihati Cida-dadhi mahotsav.
In the village of Panihati, Raghunatha dasa obtained an interview with Nityananda Prabhu who was accompanied by many kirtana performers, servants and others. Sitting on a rock under a tree on the bank of the Ganges, Lord Nityananda seemed as effulgent as hundreds and thousands of rising suns. Many devotees sat on the ground surrounding Him. Seeing the influence of Nityananda Prabhu, Raghunatha dasa was astonished. Raghunatha dasa offered his obeisances by falling prostrate at a distant place, and the servant of Nityananda Prabhu pointed out, "There is Raghunatha dasa, offering You obeisances."
Hearing this, Lord Nityananda Prabhu said, "You are a thief. Now you have come to see Me. Come here, come here. Today I shall punish you," the Lord called him, but Raghunatha dasa did not go near the Lord. Then the Lord forcibly caught him and placed His lotus feet upon Raghunatha dasa's head. "Make a festival and feed all My associates yogurt and chipped rice." Hearing this, Raghunatha dasa was greatly pleased.
Raghunatha dasa brought chipped rice, yogurt, milk. sweetmeats, sugar, bananas and ether eatables and placed them all around. As soon as they heard that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brahmanas and other gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people. Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunatha dasa arranged to get more eatables from other villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round pots. He also obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a brahmana began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lard Nityananda.
In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots. then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The other half was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as canpa-kala. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added. After Nityananda Prabhu had changed His cloth far a new one and sat on a raised platform, the brahmana brought before Him the seven huge pots.
On that platform all the most important associates of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, as well as ether important men, sat down in a circle around the Lord. Among them were Ramadasa, Sundarananda, Gadadhara dasa, Murari, Kamalakara, Sadasiva and Purandara. Dhananjaya, Jagadisa, Paramesvara dasa, Mahesa, Gauridas and Hoda Krsnadasa were also there, Similarly, Uddharana Datta Thakura and many other personal associates of the Lord sat on the raised platform with Nityananda Prabhu. No one could count them all.
Hearing about the festival, all kinds of learned scholars, brahmanas and priests went there, Lord Nityananda Prabhu honored them and made them sit on the raised platform with Him. Everyone was offered two earthen pots. In one was put chipped rice with condensed milk and in the ether chipped rice with yogurt. All the other People sat in groups around the platform. No one could count how many people there were. Each and every one of them was supplied two earthen pots, one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of chipped rice soaked in condensed milk.
Some of the brahmanas, not having gotten a place on the platform, went to the bank of the Ganges with their two earthen pots and soaked their chipped rice there. Others, who could not get a place even on the bank of the Ganges, got down into the water and began eating their two kinds of chipped rice. Thus some sat on the platform ,some at the base of the platform, and some on the bank of the Ganges, and they were all supplied two pots each by the twenty men who distributed the food.
At that time, Raghava Pandita arrived there. Seeing the situation, he began to laugh in great surprise. He brought many other kinds of food cooked in ghee and offered them to the Lord. This prasada he first placed before Lord Nityananda and then distributed among the devotees. Raghava Pandita said to Lord Nityananda, "For You, sir, I have already offered food to the Deity, but You are engaged in a festival here, and so the food is lying there untouched."
Lord Nityananda replied, "Let Me eat all this food here during the day, and I shall eat at your home at night. I belong to a community of cowherd boys, and therefore I generally have many cowherd associates with Me. I am happy when we eat together in a picnic like this by the sandy bank of the river. Lord Nityananda made Raghava Pandita sit down and had two pots delivered to him also. There were two kinds of chipped rice soaked in them.
When chipped rice had been served to everyone, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, in meditation, brought Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived, Lord Nityananda Prabhu stood up. They then saw how the others were enjoying the chipped rice with yogurt and condensed milk. From each and every pot, Lord Nityananda Prabhu took one morsel of chipped rice and pushed it into the mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a joke. In this way Lord Nityananda was walking through all the groups of eaters, and all the Vaisnavas standing there were seeing the fun.
No one could understand what Nityananda Prabhu was doing as He walked about. Some, however, who were very fortunate, could see that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also present. Then Nityananda Prabhu smiled and sat down. On His right side He kept four pots of chipped rice that had not been made from boiled paddy. Lord Nityananda offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu a place and had Him sit dawn. Then together the two brothers began eating chipped rice. Seeing Cord Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating with Him, Lord Nityananda Prabhu became very happy and exhibited varieties of ecstatic love. Lord Nityananda Prabhu ordered, "All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari. Immediately the holy names "Hari Hari" resounded, filling the entire universe.
When all the Vaisnavas were chanting the holy names "Hari Hari" and eating, they remembered how Krsna and Balarama ate with their companions, the cowherd boys, on the bank of the Yamuna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu are extremely merciful and liberal. It was Raghunatha dasa's good fortune that They accepted all these dealings. Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges. All the confidential devotees who were Cowherd boys, headed by Sri Ramadas, were absorbed in ecstatic love. They thought the bank of the Ganges to be the bank of the Yamuna.
When the shopkeepers of many other villages heard about the festival, they arrived there to sell chipped rice, yogurt, sweetmeats and bananas. As they came, bringing all kinds of food, Raghunatha dasa purchased it all. He gave them the price for their goods and later fed them the very same food. Anyone who came to see how these funny things were going on was also fed chipped rice, yogurt and bananas. After Lord Nityananda Prabhu finished eating, He washed His hands and mouth and gave Raghunatha dasa the food remaining in the four pots. There was food remaining in the three other big pots of Lord Nityananda, and a brahmana distributed it to all the devotees, giving a morsel to each. Then a brahmanas brought a flower garland, placed the garland on Nityananda Prabhu's neck and smeared sandalwood pulp All over His body, When a servant brought betel nuts and offered them to Lord Nityananda, the Lord smiled and chewed them. With His own hands Lord Nityananda Prabhu distributed to all the devotees whatever flower garlands, sandalwood pulp and betel nuts remained
After receiving the remnants of food left by Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Raghunatha dasa, who was greatly happy, ate some and distributed the rest among his own associates. Thus have I described the pastimes of Lord Nityananda Prabhu in relation to the celebrated festival of chipped rice and yogurt.
Caritamrta Antya Lila Vol 2 ch 6.
The Meeting of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé
A summary of this chapter is given
by Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura in his Amåta-praväha-bhäñya
as follows. When Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu went into transcendental
fits of ecstatic love, Rämänanda Räya and Svarüpa Dämodara
Gosvämé attended to Him and satisfied Him as He desired. Raghunätha
däsa Gosvämé had been attempting to come to the lotus
feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu for a long time, and
finally he left his home and met the Lord. When Çré Caitanya
Mahäprabhu had gone to Çäntipura on His way to Våndävana,
Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé had offered to dedicate his
life at the Lord’s lotus feet. in the meantime, however, a Mohammedan official
became envious of Hiraëya däsa, Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé’s
uncle, and induced some big official court minister to have him arrested.
Thus Hiraëya däsa left his home, but by the intelligence of Raghunätha
däsa the misunderstanding was mitigated. Then Raghunätha däsa
went to Pänihäöi, and, following the order of Nityänanda
Prabhu, he observed a festival (ciòä-dadhi-mahotsava) by distributing
chipped rice mixed with yogurt. The day after the festival, Nityänanda
Prabhu gave Raghunätha däsa the blessing that he would very soon
attain the shelter of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. After
this incident, Raghunätha däsa, with the help of his priest,
whose name was Yadunandana Äcärya, got out of his house by trickery
and thus ran away. Not touching the general path, Raghunätha däsa
Gosvämé secretly went to Jagannätha Puré. After
twelve days, he arrived in Jagannätha Puré at the lotus feet
of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu entrusted Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé to Svarüpa Dämodara Gosvämé. Therefore another name for Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé is Svarüpera Raghu, or the Raghunätha of Svarüpa Dämodara. For five days Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé took prasäda at the temple, but later he would stand at the Siàha-dvära gate and eat only whatever he could gather by alms. Later he lived by taking alms from various chatras, or food distributing centers. When Raghunätha’s father received news of this, he sent some men and money, but Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé refused to accept the money. Understanding that Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé was living by begging from the chatras, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu presented him with His own guïjä-mälä and a stone from Govardhana Hill. Thereafter, Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé used to eat rejected food that he had collected and washed. This renounced life greatly pleased both
Svarüpa Dämodara Gosvämé and Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. One day Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu took by force some of the same food, thus blessing Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé for his renunciation.
In this way Raghunätha däsa passed one year exactly like a first-class business manager, but the next year he again decided to leave home.
rätre uöhi’ ekelä calilä paläïä
düra haite pitä täìre änila dhariyä
He got up alone one night and left, but his father caught him in a distant place and brought him back.
ei-mate bäre bäre paläya, dhari’ äne
tabe täìra mätä kahe täìra pitä sane
This became almost a daily affair. Raghunätha would run away from home, and his father would again bring him back. Then Raghunätha däsa’s mother began speaking to his father.
“putra bätula’ ha-ila, ihäya räkhaha bändhiyä”
täìra pitä kahe täre nirviëëa haïä
“Our son has become mad,” she said. “Just keep him by binding him with ropes.” His father, being very unhappy, replied to her as follows.
“indra-sama aiçvarya, stré apsarä-sama
e saba bändhite närileka yäìra mana
“Raghunätha däsa, our son, has opulences like Indra, the heavenly King, and his wife is as beautiful as an angel. Yet all this could not tie down his mind.
daòira bandhane täìre räkhibä ke-mate?
janma-dätä-pitä näre ‘prärabdha’ khaëòäite
“How then could we keep this boy home by binding him with ropes? It is not possible even for one’s father to nullify the reactions of one’s past activities.
caitanya-candrera kåpä haïäche iìhäre
caitanya-candrera ‘bätula’ ke räkhite päre?”
“Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu has fully bestowed His mercy on him. Who can keep home such a madman of Caitanyacandra?”
tabe raghunätha kichu vicärilä mane
nityänanda-gosäïira päça calilä ära dine
Then Raghunätha däsa considered something in his mind, and the next day he went to Nityänanda Gosäïi.
pänihäöi-gräme päilä prabhura daraçana
kértanéyä sevaka saìge ära bahu-jana
In the village of Pänihäöi, Raghunätha däsa obtained an interview with Nityänanda Prabhu, who was accompanied by many kértana performers, servants and others.
gaìgä-tére våkña-müle piëòära upare
vasiyachena——yena koöé süryodaya kare
Sitting on a rock under a tree on the bank of the Ganges, Lord Nityänanda seemed as effulgent as hundreds and thousands of rising suns.
tale upare bahu-bhakta haïäche veñöita
dekhi’ prabhura prabhäva raghunätha——vismita
Many devotees sat on the ground surrounding Him. Seeing the influence of Nityänanda Prabhu, Raghunätha däsa was astonished.
daëòavat haïä sei paòilä kata-düre
sevaka kahe,——‘raghunätha daëòavat kare’
Raghunätha däsa offered his obeisances by falling prostrate at a distant place, and the servant of Nityänanda Prabhu pointed out, “There is Raghunätha däsa, offering You obeisances.”
çuni’ prabhu kahe,——“corä dili daraçana
äya, äya, äji tora karimu daëòana”
Hearing this, Lord Nityänanda Prabhu said,“You are a thief. Now you have come to see Me. Come here, come here. Today I shall punish you!”
prabhu boläya, teìho nikaöe nä kare gamana
äkarñiyä täìra mäthe prabhu dharilä caraëa
The Lord called him, but Raghunätha däsa did not go near the Lord. Then the Lord forcibly caught him and placed His lotus feet upon Raghunätha däsa’s head.
kautuké nityänanda sahaje dayämaya
raghunäthe kahe kichu haïä sadaya
Lord Nityänanda was by nature very merciful and funny. Being merciful, He spoke to Raghunätha däsa as follows.
“nikaöe nä äisa, corä, bhäga’ düre düre
äji läg päïächi, daëòimu tomäre
“You are just like a thief, for instead of coming near, you stay away at a distant place. Now that I have captured you, I shall punish you.
dadhi, ciòä bhakñaëa karäha mora gaëe”
çuni’ änandita haila raghunätha mane
“Make a festival and feed all My associates yogurt and chipped rice.” Hearing this, Raghunätha däsa was greatly pleased.
sei-kñaëe nija-loka päöhäilä gräme
bhakñya-dravya loka saba gräma haite äne
Raghunätha däsa immediately sent his own men to the village to purchase all kinds of eatables and bring them back.
ciòä, dadhi, dugdha, sandeça, ära cini, kalä
saba dravya änäïä caudike dharilä
Raghunätha däsa brought chipped rice, yogurt, milk, sweetmeats, sugar, bananas and other eatables and placed them all around.
‘mahotsava’-näma çuni’ brähmaëa-sajjana
äsite lägila loka asaìkhya-gaëana
As soon as they heard that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brähmaëas and other gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people.
ära grämäntara haite sämagré änila
çata dui-cäri holnä täìhä änäila
Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunätha däsa arranged to get more eatables from other villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round earthen pots.
baòa baòa måt-kuëòikä änäila päìca säte
eka vipra prabhu lägi’ ciòä bhijäya täte
He also obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a brähmaëa began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lord Nityänanda.
.eka-öhäïi tapta-dugdhe ciòä bhijäïä
ardheka chänila dadhi, cini, kalä diyä
In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots. Then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas.
ära ardheka ghanävåta-dugdhete chänila
cäìpä-kalä, cini, ghåta, karpüra täte dila
The other half was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as cäìpä-kalä. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added.
dhuti pari’ prabhu yadi piëòäte vasilä
säta-kuëòé vipra täìra ägete dharilä
After Nityänanda Prabhu had changed His cloth for a new one and sat on a raised platform, the brähmaëa brought before Him the seven huge pots.
cabutarä-upare yata prabhura nija-gaëe
baòa baòa loka vasilä maëòalé-racane
On that platform, all the most important associates of Çré Nityänanda Prabhu, as well as other important men, sat down in a circle around the Lord.
rämadäsa, sundaränanda, däsa-gadädhara
muräri, kamaläkara, sadäçiva, purandara
Among them were Rämadäsa, Sundaränanda, Gadädhara däsa, Muräri, Kamaläkara, Sadäçiva and Purandara.
dhanaïjaya, jagadéça, parameçvara-däsa
maheça, gaurédäsa, hoòa-kåñëadäsa
Dhanaïjaya, Jagadéça, Parameçvara däsa, Maheça, Gaurédäsa and Hoòa Kåñëadäsa were also there.
.uddhäraëa datta ädi yata nija-gaëa
upare vasilä saba, ke kare gaëana?
Similarly, Uddhäraëa Datta Öhäkura and many other personal associates of the Lord sat on the raised platform with Nityänanda Prabhu. No one could count them all.
The devotees mentioned herein are described by Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura in his Anubhäñya. For further information one may consult the following references in the Ädi-lélä. Rämadäsa—Chapter Ten, texts 116 and 118, and Chapter Eleven, texts 13 and 16. Sundaränanda—11.23, Gadädhara däsa—10.53, His full name is Muräri Caitanya däsa, and he is a personal associate of Nityänanda Prabhu. Thus one should consult Chapter Eleven, text 20. Kamaläkara—11.24. Sadäçiva—11.38. Purandara—11.28. Dhanaïjaya—11.31. Jagadéça—11.30. Parameçvara—11.29. Maheça—11.32. Gaurédäsa—11.26. Hoòa Kåñëadäsa—11.47. Uddhäraëa Datta Öhäkura—11.41.
çuni’ paëòita bhaööäcärya yata vipra äilä
mänya kari’ prabhu sabäre upare vasäilä
Hearing about the festival, all kinds of learned scholars, brähmaëas and priests went there. Lord Nityänanda Prabhu honored them and made them sit on the raised platform with Him.
dui dui måt-kuëòikä sabära äge dila
eke dugdha-ciòä, äre dadhi-ciòä kaila
Everyone was offered two earthen pots. In one was put chipped rice with condensed milk and in the other chipped rice with yogurt.
ära yata loka saba cotarä-taläne
maëòalé-bandhe vasilä, tära nä haya gaëane
All the other people sat in groups around the platform. No one could count how many people there were.
ekeka janäre dui dui holnä dila
dadhi-ciòä dugdha-ciòä, duite bhijäila
Each and every one of them was supplied two earthen pots—one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of chipped rice soaked in condensed milk.
kona kona vipra upare sthäna nä päïä
dui holnäya ciòä bhijäya gaìgä-tére giyä
Some of the brähmaëas, not having gotten a place on the platform, went to the bank of the Ganges with their two earthen pots and soaked their chipped rice there.
tére sthäna nä päïä ära kata jana
jale nämi’ dadhi-ciòä karaye bhakñaëa
Others, who could not get a place even on the bank of the Ganges, got down into the water and began eating their two kinds of chipped rice.
keha upare, keha tale, keha gaìgä-tére
biça-jana tina-öhäïi pariveçana kare
Thus some sat on the platform, some at the base of the platform, and some on the bank of the Ganges, and they were all supplied two pots each by the twenty men who distributed the food.
hena-käle äilä tathä räghava paëòita
häsite lägilä dekhi’ haïä vismita
At that time, Räghava Paëòita arrived there. Seeing the situation, he began to laugh in great surprise.
ni-sakòi nänä-mata prasäda änila
prabhure äge diyä bhakta-gaëe bäìöi dila
He brought many other kinds of food cooked in ghee and offered to the Lord. This prasäda he first placed before Lord Nityänanda and then distributed among the devotees.
prabhure kahe,——“tomä lägi’ bhoga lägäila
tumi ihäì utsava kara, ghare prasäda rahila”
Räghava Paëòita said to Lord Nityänanda, “For You, sir, I have already offered food to the Deity, but You are engaged in a festival here, and so the food is lying there untouched.”
prabhu kahe,——“e-dravya dine kariye bhojana
rätrye tomära ghare prasäda karimu bhakñaëa
Lord Nityänanda replied, “Let Me eat all this food here during the day, and I shall eat at your home at night.
gopa-jäti ämi bahu gopa-gaëa saìge
ämi sukha päi ei pulina-bhojana-raìge”
“I belong to a community of cowherd boys, and therefore I generally have many cowherd associates with Me. I am happy when we eat together in a picnic like this by the sandy bank of the river.”
räghave vasäïä dui kuëòé deoyäilä
räghava dvividha ciòä täte bhijäilä
Lord Nityänanda made Räghava Paëòita sit down and had two pots delivered to him also. There were two kinds of chipped rice soaked in them.
sakala-lokera ciòä pürëa yabe ha-ila
dhyäne tabe prabhu mahäprabhure änila
When chipped rice had been served to everyone, Lord Nityänanda Prabhu, in meditation, brought Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
mahäprabhu äilä dekhi’ nitäi uöhilä
täìre laïä sabära ciòä dekhite lägilä
When Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu arrived, Lord Nityänanda Prabhu stood up. They then saw how the others were enjoying the chipped rice with yogurt and condensed milk.
sakala kuëòéra, holnära ciòära eka eka gräsa
mahäprabhura mukhe dena kari’ parihäsa
From each and every pot, Lord Nityänanda Prabhu took one morsel of chipped rice and pushed it into the mouth of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu as a joke.
häsi’ mahäprabhu ära eka gräsa laïä
täìra mukhe diyä khäoyäya häsiyä häsiyä
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, also smiling, took a morsel of food, pushed it into the mouth of Nityänanda and laughed as He made Lord Nityänanda eat it.
ei-mata nitäi bule sakala maëòale
däëòäïä raìga dekhe vaiñëava sakale
In this way Lord Nityänanda was walking through all the groups of eaters, and all the Vaiñëavas standing there were seeing the fun.
ki kariyä beòäya,——ihä keha nähi jäne
mahäprabhura darçana pä ya kona bhägyaväne
No one could understand what Nityänanda Prabhu was doing as He walked about. Some, however, who were very fortunate, could see that Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was also present.
tabe häsi’ nityänanda vasilä äsane
cäri kuëòé äroyä ciòä räkhilä òähine
Then Nityänanda Prabhu smiled and sat down. On His right side He kept four pots of chipped rice that had not been made from boiled paddy.
äsana diyä mahäprabhure tähäì vasäilä
dui bhäi tabe ciòä khäite lägilä
Lord Nityänanda offered Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu a place and had Him sit down. Then together the two brothers began eating chipped rice.
dekhi’ nityänanda-prabhu änandita hailä
kata kata bhäväveça prakäça karilä
Seeing Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu eating with Him, Lord Nityänanda Prabhu became very happy and exhibited varieties of ecstatic love.
äjïä dilä,——‘hari bali’ karaha bhojana’
‘hari’ ‘hari’-dhvani uöhi’ bharila bhuvana
Lord Nityänanda Prabhu ordered,“All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari.” Immediately the holy names “Hari, Hari” resounded, filling the entire universe.
‘hari’ ‘hari’ bali’ vaiñëava karaye bhojana
pulina-bhojana sabära ha-ila smaraëa
When all the Vaiñëavas were chanting the holy names“Hari, Hari” and eating, they remembered how Kåñëa and Balaräma ate with Their companions the cowherd boys on the bank of the Yamunä.
nityänanda mahäprabhu——kåpälu, udära
raghunäthera bhägye eta kailä aìgékära
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and Lord Nityänanda Prabhu are extremely merciful and liberal. It was Raghunätha däsa’s good fortune that They accepted all these dealings.
nityänanda-prabhäva-kåpä jänibe kon jana?
mahäprabhu äni’ karä ya pulina-bhojana
Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityänanda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges.
çré-rämadäsädi gopa premäviñöa hailä
gaìgä-tére ‘yamunä-pulina’ jïäna kailä
All the confidential devotees who were cowherd boys, headed by Çré Rämadäsa, were absorbed in ecstatic love. They thought the bank of the Ganges to be the bank of the Yamunä.
mahotsava çuni’ pasäri nänä-gräma haite
ciòä, dadhi, sandeça, kalä änila vecite
When the shopkeepers of many other villages heard about the festival, they arrived there to sell chipped rice, yogurt, sweetmeats and bananas.
yata dravya laïä äise, saba mülya kari’ laya
tära dravya mülya diyä tähäre khäoyäya
As they came, bringing all kinds of food, Raghunätha däsa purchased it all. He gave them the price for their goods and later fed them the very same food.
kautuka dekhite äila yata yata jana
sei ciòä, dadhi, kalä karila bhakñaëa
Anyone who came to see how these funny things were going on was also fed chipped rice, yogurt and bananas.
bhojana kari’ nityänanda äcamana kailä
cäri kuëòéra avaçeña raghunäthe dilä
After Lord Nityänanda Prabhu finished eating, He washed His hands and mouth and gave Raghunätha däsa the food remaining in the four pots.
ära tina kuëòikäya avaçeña chila
gräse-gräse kari’ vipra saba bhakte dila
There was food remaining in the three other big pots of Lord Nityänanda, and a brähmaëa distributed it to all the devotees, giving a morsel to each.
puñpa-mälä vipra äni’ prabhu-gale dila
candana äniyä prabhura sarväìge lepila
Then a brähmaëa brought a flower garland, placed the garland on Nityänanda Prabhu’s neck and smeared sandalwood pulp all over His body.
sevaka tämbüla laïä kare samarpaëa
häsiyä häsiyä prabhu karaye carvaëa
When a servant brought betel nuts and offered them to Lord Nityänanda, the Lord smiled and chewed them.
mälä-candana-tämbüla çeña ye ächila
çré-haste prabhu tähä sabäkäre bäìöi’ dila
With His own hands Lord Nityänanda Prabhu distributed to all the devotees whatever flower garlands, sandalwood pulp and betel nuts remained.
änandita raghunätha prabhura ‘çeña, päïä
äpanära gaëa-saha khäilä bäìtiyä
After receiving the remnants of food left by Lord Nityänanda Prabhu, Raghunätha däsa, who was greatly happy, ate some and distributed the rest among his own associates.
ei ta’ kahiluì nityänandera vihära
‘ciòä-dadhi-mahotsava’-näme khyäti yära
Thus I have described the pastimes of Lord Nityänanda Prabhu in relation to the celebrated festival of chipped rice and yogurt.
prabhu viçräma kailä, yadi dina-çeña haila
räghava-mandire tabe kértana ärambhila
Nityänanda Prabhu rested for the day, and when the day ended He went to the temple of Räghava Paëòita and began congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord.
bhakta saba näcäïä nityänanda-räya
çeñe nåtya kare preme jagat bhäsäya
Lord Nityänanda Prabhu first influenced all the devotees to dance, and finally He Himself began dancing, thus inundating the entire world in ecstatic love.
mahäprabhu täìra nåtya karena daraçana
sabe nityänanda dekhe, nä dekhe anya-jana
Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was observing the dancing of Lord Nityänanda Prabhu. Nityänanda Prabhu could see this, but the others could not.
nityänandera nåtya,——yena täìhära nartane
upamä dibära nähi e-tina bhuvane
The dancing of Lord Nityänanda Prabhu, like the dancing of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, cannot be compared to anything within these three worlds.
nåtyera mädhuré kebä varëibäre päre
mahäprabhu äise yei nåtya dekhibäre
No one can properly describe the sweetness of Lord Nityänanda’s dancing. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu personally comes to see it.
nåtya kari’ prabhu yabe viçräma karilä
bhojanera lägi’ paëòita nivedana kailä
After the dancing and after Lord Nityänanda had rested, Räghava Paëòita submitted his request that the Lord take supper.
bhojane vasilä prabhu nija-gaëa laïä
mahäprabhura äsana òähine pätiyä
Lord Nityänanda Prabhu sat down for supper with His personal associates and made a sitting place on His right side for Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
mahäprabhu äsi’ sei äsane vasila
dekhi’ räghavera mane änanda bäòila
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu came there and sat down at His place. Seeing this, Räghava Paëòita felt increasing happiness. Räghava Paëòita felt increasing happiness.
dui-bhäi-äge prasäda äniyä dharilä
sakala vaiñëave piche pariveçana kailä
Räghava Paëòita brought the prasäda before the two brothers and thereafter distributed prasäda to all the other Vaiñëavas.
nänä-prakära piöhä, päyasa, divya çälyanna
amåta nindaye aiche vividha vyaïjana
There were varieties of cakes, sweet rice and fine cooked rice that surpassed the taste of nectar. There were also varieties of vegetables.
räghava-öhäkurera prasäda amåtera sära
mahäprabhu yähä khäite äise bära bära
The food prepared and offered to the Deity by Räghava Paëòita was like the essence of nectar. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu came there again and again to eat such prasäda.
päka kari’ räghava yabe bhoga lägäya
mahäprabhura lägi’ bhoga påthak bäòaya
When Räghava Paëòita offered the food to the Deity after cooking, he would make a separate offering for Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
prati-dina mahäprabhu karena bhojana
madhye madhye prabhu täìre dena daraçana
Every day, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu would eat at the house of Räghava Paëòita. Sometimes He would give Räghava Paëòita the opportunity to see Him.
dui bhäire räghava äni’ pariveçe
yatna kari’ khäoyäya, nä rahe avaçeñe
Räghava Paëòita would bring and distribute prasäda to the two brothers, feeding Them with great attention. They ate everything, and therefore there were no remnants left.
kata upahära äne, hena nähi jäni
räghavera ghare rändhe rädhä-öhäkuräëé
He brought so many presentations that no one could know them perfectly. Indeed, it was a fact that the supreme mother, Rädhäräëé, personally cooked in the house of Räghava Paëòita.
durväsära öhäïi teìho päïächena vara
amåta ha-ite päka täìra adhika madhura
Çrématé Rädhäräëé received from Durväsä Muni the benediction that whatever She cooked would be sweeter than nectar. (Gopal Champu) That is the special feature of Her cooking.
sugandhi sundara prasäda——mädhuryera sära
dui bhäi tähä khäïä santoña apära
Aromatic and pleasing to see, the food was the essence of all sweetness. Thus the two brothers, Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu and Lord Nityänanda Prabhu, ate it with great satisfaction.
bhojane vasite raghunäthe kahe sarva-jana
paëòita kahe,——iìha päche karibe bhojana’
All the devotees present requested Raghunätha däsa to sit down and take prasäda, but Räghava Paëòita told them,“He will take prasäda later.”
bhakta-gaëa äkaëöha bhariyä karila bhojana
‘hari’ dhvani kari’ uöhi’ kailä äcamana
All the devotees took prasäda, filling themselves to the brim. Thereafter, chanting the holy name of Hari, they stood up and washed their hands and mouths.
bhojana kari’ dui bhäi kailä äcamana
räghava äni’ paräilä mälya-candana
After eating, the two brothers washed Their hands and mouths. Then Räghava Paëòita brought fIower garlands and sandalwood pulp and decorated Them.
biòä khäoyäilä, kailä caraëa vandana
bhakta-gaëe dilä biòä, mälya-candana
Räghava Paëòita offered Them betel nuts and worshiped Their lotus feet. He also distributed betel nuts, flower garlands and sandalwood pulp to the devotees.
räghavera kåpä raghunäthera upare
dui bhäiera avaçiñöa pätra dilä täìre
Räghava Paëòita, being very merciful toward Raghunätha däsa, offered him the dishes with the remnants of food left by the two brothers.
kahilä,——“caitanya gosäïi kariyächena bhojana
täìra çeña päile, tomära khaëòila bandhana”
He said, “Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu has eaten this food. If you take His remnants, you will be released from the bondage of your family.”
bhakta-citte bhakta-gåhe sadä avasthäna
kabhu gupta, kabhu vyakta, svatantra bhagavän
The Supreme Personality of Godhead always resides either in the heart or in the home of a devotee. This fact is sometimes hidden and sometimes manifest, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully independent.
sarvatra ‘vyäpaka’ prabhura sadä sarvatra väsa
ihäte saàçaya yära, sei yäya näça
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervasive, and therefore He resides everywhere. Anyone who doubts this will be annihilated.
präte nityänanda prabhu gaìgä-snäna kariyä
sei våkña-müle vasilä nija-gaëa laïä
In the morning, after taking His bath in the Ganges, Nityänanda Prabhu sat down with His associates beneath the same tree under which He had previously sat.
raghunätha äsi’ kailä caraëa vandana
räghava-paëòita-dvärä kailä nivedana
Raghunätha däsa went there and worshiped Lord Nityänanda’s lotus feet. Through Räghava Paëòita, he submitted his desire.
“adhama, pämara mui héna jévädhama!
mora icchä haya——päìa caitanya-caraëa
“I am the lowest of men, the most sinful, fallen and condemned. Nevertheless, I desire to attain the shelter of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
vämana haïä yena cända dharibäre cäya
aneka yatna kainu, täte kabhu siddha naya
“Like a dwarf who wants to catch the moon, I have tried my best many times, but I have never been successful.
yata-bära paläi ämi gåhädi chädiyä
pitä, mätä——dui more räkhaye bändhiyä
“Every time I tried to go away and give up my home relationships, my father and mother unfortunately kept me bound.
tomära kåpä vinä keha ‘caitanya’ nä päya
tumi kåpä kaile täìre adhameha päya
“No one can attain the shelter of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu without Your mercy, but if You are merciful, even the lowest of men ca attain shelter at His lotus feet.
ayogya mui nivedana karite kari bhaya
more ‘caitanya’ deha’ gosäïi haïä sadaya
“Although I am unfit and greatly afraid to submit this plea, I nevertheless request You, sir, to be especially merciful toward me by granting me shelter at the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
mora mäthe pada dhari’ karaha prasäda
nirvighne caitanya päìa——kara äçérväda”
“Placing Your feet on my head, give me the benediction that I may achieve the shelter of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu without difficulty. I pray for this benediction.”
çuni’ häsi’ kahe prabhu saba bhakta-gaëe
After hearing this appeal by Raghunätha däsa, Lord Nityänanda Prabhu smiled and told all the devotees, “Raghunätha däsa’s standard of material happiness is equal to that of Indra, the King of heaven.
caitanya-kåpäte seha nähi bhäya mane
sabe äçérväda kara——päuka caitanya-caraëe
“Because of the mercy bestowed upon him by Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, Raghunätha däsa, although situated in such material happiness, does not like it at all. Therefore let every one of you be merciful toward him and give him the benediction that he may very soon attain shelter at the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
kåñëa-päda-padma-gandha yei jana päya
brahmaloka-ädi-sukha täìre nähi bhäya”
“One who experiences the fragrance of the lotus feet of Lord Kåñëa does not even value the standard of happiness available in Brahmaloka, the topmost planet. And what to speak of heavenly happiness?
yo dustyajän dära-sutän
jahau yuvaiva malavad
“Lord Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is offered sublime, poetic prayers by those trying to attain His favor. Thus He is known as Uttamaçloka. Being very eager to gain the association of Lord Kåñëa, King Bharata, although in the prime of youth, gave up his very attractive wife, affectionate children, most beloved friends and opulent kingdom, exactly as one gives up stool after excreting it.’ ”
This verse is from Çrémad-Bhägavatam (5.14.43).
tabe raghunäthe prabhu nikaöe boläila
täìra mäthe pada dhari’ kahite lägilä
Then Lord Nityänanda Prabhu called Raghunätha däsa near Him, placed His lotus feet upon Raghunätha däsa’s head and began to speak.
“tumi ye karäilä ei pulina-bhojana
tomäya kåpä kari’ gaura kailä ägamana
“My dear Raghunätha däsa,” He said, “since you arranged the feast on the bank of the Ganges, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu came here just to show you His mercy.
kåpä kari’ kailä ciòä-dugdha bhojana
nåtya dekhi’ rätrye kailä prasäda bhakñaëa
“By His causeless mercy He ate the chipped rice and milk. Then, after seeing the dancing of the devotees at night, He took His supper.
tomä uddhärite gaura äilä äpane
chuöila tomära yata vighnädi-bandhane
“Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, Gaurahari, came here personally to deliver you. Now rest assured that all the impediments meant for your bondage are gone.
svarüpera sthäne tomä karibe samarpaëe
‘antaraìga’ bhåtya bali’ räkhibe caraëe
“Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu will accept you and place you under the charge of His secretary, Svarüpa Dämodara. You will thus become one of the most confidential internal servants and will attain the shelter of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
niçcinta haïä yäha äpana-bhavana
acire nirvighne päbe caitanya-caraëa”
“Being assured of all this, return to your own home. Very soon, without impediments, you will attain the shelter of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.”
saba bhakta-dväre täìre äçérväda karäilä
täì-sabära caraëa raghunätha vandilä
Lord Nityänanda had Raghunätha däsa blessed by all the devotees, and Raghunätha däsa offered his respects to their lotus feet.
prabhu-äjïä laïä vaiñëavera äjïä la-ilä
räghava-sahite nibhåte yukti karilä
After taking leave of Lord Nityänanda Prabhu and then all the other Vaiñëavas, Sré Raghunätha däsa consulted secretly with Räghava Paëòita.
yukti kari’ çata mudrä, soëä tolä-säte
nibhåte dilä prabhura bhäëòäréra häte
After consulting with Räghava Paëòita, he secretly delivered one hundred gold coins and about seven toläs of gold to the hand of Nityänanda Prabhu’s treasurer.
täìre niñedhilä,——“prabhure ebe nä kahibä
nija-ghare yäbena yabe tabe nivedibä”
Raghunätha däsa admonished the treasurer, “Do not speak about this to Lord Nityänanda Prabhu now, but when He returns home, kindly inform Him about this presentation.”
tabe räghava-paëòita täìre ghare laïä gelä
öhäkura darçana karäïä mälä-candana dilä
Thereupon, Räghava Paëòita took Raghunätha däsa to his home. After inducing him to see the Deity, he gave Raghunätha däsa a garland and sandalwood pulp.
aneka ‘prasäda’ dilä pathe khäibäre
tabe punaù raghunätha kahe paëòitere
He gave Raghunätha däsa a large quantity of prasäda to eat on his way home. Then Raghunätha däsa again spoke to Räghava Paëòita.
“prabhura saìge yata mahänta, bhåtya äçrita jana
püjite cähiye ämi sabära caraëa
“I want to give money,” he said, “just to worship the lotus feet of all the great devotees, servants and subservants of Lord Nityänanda Prabhu.
biça, païca-daça, bära, daça, païca haya
mudrä deha’ vicäri’ yära yata yogya haya
“As you think fit, give twenty, fifteen, twelve, ten or five coins to each of them.”
saba lekhä kariyä räghava-päça dilä
yäìra näme yata räghava ciöhi lekhäilä
Raghunätha däsa drew up an account of the amount to be given and submitted it to Räghava Paëòita, who then made up a list showing how much money was to be paid to each and every devotee.
eka-çata mudrä ära soëä tolä-dvaya
paëòitera äge dila kariyä vinaya
With great humility, Raghunätha däsa placed one hundred gold coins and about two toläs of gold before Räghava Paëòita for all the other devotees.
täìra pada-dhüli laïä svagåhe äilä
nityänanda-kåpä päïä kåtärtha mänilä
After taking dust from the feet of Räghava Paëòita, Raghunätha däsa returned to his home, feeling greatly obligated to Lord Nityänanda Prabhu because of having received His merciful benediction.
Following things were used in that DOI CHIRA MOHOTSAV:-
1. Chipped Rice(Cira)
2. Mango 930 kg
3. Jackfruit 1000 kg
4. Banana 6000 nos.
5. Yoghurt 415 kg
6. Milk 412 kg
7. Sugarcane Extract(Gur) 400 kg
8. Sugar 100 kg
The quantity of sweet and dryfood used in this auspisious day also broke
the previous recrod. We have made it grand by all Vaishnavs' mercy.
.....and just to give a size perspective to the pots as seen on the altar.
http://www.chakra.org/announcements/eventsMay21_06.html (May 21st 2006)
The making of the Panihati pots http://www.flickr.com/photos/22157592@N00/
Panihati even to this day remains the rice trading capital of Bengal, and as many of you would know Bengal is the rice capital of India. In India they decide that as well as puffing the rice they can flatten the rice. This makes for a variety in taste and it is easily digested and cools the Body.
There are many varieties of the Ciradadhi, the base of it is usually as mentioned in Chaitanya Charitamrita; two pots were brought by each devotee one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of chipped rice soaked in condensed milk. There are also many nice fruits such as bananas, mango, chikoo, papaya, etc different sugars, rose water, saffron, camphor, etc etc......that are carefully and tastefully combined making a suptuous feast for the Lord. So some are sweet with yogurt, and some are sweet with condensed milk (khoya), and some are salty with yogurt.........
Here are the references:
ciòä, dadhi, dugdha, sandeça, ära cini, kalä
saba dravya änäïä caudike dharilä
Raghunätha däsa brought chipped rice, yogurt, milk, sweetmeats, sugar, bananas and other eatables and placed them all around.
‘mahotsava’-näma çuni’ brähmaëa-sajjana
äsite lägila loka asaìkhya-gaëana
As soon as they heard that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brähmaëas and other gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people.
ära grämäntara haite sämagré änila
çata dui-cäri holnä täìhä änäila
Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunätha däsa arranged to get more eatables from other villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round earthen pots.
baòa baòa måt-kuëòikä änäila päìca säte
eka vipra prabhu lägi’ ciòä bhijäya täte
He also obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a brähmaëa began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lord Nityänanda.
.eka-öhäïi tapta-dugdhe ciòä bhijäïä
ardheka chänila dadhi, cini, kalä diyä
In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots. Then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas.
ära ardheka ghanävåta-dugdhete chänila
cäìpä-kalä, cini, ghåta, karpüra täte dila
The other half was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as cäìpä-kalä. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added.
We intend in the futre to have a list of nice preparations here, so if any of you visiting this page would like to contribute even what you offer in your temple for the Lord at this time it would allow us to futher relish the options that were and are available during this wonderful festive occassion as the Lord and His devotees exchanged loving mellows.
or just below
Panihati Chida Dadhi Festival Recipes HERE:
Panihati Chida dahi - Ganges Curd Upma
Cabbage, 1/2 Head
Brussel Sprouts, 8
Yam, orange, 1 Large
Peas, 1 Cup
Tomatoes, 1 Cup
Semolina, 4 Cups
Water, 7 Cups
Butter, 3/4 Pound
Coriander seeds, 2 Teaspoons
Cumin seeds, 2 Teaspoons
Red Chili flakes, 1 Teaspoon
Asofoetida, 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric, 1 Teaspoon
Rosemary, 1/2 Teaspoon
Cinnamon, 1/4 Teaspoon
Nutmeg, 1/8 Teaspoon
Salt, To Taste
Black Pepper, medium grind, 4 Tablespoons
Yoghurt, 4 Cups
Ghee, 2 Tablespoons
Curry leaves, fresh, 6
Coriander powder, 1 Teaspoon
Cumin powder, 1 Teaspoon
Garam Masala, 1 Teaspoon
Coarsely shred the cabbage and chop all the other vegetables into small bits. Chaunce the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red peppers, and asofoetida. Add all the vegetables and fry until just cooked. Add 2 Tablespoons butter along with turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until the cabbage is done, then add all remaining butter and let melt. Next add the semolina and stir well. Should become the consistency of halvah. Stir and cook on medium heat until grains are lightly toasted, to darken a few shades.
Add warm water and bring to a boil. Add salt and black pepper (don’t be shy with the pepper), then the semolina. Continue stirring until all water is absorbed, and lumps are out of the grain. Cover and set aside.
Make a chaunce with curry leaves, coriander and cumin powder and garam masala. Once spices are darkened, add to the yoghurt and blend well. Put a nicely shaped mound of upma in a small dish, pour a stream of yoghurt around the bottom, and offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Cracked Urad Dal
Urad dal, cracked, 2 Cups
Water, 10 Cups
Tomatoes, 2 Cups
Turmeric, 1 Teaspoon
Ginger, fresh, 1 Inch
Salt, To taste
Black Pepper, 2 Teaspoons
Cumin seeds, 2 Teaspoons
Anise seeds, 1 Teaspoon
Asofoetida, 1 Teaspoon
Red chilis, flakes, 1/2 Teaspoon
Cook the dal in the usual way, adding chopped tomatoes, turmeric, minced ginger, salt and black pepper to the water. Bring to a slow boil and cook, covered for 4 to 5 hours. Stir occasionally and add ghee or water (scant water) as needed to keep from sticking. Just before offering, make a chaunce with the remaining seeds and spices, and add to dal, mixing well.
Panihati Chida dahi - Banana Chapatis with Orange Cardamom Butter
Whole Wheat Flour, 4 Cups
Bananas, ripe, 2
Milk, As needed
Ghee, 2 Tablespoons
Butter , 1/2 Pound
Cardamom powder, 1/2 Teaspoon
Orange juice, 1 Teaspoon
Orange zest, 2 Tablespoons
Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Mash the banana and add to bowl. Add warm milk, as needed, to the flour and banana and knead it into a dough. Add a tablespoon of ghee to the dough, and knead for 8 minutes or so, until pliant and non-sticky. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Make chapatis in the usual way, rolling dough into balls, heating a griddle or tawa. Roll out balls to flat chapatis, sprinkle a little flour on and re-roll and flatten as needed, because the banana makes the dough sticky. On final roll-out, brush the chapati with ghee then fry until it puffs. Take off griddle and toast over a grill for a moment, then butter and cover until ready to offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Cauliflower & Red Pepper Sabji
Cauliflower, 2 Large
Red Bell Peppers, 4 Large
Cream Cheese, 16 Ounces
Cilantro, 3 Bunches
Black Pepper, coarse ground, 3 Tablespoons
Ghee or Olive Oil, 1/4 Cup
Jaggery, 1/8 Cup
Clean the cauliflower and break down into large florets. Spread out on a baking sheet and coat well with ghee or olive oil (spray or brush on). Put under the broiler and turn the florets every 10 minutes or so, until all sides of the florets are toasty brown (or black-ish). In a heavy bottom pot, put 1/8 cup of water, add the cauliflower, the bell peppers cut into long strips (about ¼” thick), and two or three handfuls of chopped cilantro. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and toss on top, then sprinkle the jaggery. Cover pot and put on low heat for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally to help break the cream cheese up, but try not to break the cauliflower florets apart. Swishing the liquid around the pot, up into the sabji, will also help melt the cream cheese. This sabji can sit and slow cook with almost no attention, and the least stirring the better.
Panihati Chida dahi - Dry Peas and Paneer in Lemon
Chenna, 1-1/2 Pounds
Milk for Chenna, 1 Gallon
Lemon Juice for Chenna, 1/2 Cup
Peas, fresh or frozen, 2 Cups
Sour Cream, 1/2 Cup
Ginger, fresh, 1 Inch
Cumin Seeds, 2 Teaspoons
Curry Leaves, 10
Turmeric, 3/4 Teaspoon
Cayenne, 1/4 Teaspoon
Coriander leaves, fresh, 3 Tablespoons
Salt, To taste
Make chenna in the usual way. Press at heavy weight for 40 minutes. Fry in ghee until crispy and golden. Set aside. Cut all the lemons in half and carefully take a small slice off the bottom so the half will sit evenly, like a cup. Using a melon baller or small sharp knife, remove all the membrane from all the halves, so they’re relatively empty. Turn upside down and set aside.
Make a chaunce with the cumin seeds, then the curry leaves and brown. Add the minced ginger and brown. Add the turmeric, cayenne, and half the coriander leaves, then add the chenna and fry till fully coated, for about 5 minutes with pan covered. Add the peas and sour cream, reduce heat and cook, covered, for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Stuff each lemon half full of the chenna/pea mixture, sprinkle with a little fresh coriander, and offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Rava Idli
Basmati Rice, parboiled, 2 Cups
Urad Dal (black gram), 1 Cup
Salt, To taste
Soak the rice and dal separately for 5 hours. Soak the rice in four cups of water, and the dal in two cups of water. Again separately, drain the dal and blend in a food processor to a fine paste, using scant water as needed. Then do the same for the rice. Now mix the two together into a blended batter. Add salt to taste, cover, and let sit in a warm spot for 8 to 12 hours, to ferment. When ready to cook, gently make balls and flatten between your hands (grease hands with ghee, if needed). Don’t stir the batter, as the air trapped in it makes the idli a nice, fluffy consistency. Steam the idli in a pressure cooker without weight, or in a steamer pot, for 15 to 20 minutes and offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Aloo Kerala Fry
Potatoes, white or Yukon, 3 Large
Bitter Melon (kerala), 2 Medium
Ghee, 3 Tablespoons
Cayenne, 1/2 Teaspoon
Horseradish, 1 Teaspoon
Coconut, grated, 2 Tablespoons
Lime Juice, 1/2 Tablespoons
Salt, To taste
Flour, pastry, 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Ghee, For frying
Clean the seeds and membrane out of the bitter melon and slice or dice them. Salt well and let sit under weight for about 20 minutes. Wash all salt off, drain, and pat dry. Peel and boil the potatoes until they’re fork soft. Mash the potatoes just to break down, and mix the bitter melon in. Add all other ingredients except the ghee for frying. Mix well, and form into patties. Put a little ghee in a frying pan and pan fry the patties until reddish-brown on both sides. Remove, drain, and offer.
Stuffed Baby White Eggplant
Baby white eggplant, 15
Almond butter, fresh ground, 4 Cups
Red Chilis, flakes, 1-1/2 Teaspoons
Basil, fresh, 2 Cups
Ginger, 3 Inches
Lemongrass, 5 Stalks
Ghee, 2 Teaspoons
Choose eggplants that are pure white, if possible, about the size and
shape of a large egg. Slice in half, leaving the step cap on the top half.
Using a small melon baller or spoon, scoop out a small area in the center,
about the size of a unshelled walnut. Save the discarded eggplant for
later use. Wash the lemongrass, and carefully peel off as many individual
leaves as you can, keeping them as intact as possible. This gets difficult
the close you peel down to center, but working with 5 stalks, you just
need enough to have one leaf for each complete eggplant.
Heat the ghee and fry the red chilis until a little brown. Add the minced
ginger and fry until crisp. Chop the fresh basil into small pieces and add,
frying for just another minute until soft and flavor has released into the
ghee. Remove from heat and add to the almond butter, blending in
completely. Use this mixture to fill the hollow spaces in each eggplant
half. Don’t overfill, because you’ll want to put the two pieces snugly back
together. Hold two halves together (it helps if you match them up as you
cut them) and wrap a band of lemongrass around the center cut tightly.
Wrap the stuffed eggplant in tin foil, pressing tight to keep the
lemongrass in place. Seal the foil closed, but leave the top edges
accessible so the bundle is easy to open later. Stand upright in a baking
dish and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 to 45 minutes.
Don’t open the foil until ready to offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Baigan Sarson
Mustard Greens, large leaves, 30
Eggplant, 2 Medium
Mustard seeds, 1-1/2 Teaspoons
Asofoetida, 1 Teaspoon
Cumin powder, 2 Teaspoons
Ginger powder, 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric, 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, 2 Teaspoons
Ghee, For frying
Blanche the mustard greens just enough so they’re pliant to work with. Drain, pat dry, and set aside. Make a chuance with the mustard seeds until they splutter, then add the turmeric and black pepper. Finely dice the eggplant and fry in the chaunce, stirring often, until the eggplant is soft inside and crispy outside. Set aside to cool. Lay the mustard leaves out flat, dab off any extra moisture. Lightly sprinkle with ginger powder on one side only (the ‘up’ side). When eggplant has cooled enough to handle, evenly distribute the eggplant mixture onto each of the leaves. Form the stuffing in a rectangular shape, then roll the leave up around the filling, tucking the corners into make as compact and sealed a bundle as possible, without tear the leaf. Use toothpicks (uncolored) to hold the bundle together. Drop into hot ghee and fry for a few minutes, turning at least once. When the leave has crisped nicely, and before the stuffing begins to escape through any cracks, remove gently with a slotted spoon and drain. Offer hot or at room temperature.
Panihati Chida dahi - Roasted Okra Raita
Okra, fresh, 1 Pound
Chickpea Flour (Besan), 1/2 Cup
Garam Masala, 2 Teaspoons
Cayenne, 1/2 Teaspoon
Coriander powder, 3 Teaspoons
Ghee or olive oil, 3 Tablespoons
Yoghurt, 1-1/2 Cups
Cumin, roasted and ground, 1/2 Tablespoon
Salt, To taste
Black Pepper, 1 Teaspoon
Parsley, fresh, 2 Tablespoons
Cut the fresh okra into 1” pieces. Mix together the besan, garam masala, cayenne and coriander powder. Coat the okra in this spice mixture, then set on a baking sheet, spray with ghee or olive oil, and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until brown and crispy. Remove and let cool. Blend together the ground cumin, salt, pepper and yoghurt. Gently fold the okra into the yogurt, sprinkle with parsley, and chill until ready to offer.
Panihati Chida-Dadhi Pots
Clay pots (or halved small coconuts), 2 per person
Banana Leaves, As needed
Chipped Rice (chida), 8 Cups
Milk, 1 Gallon
Heavy Cream, 1 Pint
Yoghurt (dadhi), 2-1/2 Quarts (10 Cups)
Sugar, 7 Cups
Bananas, just ripe, 15
Ghee, 4 Tablespoons
Camphor, Two Pinches
Nutmeg, powder, 1/8 Teaspoon
Cinnamon, powder, 1/8 Teaspoon
Cardamom, 1/4 Teaspoon
Clay pots can be gotten at many Indian grocery stores today. Most are meant for puja, so they’re not necessarily ‘food grade’. If needed, you can lightly steam banana leaves to make them pliant, then shape them so they fit nicely as liners in the clay pots. This is particularly helpful if a lot of time will elapse between arranging the chida-dadhi bowls and offering them. If clay pots aren’t available, you can use small coconut shells that have been halved. Shave a little slice off the bottom so they’ll sit flat.
Heat the milk in a heavy bottom pot, then add the chip rice. Let it soak just long enough to soften, but don’t let it get mushy or begin to break down. Pour the pot contents through a fine sieve, separating the rice out and setting aside. Put the milk back in the pot, add the heavy cream, and continue cooking at a low boil until the volume of milk is reduced to the desired consistency (1/2 to 1/3 the original volume). When the kheer is ready, and just before offering, divide the chip rice into two portions. Blend the sugar, ground nutmeg and cinnamon well with the yoghurt. Thin slice half the bananas and fold gently into yoghurt. Add ½ the rice to yoghurt and put in pots, ready to offer. Mix the ghee, sugar, cardamom and camphor into the kheer. Thin slice the remaining bananas and gently fold into the kheer. Put in clay pots and offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Gunja-Mala Malpoora
Flour, self-raising, 2-1/8 Cups
Powdered Sugar, 1 Cup
Ghee, For frying
Yoghurt, 5 Cups
Sugar, 3/4 Cup
Red Raspberries, 1-1/2 Cup
Black Raspberries (or Blueberries), 1/2 Cup
Celery Stalks, 6
To make the gunja-mala garlands, carefully strip long threads off the celery stalks and set aside. The threads should be six to eight inches long, and have one end that’s fairly thick or stiff. Gently wash, drain and pat dry ½ cup of each type of berry. Thread the berries onto the celery string, like beads on a necklace, alternating colors as you go. Create garlands just long enough to settle snugly around the fried Malpooras. Tie them off, or double thread one end to hold the circle.
Sift the flour and powdered sugar, and add up to 1-1/4 cups chilled water, as needed, to get a batter that’s thick, but pour-able. Mix in two tablespoons of yoghurt. The batter should cling to your spoon. Set batter aside to rest for 15 minutes, covered. Heat the ghee in a wok or deep pan. Using a tablespoon, put heaping spoonfuls of batter into the hot ghee, frying until they increase in size. Gently roll over, and fry the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain.
Puree remaining 1 cup of the Red Raspberries and force through a sieve. Set the fruit pulp aside for later use in another prep. Add the strained raspberry juice to the yoghurt, add granulated sugar and mix well. Set the fried Malpooras in a serving dish and cover with the yoghurt mixture. Gently place a berry mala on top of each, and offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Buttermilk in Leaf Cups
Buttermilk, 1 Pint
Banana Leaves, As needed
Chill the buttermilk. Lightly steam the banana leaves so they’re pliant enough to work with. You can shape the leaf cups in various ways. One way is to make a cone shape, then reinforce the bottom to block the hole. Another way is to criss-cross several rectangular shapes to form an enclosed bottom, then wind pieces around to form the sides of the cup. Since the cup will be holding buttermilk, it needs to pretty watertight. The cups can be fairly small, holding only a few ounces of buttermilk. You can also offer/serve the cups by nestling them down into the Upma. That way, any leakage will only be a good thing. Soft, slightly damp banana leaves crimp nicely. If needed, you can finish off the cup construction with a toothpick to hold pieces together.
Panihati Chida dahi - Rhubarb & Dried Cherry Chutney
Rhubarb, fresh, 1 Pound
Green Apple, tart, 1
Dried Cherries, 3/4 Cup
Jaggery, 1-3/4 Cups
Ginger, fresh, 2 Inches
Mustard seeds, yellow, 2 Tablespoons
Salt, 2 Teaspoons
Coriander powder, 2 Teaspoons
Lemon juice, 1 Cup
Corn Syrup, light, 1/8 Cup
Asofoetida, 1/4 Teaspoon
Chop the rhubarb and apple into small pieces. In a heavy bottom pot, combine all ingredients except lemon juice and corn syrup. Heat to a slow boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and corn syrup, stir well, and cook uncovered over medium-high heat for another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Chutney should get thick and somewhat glazed. Remove from heat, let cool for 10 minutes, and offer.
Panihati Chida dahi - Lime Cooler
Sugar, 1-1/2 Cup
Honey, 1-1/2 Cup
Ginger, 3 Inches
Anise, 5 Stars
Mint, fresh, Handful
Zest a dozen of the limes, and set the zest aside. Squeeze the fresh
lime juice and remove all seeds and large bits of membrane. Make a small
bag of clean linen or several layers of cheesecloth, and put the minced
ginger, anise stars and lime zest inside. Mix the lime juice, sugar and
honey together, submerge the spice bag in the liquid, and let sit for 5
or 6 hours. Remove the bag and discard (or use later in another prep).
Put ¼ cup of the lime syrup in an 8 ounce glass (or less, proportionate
to cup size), fill with crushed or cracked ice, and top off the glass with
chilled water. Add a sprig of fresh mint on top and offer.
Snana yatra in Puri 2003
Snan yatra at Soho St temple in London
A special bath of Jagannath takes place on the Purnima of Jyestha month (Devasnan Purnima), to commemorate the appearance day of Lord Jagannath.
According to Skanda Purana when Raja Indradyumna installed the wooden deities he arranged this bathing ceremony. This day considered to be the birth-day of Lord jagannath. Held in the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha this festival is also simultaneously held in all other important Puri, it attracts thousands of visitors and pilgrims from all over the country.
'Niladri Mohadaya', a religious text written in Orissan (Oriya) records the rituals of the festival. Sriharsa in his 'naisadhiya Charita' (XV.89) also refers to this festival of Purushottama. This bathing ceremony has a speciality. As this festival does not find mention in the early religious texts, it is believed to be a tribal ceremony. Lord.Jagannath in His early form was being worshipped as Nilamadhava by a Savara chief called Viswabasu. The story is nicely told in the drama Jagannath Priyan natakam. Till now it is the Daitas and Savars (tribals) who have the exclusive right to conduct the festival. The tribals called Saoras (of southern Orissa) still perform a rite to bath their Deities ceremonially on the last day of the month of Jyestha. For this they collect water from remote Jungles where it remains untouched even by the shadow of the animals.
On the previous day of Snana Yatra the images of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra along with the image of Sudarshana are ceremonially brought out from the sanctum in a procession to the Snana-vedi (Bathing pandal). This special pandal in the temple precinct of Puri is called Snana Mandap. It is at such a height that visitors standing outside the temple also gate a glimpse of the Deities.
On the fourteenth day (Chaturdashi - the day before the bathing
- Purnima) when the Deities are taken out in procession, the whole process
is called Pahandi or Pahandi vijay. Scholars have given different interpretations
of the term ('Pahandi'). Some opine that it has been derived from the term
'Praspanda' meaning movement. Some others are inclined to interpret it
as derivation from Pandya vijaya.
For the festival the the Snana Vedi (bathing platform) is well decorated with traditional paintings of trees and gardens. Flags and toranas (arches strung with mango leaves) are also put up. The Deities are profusely decorated with flowers. All kinds of perfumes such as Dhupa (incense), Aguru (oils) etc. are then offered. As the 'Pahandi' of the Deities takes place to the accompaniment of music and beating of various indigenous drums. Thousands of devotees jostle and crave for a look at the Deities in procession.
In Puri the bathing procedure is as follows: After Mangala Arati, the Suaras and Mahasuaras go in a ceremonial procession to fetch water from Suna Kua (Golden well) in one hundred and thirty, vessels of copper and gold. All of them cover their mouths with a piece of cloth so as not to contaminate it even with their breath. Then all the vessels filled with water are preserved in the Bhoga Mandap. The Palla pandas (a class of Brahmin priests) then purify the water with Haridra (turmeric), Java (whole rice), Benachera, Chandan, Aguru, flowers, perfumes and medicinal herbs.
The bathing festival takes place during the morning hours of the purnima tithi. The filled vessels are carried from Bhoga Mandap to the Snana Vedi by the Suaras in a long single-line procession. This ritual is called 'Jaladhibasa' (Jala - water, abhishek - bath).
Prior to the bathing ceremony Jagannath, Baladeva and is Subhadra, covered in silken cloth and then smeared with red powder, are taken in procession to a platform which is specially decorated and purified with water and incense. One hundred and eight gold vessels are filled with water taken from a special well containing waters from all the holy tirthas. Abhiseka is performed with this water, accompanied by the chanting of vedic (Pavamana Sukta) mantras, kirtana and blowing of conch shells.
Due to the amount of bathing liquids that are offered to cool the Lord's transcendental body at this time, bear in mind that this is the hottest time in India just prior to the refreshing monsoon rains, His painted form takes a bit of a wash-out. The colouration of the Deity's faces are painted on with natural earthly mineral paints not modern oil based paints, so when water is applied to cool Their forms it also has the effect of washing away the features of he former painting. As usual the Lord has a plan to make everything go smoothly. To bridge the episode of His bathing and the period that He comes out to bless everyone for Rathyatra He organized some special pastimes by which he devotees can serve Him and remember His wonderful forms.
So to keep a wonderful mood of seeing the Lord in an uplifting manner the Lord arranged for the Hati Vesha festival where Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balaram then puts on the elephant dress, Hati Vesha, and Lady Subhadra wears a lotus flower vesha.
Melbourne, Australia 2001
Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra (from London's Soho St. temple) perform Hati Vesha (elephant mask) festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Sunday 6th June, 2004.
The original story is told in several different ways, some call Hati snan (elephant bath) some call Ganesh abhishek as they identify the following story as being the original cause of the Lord to wear this elephant vesh for His devotee: It is said that a staunch devotee of Lord Ganesh and himself a profound scholar visited Puri during Snana Yatra. He was amply rewarded by the king of Orissa for his scholarship. The king asked the scholar to accompany him to see Lord Jagannath which he refused under the pretext that he wouldn't worship any "God" other than his Ishthadevata Ganesh. Somehow he was persuaded and brought before the Snana vedi. To the utter surprise of all, Lord Jagannath appeared with an elephantine form that resembled as Ganesh. Since then during Snana Yatra when the sacred bath is performed, the Deities are dressed like like elephants - resembling Ganesh. Various other legends are also told and reasons assigned explaining the Ganesh besa (vesha).
During the sacred bath the colours painted on the images generally fade. seeing the wooden deities in discolour devotees may not have the appropriate devotional attitude and in fact may feel sinful repugnance. For this reason, the images are immediately dressed in the Hati vesha (besa) in which they remain mostly covered.
After the Snana Yatra, the Deities are kept away from public view for fifteen days and during all these days the daily rites of the temple remain suspended. As Jagannatha himself instructed, after this ceremony, he is not seen for a fortnight. The Deities are kept on a special "sick room" called the Ratan vedi inside the temple. This period is called 'Anabasara kala' meaning improper time for worship. It has been said earlier that the Deities are discoloured as a result of the sacred bath - some say look a bit off colour........ During these fifteen days the Daitas (descendants of Viswavasu, the Savara) repaint and restore the Deities and Jagannath's fine decorations. The period of colouring and decorating the Deities is divided into seven short periods, each of two days duration, and a short period of one day set apart to give finishing touches. Thus the period covers the whole fortnight. On the 16th day the Deities in their new forms after renovation become ready for the public view - darshan. The festival of the first appearance of the Lord Jagannath to his devotees is called Netrotsava (festival for the eyes) or Nava Yauvanotsava (festival of the ever new youth). According to priests of the Jagannath temple the devotee washes away all his sins if he gets a vision of the Lord on this day. On this occasion, therefore, great rush of people occurs in the temple.
The Shilpa Shastras and Agamas testify that the Deities become suitable for worship only after the performance of the rite of 'Chakshyu Unmilana' (Opening of the eyes). During 'Anabasara', the Daitas offer to the Deities only fruits and water mixed with cheese, and and Dasa mula medicines to cure his fever.. In a devotional mood the devotees accept that due to all the bathing the Lord becomes transcendentally poorly, and therefore needs to take rest. Like human beings they are considered to have fallen ill and are treated by the Raj Vaidya or the King's physician with specific medicines (Dasamulas).
The temple-festivals which are held in a bigger and elaborate scale in the important shrines of Puri and Bhubaneswar are also held simultaneously in all other small shrines of the respective Deities, though in modest scales. Likewise the Snana Yatra is held in many other temples of Orissa, and now all over the world.
Other deities may also receive abhiseka on this day. One should perform puja and bathe the Deities with water or panca gavya and pancamrta while chanting the vedic mantras like purusa sukta.
Snan yatra significance and festival explained
Snan yatra as performed in London's Bhaktivedanta Manor - June 2002
Rathyatra of Lord Jagannath
In his Amåta-praväha-bhäñya,
Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura summarizes this chapter
The King of Orissa, Mahäräja Pratäparudra, tried his best to see Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Çréla Nityänanda Prabhu and the other devotees informed the Lord about the King’s desire, but Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu would not agree to see him. At that time Çré Nityänanda Prabhu devised a plan, and He sent a piece of the Lord’s outward garment to the King. The next day, when Rämänanda Räya again entreated Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu to see the King, the Lord, denying the request, asked Rämänanda Räya to bring the King’s son before Him. The prince visited the Lord dressed like a Vaiñëava, and this awakened remembrance of Kåñëa. Thus Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu delivered the son of Mahäräja Pratäparudra.
After this, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu washed the Guëòicä temple before the Ratha-yäträ took place. He then took His bath at Indradyumna Lake and partook of prasäda in the garden nearby. While Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu washed the temple of Guëòicä, a Gauòéya Vaiñëava washed the lotus feet of the Lord and drank the water. This incident is very significant, for it awoke within the devotee ecstatic love. Then again, the son of Advaita Prabhu named Gopäla fainted during kértana, and when he did not come to his senses, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu favored him by awakening him. There was also some humorous talk between Nityänanda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu during prasäda. Advaita Prabhu said that Nityänanda Prabhu was unknown to anyone and that it was not the duty of a householder brähmaëa to accept dinner with a person unknown in society. In answer to this humorous statement, Çré Nityänanda Prabhu replied that Advaita Äcärya was a monist and that one could not know how his mind could be turned by eating with such an impersonalist. The conversation of these two prabhus—Nityänanda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu—carried a deep meaning that only an intelligent man can understand. After all the Vaiñëavas finished their luncheon, Svarüpa Dämodara and others took their prasäda within the room. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu took great pleasure when He saw the Jagannätha Deity after the period of the Deity’s retirement. At that time Lord Caitanya was accompanied by all the devotees, and all of them were very much pleased.
sammärjayan kñälanataù sa gauraù
sva-citta-vac chétalam ujjvalaà ca
çré-guëòicä—known as Guëòicä; mandiram—the temple; ätma-våndaiù—with His associates; sammärjayan—washing; kñälanataù—by cleansing; saù—that; gauraù—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; sva-citta-vat—like His own heart; çétalam—cool and calm; ujjvalam—bright and clean; ca—and; kåñëa—of Lord Çré Kåñëa; upaveça—for the sitting; aupayikam—befitting; cakära—made.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu washed and cleansed the Guëòicä temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made the temple as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the place befitting for Lord Çré Kåñëa to sit.
jaya jaya gauracandra jaya nityänanda
jayädvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vånda
jaya jaya—all glories; gauracandra—to Gauracandra, Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; jaya—all glories; nityänanda—to Nityänanda Prabhu; jaya—all glories; advaita-candra—to Advaita Prabhu; jaya—all glories; gaura-bhakta-vånda—to the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
All glories to Gauracandra! All glories to Nityänanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to the devotees of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu!
jaya jaya çréväsädi gaura-bhakta-gaëa
çakti deha,—kari yena caitanya varëana
jaya jaya—all glories; çréväsa-ädi—headed by Çréväsa Öhäkura; gaura-bhakta-gaëa—to the devotees of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; çakti deha—please give me power; kari yena—so that I may do; caitanya—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; varëana—description.
All glories to the devotees of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, headed by Çréväsa Öhäkura! I beg their power so that I can properly describe Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
pürve dakñiëa haite prabhu yabe äilä
täìre milite gajapati utkaëöhita hailä
pürve—formerly; dakñiëa haite—from South India; prabhu—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; yabe—when; äilä—returned; täìre—Him; milite—to meet; gajapati—the King of Orissa; utkaëöhita—full of anxieties; hailä—became.
When Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu returned from His South Indian tour, Mahäräja Pratäparudra, the King of Orissa, became very anxious to meet Him.
kaöaka haite patré dila särvabhauma-öhäïi
prabhura äjïä haya yadi, dekhibäre yäi
kaöaka haite—from Kaöaka, the capital of Orissa; patré—a letter; dila—sent; särvabhauma—of Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya; öhäïi—to the place; prabhura—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; äjïä—order; haya—there is; yadi—if; dekhibäre yäi—I can go and see.
The King sent a letter from his capital, Kaöaka, to Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya, entreating him to obtain the Lord’s permission so that he could go and see Him.
bhaööäcärya likhila,—prabhura äjïä nä haila
punarapi räjä täìre patré päöhäila
bhaööäcärya likhila—Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya replied; prabhura—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; äjïä—order; nä—not; haila—there is; punarapi—again; räjä—the King; täìre—unto him; patré—a letter; päöhäila—dispatched.
Replying to the King’s letter, the Bhaööäcärya wrote that Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu had not given His permission. After this, the King wrote him another letter.
prabhura nikaöe äche yata bhakta-gaëa
mora lägi’ täì-sabäre kariha nivedana
prabhura nikaöe—in the place of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; äche—there are; yata—all; bhakta-gaëa—devotees; mora lägi’—for me; täì-sabäre—unto all of them; kariha—please submit; nivedana—petition.
In this letter the King requested Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya, “Please appeal to all the devotees associated with Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and submit this petition to them on my behalf.
sei saba dayälu more haïä sadaya
mora lägi’ prabhu-pade karibe vinaya
sei saba—all of them; dayälu—merciful; more—unto me; haïä—becoming; sa-daya—favorably disposed; mora lägi’—for me; prabhu-pade—at the lotus feet of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; karibe—will do; vinaya—humble submission.
“If all the devotees associated with the Lord are favorably disposed toward me, they can submit my petition at the lotus feet of the Lord.
täì-sabära prasäde mile çré-prabhura päya
prabhu-kåpä vinä mora räjya nähi bhäya
täì-sabära prasäde—by the mercy of all of them; mile—one gets; çré-prabhura päya—the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; prabhu-kåpä—the mercy of the Lord; vinä—without; mora—my; räjya—kingdom; nähi—does not; bhäya—appeal to me.
“By the mercy of all the devotees, one can attain the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. Without His mercy, my kingdom does not appeal to me.
yadi more kåpä nä karibe gaurahari
räjya chäòi’ yogé ha-i’ ha-iba bhikhäré
yadi—if; more—unto me; kåpä—mercy; nä—not; karibe—will do; gaurahari—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; räjya chäòi’—giving up the kingdom; yogé—mendicant; ha-i’—becoming; ha-iba—I shall become; bhikhäré—a beggar.
“If Gaurahari, Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, will not show mercy to me, I shall give up my kingdom, become a mendicant and beg from door to door.”
bhaööäcärya patré dekhi’ cintita haïä
bhakta-gaëa-päça gelä sei patré laïä
bhaööäcärya—Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya; patré—the letter; dekhi’—seeing; cintita haïä—becoming very anxious; bhakta-gaëa—all the devotees; päça—near; gelä—went; sei—that; patré—letter; laïä—taking.
When the Bhaööäcärya received this letter, he became very anxious. He then took the letter and went to the devotees of the Lord.
sabäre miliyä kahila räja-vivaraëa
piche sei patré sabäre karäila daraçana
sabäre—everyone; miliyä—meeting; kahila—said; räja-vivaraëa—description of the King’s desire; piche—later; sei patré—that letter; sabäre—unto everyone; karäila daraçana—showed.
Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya met with all the devotees and described the King’s wishes. Then he presented the letter to all of them for inspection.
patré dekhi’ sabära mane ha-ila vismaya
prabhu-pade gajapatira eta bhakti haya!!
patré—the letter; dekhi’—seeing; sabära—of everyone; mane—in the mind; ha-ila—there was; vismaya—astonishment; prabhu-pade—unto the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; gajapatira—of the King of Orissa; eta—so much; bhakti—devotion; haya—there is.
Upon reading the letter, everyone was astonished to see that King Pratäparudra had so much devotion for the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
sabe kahe,—prabhu täìre kabhu nä milibe
ämi-saba kahi yadi, duùkha se mänibe
sabe kahe—everyone said; prabhu—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; täìre—unto him; kabhu—at any time; nä—not; milibe—would see; ämi-saba—all of us; kahi—say; yadi—if; duùkha—unhappiness; se—Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; mänibe—will feel.
The devotees gave their opinion and said, “The Lord will never meet the King, and if we requested Him to do so, the Lord will surely feel very unhappy.”
särvabhauma kahe,—sabe cala’ eka-bära
milite nä kahiba, kahiba räja-vyavahära
särvabhauma kahe—Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya said; sabe cala’—let all of us go; eka-bära—once; milite—to meet; nä kahiba—we shall not request; kahiba—we shall simply describe; räja-vyavahära—the behavior of the King.
Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya then said, “We shall go once again to the Lord, but we shall not request Him to meet the King. Rather, we shall simply describe the good behavior of the King.”
eta bali’ sabe gelä mahäprabhura sthäne
kahite unmukha sabe, nä kahe vacane
eta bali’—deciding like this; sabe—all of them; gelä—went; mahäprabhura—of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; sthäne—to the place; kahite—to speak; unmukha—ready; sabe—all; nä—do not; kahe—say; vacane—any word.
Having thus reached a decision, they all went to the place of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. There, although ready to speak, they could not even utter a word.
prabhu kahe,—ki kahite sabära ägamana
dekhiye kahite cäha,—nä kaha, ki käraëa?
prabhu kahe—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said; ki—what; kahite—to speak; sabära—of all of you; ägamana—there is the presence here; dekhiye—I see; kahite cäha—you want to speak; nä kaha—but do not speak; ki käraëa—what is the reason.
After they arrived at Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s place, the Lord, seeing them, said, “What have you all come here to say? I see that you want to say something, but you do not speak. What is the reason?”
nityänanda kahe,—tomäya cähi nivedite
nä kahile rahite näri, kahite bhaya citte
nityänanda kahe—Lord Nityänanda said; tomäya—unto You; cähi—we want; nivedite—to submit; nä kahile—if we do not speak; rahite näri—we cannot stay; kahite—but to speak; bhaya citte—we are very fearful.
Nityänanda Prabhu then said, “We want to tell You something. Although we cannot stay without speaking, we are still very much afraid to speak.
yogyäyogya tomäya saba cähi nivedite
tomä nä milile räjä cähe yogé haite
yogya—befitting; ayogya—not befitting; tomäya—unto You; saba—we all; cähi—want; nivedite—to submit; tomä—You; nä milile—if he does not meet; räjä—the King; cähe—wants; yogé haite—to become a mendicant.
“We want to submit before You something that may or may not be befitting. The matter is this: unless he sees You, the King of Orissa will become a mendicant.”
käëe mudrä la-i’ muïi ha-iba bhikhäré
räjya-bhoga nahe citte vinä gaurahari
käëe mudrä—a kind of earring; la-i’—taking; muïi—I; ha-iba—shall become; bhikhäré—a beggar; räjya-bhoga—enjoyment of the kingdom; nahe—not; citte—in the mind; vinä—without; gaurahari—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
Nityänanda Prabhu continued, “The King has decided to become a mendicant and accept the sign of a mendicant by wearing an ivory earring. He does not want to enjoy his kingdom without seeing the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.”
In India there is still a class of professional mendicants who are very much like the gypsies of Western countries. They know some magical art and mystical processes, and their business is to beg from door to door, sometimes pleading and sometimes threatening. Such mendicants are sometimes called yogés and sometimes käëaphäöä yogés. The word käëaphäöä refers to one who has put a hole in his ear to wear an earring made of ivory. Mahäräja Pratäparudra was so depressed by not getting to see Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu that he decided to become such a yogé. Ordinary men think that a yogé must have an ivory earring in his ear, but this is not the sign of a real yogé. Mahäräja Pratäparudra also thought that to become a mendicant yogé, one must wear such an earring.
dekhiba se mukha-candra nayana bhariyä
dhariba se päda-padma hådaye tuliyä
dekhiba—I shall see; se—that; mukha-candra—moonlike face; nayana bhariyä—to the fulfillment of the eyes; dhariba—I shall catch; se—those; päda-padma—lotus feet; hådaye—on my heart; tuliyä—raising.
Nityänanda Prabhu continued, “The King also expressed his desire to see the moonlike face of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu to his eye’s full satisfaction. He would like to raise the lotus feet of the Lord to his heart.”
yadyapi çuniyä prabhura komala haya mana
tathäpi bähire kahe niñöhura vacana
yadyapi—although; çuniyä—hearing; prabhura—of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; komala—softened; haya—becomes; mana—mind; tathäpi—still; bähire—externally; kahe—He says; niñöhura vacana—hard words.
Hearing all these statements, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s mind was certainly softened, but externally He wished to speak some harsh words.
tomä-sabära icchä,—ei ämäre laïä
räjäke milaha ihaì kaöakete giyä
tomä-sabära—of all of you; icchä—the desire; ei—is; ämäre laïä—taking Me; räjäke—the King; milaha—meet; ihaì—here; kaöakete giyä—by going to Kaöaka.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said, “I can understand that you all desire to take Me to Kaöaka to see the King.”
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu is naturally the reservoir of all kindness, and as soon as He heard the statement made by the King, His heart immediately softened. Thus the Lord was ready to go see the King even at Kaöaka. He did not even consider allowing the King to come from Kaöaka to Jagannätha Puré to see Him. It is significant that Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was so kind that He was ready to go see the King at Kaöaka. Apparently it was never expected that the King wanted to see the Lord at His place, but by way of being externally harsh, the Lord indicated that if all the devotees so desired, He would go to Kaöaka to see the King.
paramärtha thäkuka—loke karibe nindana
loke rahu—dämodara karibe bhartsana
parama-artha thäkuka—what to speak of spiritual advancement; loke—people in general; karibe nindana—will blaspheme; loke rahu—what to speak of people in general; dämodara—Dämodara Paëòita; karibe—will do; bhartsana—chastisement.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu continued, “What to speak of spiritual advancement—all the people will blaspheme Me. And what to speak of all the people—Dämodara would chastise Me.
tomä-sabära äjïäya ämi nä mili räjäre
dämodara kahe yabe, mili tabe täìre
tomä-sabära—of all of you; äjïäya—by the order; ämi—I; nä—not; mili—shall meet; räjäre—the King; dämodara—Dämodara Paëòita; kahe—says; yabe—when; mili—I shall meet; tabe—then; täìre—him.
“I shall not meet the King at the request of all the devotees, but I shall do so if Dämodara will give his permission.”
From the spiritual point of view, a sannyäsé is strictly forbidden to see materialistic people, especially a king who is always engaged in counting pounds, shillings and pence. Indeed, the meeting between a sannyäsé and a king is always considered abominable. A sannyäsé is always subjected to public criticism, and a small fault on his part is taken seriously by the public. People actually expect a sannyäsé to preach and not take part in any social or political matters. If a sannyäsé is subject to public criticism, his preaching will not be fruitful. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu specifically wanted to avoid such criticism so that His preaching work would not be hampered. It so happened that while the Lord was talking to His disciples at that time, the devotee Dämodara Paëòita was present. This Dämodara Paëòita was a very faithful devotee and a staunch lover of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Whenever there was anything that might touch or taint the character of the Lord, Dämodara Paëòita would immediately point it out, not even considering the exalted position of the Lord. It is sometimes said that fools rush in where angels dare not, and Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu wanted to point out Dämodara Paëòita’s foolishness in coming forward to criticize the Lord. This is why the Lord stated that if Dämodara Paëòita would give Him permission, He would go to see the King. There was deep meaning in this statement, for it is a warning that Dämodara should not dare criticize the Lord any more, for it was not befitting his position as a devotee. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was considered the guide and spiritual master of all the devotees living with Him. Dämodara Paëòita was one of them, and the Lord rendered Dämodara Paëòita a special favor by warning him to avoid criticizing Him any further. A devotee or a disciple should never attempt to criticize the Lord or His representative, the spiritual master.
dämodara kahe,—tumi svatantra éçvara
kartavyäkartavya saba tomära gocara
dämodara kahe—Paëòita Dämodara said; tumi—You; svatantra—fully independent; éçvara—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kartavya—duty which is permissible; akartavya—duty which is not permissible; saba—all; tomära—of You; gocara—within knowledge.
Dämodara immediately replied, “My Lord, You are the fully independent Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since everything is known to You, You know what is permissible and what is not permissible.
ämi kon kñudra-jéva, tomäke vidhi diba?
äpani milibe täìre, tähäo dekhiba
ämi kon—I am just some; kñudra-jéva—insignificant living entity; tomäke—unto You; vidhi—injunction; diba—I shall give; äpani—You; milibe—will meet; täìre—the King; tähäo dekhiba—I shall see it.
“I am merely an insignificant jéva, so what power do I have to give directions to You? By Your own personal choice You will meet with the King. I shall see it."
räjä tomäre sneha kare, tumi—sneha-vaça
täìra snehe karäbe täìre tomära paraça
räjä—the King; tomäre—You; sneha kare—loves; tumi—You; sneha-vaça—controlled by love and affection; täìra—his; snehe—by love; karäbe—will do; täìre—unto him; tomära—Your; paraça—touching.
“The King is very much attached to You, and You are feeling affection and love toward him. Thus I can understand that by virtue of the King’s affection for You, You will touch him.
yadyapi éçvara tumi parama svatantra
tathäpi svabhäve hao prema-paratantra
yadyapi—although; éçvara—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tumi—You; parama—supremely; svatantra—independent; tathäpi—still; svabhäve—by Your nature; hao—You become; prema-paratantra—subordinate to love.
“Although You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead and are completely independent, still You are dependent on the love and affection of Your devotees. That is Your nature.”
nityänanda kahe—aiche haya kon jana
ye tomäre kahe, ‘kara räja-daraçana’
nityänanda kahe—Nityänanda Prabhu said; aiche—such; haya—there is; kon jana—any person; ye—who; tomäre—unto You; kahe—orders; kara—do; räja-daraçana—meeting the King.
Nityänanda Prabhu then said, “Who is there in the three worlds who can ask You to see the King?
kintu anurägé lokera svabhäva eka haya
iñöa nä päile nija präëa se chäòaya
kintu—still; anurägé—affectionate; lokera—of the people; svabhäva—nature; eka—one; haya—there is; iñöa—desirable; nä päile—without getting; nija—own; präëa—life; se—he; chäòaya—gives up.
“Still, isn’t it the nature of an attached man to give up his life if he does not attain his desired object?
yäjïika-brähmaëé saba tähäte pramäëa
kåñëa lägi’ pati-äge chäòileka präëa
yäjïika-brähmaëé—the wives of the brähmaëas who were engaged in performing great sacrifices; saba—all; tähäte—in that connection; pramäëa—evidence; kåñëa lägi’—for the matter of Kåñëa; pati-äge—in front of their husbands; chäòileka präëa—gave up their lives.
“For instance, some of the wives of the brähmaëas who were performing sacrifices gave up their lives in the presence of their husbands for the sake of Kåñëa.”
This refers to the day Lord Çré Kåñëa and His cowherd boys and flocks of animals were present on the pasturing grounds near Mathurä. At that time the cowherd boys, being a little hungry, requested food, and Lord Kåñëa asked them to go to the brähmaëas who were engaged nearby in performing yajïa, or sacrifice, and to get some food from that yajïa. Being so ordered by the Lord, all the cowherd boys went to the brähmaëas and asked them for food, but they were denied. After this, the cowherd boys begged food from the wives of the brähmaëas. All these wives were very much devoted to Lord Kåñëa in spontaneous love, and as soon as they heard the request of the cowherd boys and understood that Kåñëa wanted some food, they immediately left the place of sacrifice. They were very much chastised for this by their husbands, and they were ready to give up their lives. It is the nature of a pure devotee to sacrifice his life for the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
eka yukti äche, yadi kara avadhäna
tumi nä milileha täìre, rahe täìra präëa
eka yukti—one plan; äche—there is; yadi—if; kara avadhäna—You consider it; tumi—You; nä milileha—may not meet; täìre—with him; rahe—remains; täìra—his; präëa—life.
Nityänanda Prabhu then submitted one suggestion for the Lord’s consideration. “There is a way,” He suggested, “by which You need not meet the King but which would enable the King to continue living.
eka bahirväsa yadi deha’ kåpä kari’
tähä päïä präëa räkhe tomära äçä dhari’
eka bahirväsa—one outward covering; yadi—if; deha’—You give; kåpä kari’—by Your mercy; tähä päïä—getting that; präëa räkhe—he would live; tomära äçä dhari’—hoping to meet You some time in the future.
“If You, out of Your mercy, send one of Your outward garments to the King, the King would live hoping to see You some time in the future.”
Çré Nityänanda Prabhu was thus very tactfully suggesting that Caitanya Mahäprabhu give a piece of His old clothing to the King. Even though the King was not to meet the Lord, the King would then be pacified by receiving such a cloth. The King was very anxious to see the Lord, yet it was not possible for the Lord to see him. Just to resolve the situation, Nityänanda Prabhu suggested that the Lord send an old piece of clothing. Thus the King would understand that the Lord was showing mercy to him. The King would then not do anything drastic like giving up his life or becoming a mendicant.
prabhu kahe,—tumi-saba parama vidvän
yei bhäla haya, sei kara samädhäna
prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; tumi-saba—all of you; parama vidvän—greatly learned personalities; yei—whatever; bhäla haya—is right; sei—that; kara samädhäna—execute.
The Lord said, “Since you are all very learned personalities, whatever you decide I shall accept.”
tabe nityänanda-gosäïi govindera päça
mägiyä la-ila prabhura eka bahirväsa
tabe—at that time; nityänanda-gosäïi—Lord Nityänanda Prabhu; govindera päça—from Govinda, the personal servant of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; mägiyä—requesting; la-ila—took; prabhura—of the Lord; eka—one; bahirväsa—outer garment.
Lord Nityänanda Prabhu then obtained an external garment used by the Lord by requesting it from Govinda.
sei bahirväsa särvabhauma-päça dila
särvabhauma sei vastra räjäre päöhä’la
sei—that; bahirväsa—garment; särvabhauma-päça—in the care of Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya; dila—delivered; särvabhauma—Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya; sei—that; vastra—cloth; räjäre—unto the King; päöhä’la—sent.
Thus Nityänanda Prabhu delivered the old cloth to the care of Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya, and Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya sent it to the King.
vastra päïä räjära haila änandita mana
prabhu-rüpa kari’ kare vastrera püjana
vastra päïä—getting that cloth; räjära—of the King; haila—there was; änandita mana—very happy mind; prabhu-rüpa kari’—accepting as Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu Himself; kare—executes; vastrera—of the cloth; püjana—worship.
When the King received the old cloth, he began to worship it exactly as he would worship the Lord personally.
This is also the conclusion of the Vedic injunctions. Since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Absolute Truth, everything in relation to Him is also on the same platform. The King had great affection for Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and although he did not see the Lord, he had nonetheless already attained the conclusion of devotional service. Immediately upon receiving the cloth from Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya, the King began to worship it, accepting it as Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. The Lord’s clothing, bedding, slippers and everything required as an ordinary necessity are all transformations of Çeña, Viñëu, the expansion of Çré Baladeva. Thus the cloth and other paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are but other forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everything connected to the Lord is worshipable. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu instructs us that just as Kåñëa is worshipable, Kåñëa’s place, Våndävana, is also worshipable. And as Våndävana is worshipable, similarly the paraphernalia in Våndävana—the trees, roads, river, everything—is worshipable. A pure devotee thus sings, jaya jaya våndävana-väsé yata jana: “All glories to the residents of Våndävana.” If a devotee has a staunch devotional attitude, all these conclusions will be awakened or revealed within the heart.
yasya deve parä bhaktir
yathä deve tathä gurau
tasyaite kathitä hy arthäù
“Only unto those great souls who have implicit
faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of
Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Çvetäçvatara
Thus following in the footsteps of Mahäräja Pratäparudra and other devotees, we should learn to worship everything belonging to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is referred to by Lord Çiva as tadéyänäm. In the Padma Puräëa it is said:
viñëor ärädhanaà param
tasmät parataraà devi
“O Devé, the most exalted system of worship is the worship of Lord Viñëu. Greater than that is the worship of tadéya, or anything belonging to Viñëu.” Çré Viñëu is sac-cid-änanda-vigraha. Similarly, the most confidential servant of Kåñëa, the spiritual master, and all devotees of Viñëu are tadéya. The sac-cid-änanda-vigraha, guru, Vaiñëavas, and things used by them must be considered tadéya and without a doubt worshipable by all living beings.
rämänanda räya yabe ‘dakñiëa’ haite äilä
prabhu-saìge rahite räjäke nivedilä
rämänanda räya—Rämänanda Räya; yabe—when; dakñiëa—South India; haite—from; äilä—returned; prabhu-saìge—with Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; rahite—to stay; räjäke—unto the King; nivedilä—requested.
After returning from his service in South India, Rämänanda Räya requested the King to allow him to remain with Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
tabe räjä santoñe täìhäre äjïä dilä
äpani milana lägi’ sädhite lägilä
tabe—at that time; räjä—the King; santoñe—in great satisfaction; täìhäre—unto Rämänanda Räya; äjïä dilä—gave the order; äpani—personally; milana lägi’—to meet; sädhite lägilä—began to solicit.
When Rämänanda Räya requested the King to allow him to stay with the Lord, the King immediately gave him permission with great satisfaction. As for the King himself, he began to solicit Rämänanda Räya to make a meeting arrangement.
mahäprabhu mahä-kåpä karena tomäre
more milibäre avaçya sädhibe täìhäre
mahäprabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; mahä-kåpä—great mercy; karena—does; tomäre—unto you; more—me; milibäre—for meeting; avaçya—certainly; sädhibe—you must solicit; täìhäre—Him.
The King told Rämänanda Räya, “Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu is very, very merciful to you. Therefore please solicit my meeting with Him without fail.”
eka-saìge dui jana kñetre yabe äilä
rämänanda räya tabe prabhure mililä
eka-saìge—together; dui jana—these two persons; kñetre—at Jagannätha-kñetra (Jagannätha Puré); yabe—when; äilä—came back; rämänanda räya—Rämänanda Räya; tabe—at that time; prabhure—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; mililä—met.
The King and Rämänanda Räya returned together to Jagannätha-kñetra [Puré], and Çré Rämänanda Räya met Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu.
prabhu-pade prema-bhakti jänäila räjära
prasaìga päïä aiche kahe bära-bära
prabhu-pade—unto the lotus feet of the Lord; prema-bhakti—ecstatic love; jänäila—informed; räjära—of the King; prasaìga—discussion; päïä—getting; aiche—thus; kahe—says; bära-bära—again and again.
At that time, Rämänanda Räya informed Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu about the ecstatic love of the King. Indeed, as soon as there was some opportunity, he repeatedly informed the Lord about the King.
räja-mantré rämänanda—vyavahäre nipuëa
räja-préti kahi’ draväila prabhura mana
räja-mantré—diplomatic minister; rämänanda—Çré Rämänanda Räya; vyavahäre—in general behavior; nipuëa—very expert; räja-préti—the love of the King for Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; kahi’—describing; draväila—softened; prabhura—of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; mana—the mind.
Çré Rämänanda Räya was indeed a diplomatic minister for the King. His general behavior was very expert, and simply by describing the King’s love for Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, he gradually softened the Lord’s mind.
A diplomat in the material world knows how to deal with people, especially in political affairs. Some of the great devotees of the Lord—like Rämänanda Räya, Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé, Sanätana Gosvämé and Rüpa Gosvämé—were government officers and had a background of very opulent householder life. Consequently they knew how to deal with people. In many instances we have seen the diplomacy of Rüpa Gosvämé, Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé and Rämänanda Räya employed in the service of the Lord. When Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé’s father and uncle were to be arrested by government officials, Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé hid them and personally met the government officers and settled the affair diplomatically. This is but one instance. Similarly, Sanätana Gosvämé, after resigning his ministership, was thrown in jail, and he bribed the attendant of the jail so he could leave the clutches of the Nawab and live with Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. Now we see Rämänanda Räya, a most confidential devotee of the Lord, diplomatically soften the heart of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, despite the fact that the Lord definitely decided not to meet the King. The diplomacy of Rämänanda Räya and entreaties of Särvabhauma Bhaööäcärya and all the other great devotees succeeded. The conclusion is that diplomacy used for the service of the Lord is a form of devotional service.
utkaëöhäte pratäparudra näre rahibäre
rämänanda sädhilena prabhure milibäre
utkaëöhäte—in great anxiety; pratäparudra—King Pratäparudra; näre rahibäre—could not stay; rämänanda—Çré Rämänanda Räya; sädhilena—solicited; prabhure—unto Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; milibäre—to meet.
Mahäräja Pratäparudra, in great anxiety, could not endure not seeing the Lord; therefore Çré Rämänanda Räya, by his diplomacy, arranged a meeting with the Lord for the King.
rämänanda prabhu-päya kaila nivedana
eka-bära pratäparudre dekhäha caraëa
rämänanda—Rämänanda; prabhu-päya—at the lotus feet of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; kaila—did; nivedana—submission; eka-bära—once only; pratäparudre—unto Mahäräja Pratäparudra; dekhäha—show; caraëa—Your lotus feet.
Çré Rämänanda Räya frankly requested Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, “Please show Your lotus feet to the King at least once.”
prabhu kahe,—rämänanda, kaha vicäriyä
räjäke milite yuyäya sannyäsé haïä?
prabhu kahe—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said; rämänanda—My dear Rämänanda; kaha—please ask Me; vicäriyä—after due consideration; räjäke—the King; milite—to meet; yuyäya—is it befitting; sannyäsé—in the renounced order of life; haïä—being.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu replied, “My dear Rämänanda, you should make this request after duly considering whether it is befitting for a sannyäsé to meet a king.
räjära milane bhikñukera dui loka näça
paraloka rahu, loke kare upahäsa
räjära milane—by meeting with a king; bhikñukera—of the mendicant; dui loka—in two worlds; näça—destruction; para-loka—spiritual world; rahu—let alone; loke—in this material world; kare—do; upahäsa—joking.
“If a mendicant meets a king, this world and the next world are both destroyed for the mendicant. Indeed, what is there to say of the next world? In this world, people will joke if a sannyäsé meets a king.”
rämänanda kahe,—tumi éçvara svatantra
käre tomära bhaya, tumi naha paratantra
rämänanda kahe—Rämänanda said; tumi—You; éçvara—the Supreme Lord; svatantra—independent; käre tomära bhaya—why should You be afraid of anyone; tumi naha—You are not; para-tantra—dependent.
Rämänanda Räya replied, “My Lord, You are the supreme independent personality. You have nothing to fear from anyone because You are not dependent on anyone.”
prabhu kahe,—ämi manuñya äçrame sannyäsé
käya-mano-väkye vyavahäre bhaya väsi
prabhu kahe—the Lord said; ämi manuñya—I am a human being; äçrame—in the social order; sannyäsé—a renounced person; käya-manaù-väkye—with My body, mind and words; vyavahäre—in general dealings; bhaya—fear; väsi—I do.
When Rämänanda Räya addressed Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Caitanya Mahäprabhu objected, saying, “I am not the Supreme Personality of Godhead but an ordinary human being. Therefore I must fear public opinion in three ways—with My body, mind and words.
çukla-vastre masi-bindu yaiche nä lukäya
sannyäséra alpa chidra sarva-loke gäya
çukla-vastre—on white cloth; masi-bindu—a spot of ink; yaiche—as much as; nä—does not; lukäya—become hidden; sannyäséra—of a sannyäsé; alpa—a very little; chidra—fault; sarva-loke—the general public; gäya—advertise.
“As soon as the general public finds a little fault in the behavior of a sannyäsé, they advertise it like wildfire. A black spot of ink cannot be hidden on a white cloth. It is always very prominent.”
räya kahe,—kata päpéra kariyächa avyähati
éçvara-sevaka tomära bhakta gajapati
räya kahe—Rämänanda Räya replied; kata päpéra—of numberless sinful persons; kariyächa—You have done; avyähati—deliverance; éçvara-sevaka—a servitor of the Lord; tomära—Your; bhakta—devotee; gajapati—the King.
Rämänanda Räya replied, “My dear Lord, You have delivered so many sinful people. This King Pratäparudra, the King of Orissa, is actually a servitor of the Lord and Your devotee.”
prabhu kahe,—pürëa yaiche dugdhera kalasa
surä-bindu-päte keha nä kare paraça
prabhu kahe—the Lord replied; pürëa—completely filled; yaiche—just as; dugdhera—of milk; kalasa—container; surä-bindu-päte—with simply a drop of liquor; keha—anyone; nä kare—does not; paraça—touch.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu then said, “There may be much milk in a big pot, but if it is contaminated by a drop of liquor, it is untouchable.
täìhäre malina kaila eka ‘räjä’-näma
yadyapi—although; pratäparudra—the King; sarva-guëa-vän—qualified in every respect; täìhäre—unto him; malina kaila—makes impure; eka—one; raja-näma—the name ‘‘king.’’
“The King certainly possesses all good qualities, but simply by taking up the name ‘king,’ he has infected everything.
tathäpi tomära yadi mahägraha haya
tabe äni’ miläha tumi täìhära tanaya
tathäpi—still; tomära—your; yadi—if; mahä-ägraha—great eagerness; haya—there is; tabe—then; äni’—bringing; miläha—cause to meet; tumi—you; täìhära—his; tanaya—son.
“But if you are still very eager for the King to meet with Me, please first bring his son to meet Me.
‘‘ätmä vai jäyate putraù’’—ei çästra-väëé
putrera milane yena milibe äpani
ätmä vai jäyate putraù—his self appears as the son; ei—this; çästra-väëé—the indication of revealed scriptures; putrera milane—by meeting the son; yena—as if; milibe—he will meet; äpani—personally.
“It is indicated in the revealed scriptures that the son represents the father; therefore the son’s meeting with Me would be just as good as the King’s meeting with Me.”
In Çrémad-Bhägavatam (10.78.36) it is said: ätmä vai putra utpanna iti vedänuçäsanam. The Vedas enjoin that one is born as his own son. The son is nondifferent from the father, and this is admitted in every revealed scripture. In Christian theology it is believed that Christ, the son of God, is also God. Both of them are identical.
tabe räya yäi’ saba räjäre kahilä
prabhura äjïäya täìra putra laïä äilä
tabe—thereafter; räya—Rämänanda Räya; yäi’—going; saba—everything; räjäre—unto the King; kahilä—described; prabhura äjïäya—under the order of the Lord; täìra putra—his son; laïä äilä—he brought with him.
Rämänanda Räya then went to inform the King about his talks with Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and, following the Lord’s orders, brought the King’s son to see Him.
sundara, räjära putra—çyämala-varaëa
kiçora vayasa, dérgha kamala-nayana
sundara—beautiful; räjära putra—the son of the King; çyämala-varaëa—blackish complexion; kiçora vayasa—the age just before youth; dérgha—long; kamala-nayana—lotus eyes.
The prince, just entering upon his youth, was very beautiful. He was blackish in complexion and had large lotus eyes.
pétämbara, dhare aìge ratna-äbharaëa
çré-kåñëa-smaraëe teìha hailä ‘uddépana’
péta-ambara—dressed in yellow cloth; dhare—carries; aìge—on the body; ratna-äbharaëa—ornaments of jewels; çré-kåñëa-smaraëe—for remembering Çré Kåñëa; teìha—he; hailä—was; uddépana—stimulation.
The prince was dressed in yellow cloth, and there were jeweled ornaments decorating his body. Therefore anyone who saw him would remember Lord Kåñëa.
täìre dekhi, mahäprabhura kåñëa-småti haila
premäveçe täìre mili’ kahite lägila
täìre dekhi—seeing him; mahäprabhura—of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; kåñëa-småti—remembrance of Kåñëa; haila—there was; prema-äveçe—in ecstatic love; täìre—him; mili’—meeting; kahite lägila—began to say.
Seeing the boy, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu immediately remembered Kåñëa. Meeting the boy in ecstatic love, the Lord began to speak.
ei—mahä-bhägavata, yäìhära darçane
vrajendra-nandana-småti haya sarva-jane
ei—here is; mahä-bhägavata—a first-class devotee; yäìhära darçane—by the sight of whom; vrajendra-nandana—of the son of the King of Vraja; småti—remembrance; haya—becomes; sarva-jane—for everyone.
“Here is a great devotee,” Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said. “Upon seeing him, everyone can remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, son of Mahäräja Nanda.”
On his Anubhäñya, Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura states that a materialist mistakenly accepts the body and mind as the source of material enjoyment. In other words, a materialist accepts the bodily conception of life. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu did not regard the son of Mahäräja Pratäparudra with the idea that he was a materialist, being the son of a materialist. Nor did He consider Himself the enjoyer. Mäyävädé philosophers make a great mistake by assuming that the sac-cid-änanda-vigraha, the transcendental form of the Lord, is like a material body. However, there is no material contamination in transcendence, nor is there any possibility of imagining a spirituality in matter. One cannot accept matter as spirit. As indicated by the technical words bhauma ijya-dhéù (Bhäg. 10.84.13), materialistic Mäyävädés imagine the form of God in matter, although according to their imagination, God is unlimitedly formless. This is simply mental speculation. Even though Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He placed Himself in the position of a gopé. He also accepted the King’s son directly as the son of Mahäräja Nanda, Vrajendra-nandana Hari. This is perfect vision according to the direction of the Vedic culture, as confirmed in Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä (paëòitäù sama-darçinaù). Such acceptance of the Absolute Truth according to Vaiñëava philosophy is explained in both the Muëòaka Upaniñad (3.2.3) and the Kaöha Upaniñad (1.2.23) in the following words:
näyam ätmä pravacanena labhyo
na medhayä na bahunä çrutena
yam evaiña våëute tena labhyas
tasyaiña ätmä vivåëute tanüà sväm
“The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations,
by vast intelligence, nor even by much hearing. He is obtained only by
one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person He manifests His own form.”
The living entity is entangled in material existence due to his lack of such spiritual vision. Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura has sung in his Kalyäëa-kalpataru: saàsäre äsiyä prakåti bhajiyä ‘puruña’ abhimäne mari. When the living entity comes to the material world, he thinks himself the enjoyer. Thus he becomes more and more entangled.
kåtärtha ha-iläìa ämi iìhära daraçane
eta bali’ punaù täre kaila äliìgane
kåta-artha ha-iläìa—have become very much obligated; ämi—I; iìhära—of this boy; daraçane—by seeing; eta bali’—saying this; punaù—again; täre—him; kaila—did; äliìgane—embrace.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu continued, “I have become very much obligated just by seeing this boy.” After saying this, the Lord again embraced the prince.
prabhu-sparçe räja-putrera haila premäveça
sveda, kampa, açru, stambha, pulaka viçeña
prabhu-sparçe—because of being touched
by the Lord; räja-putrera—of the King’s son; haila—there was; prema-äveça—ecstatic
love; sveda—perspiration; kampa—trembling; açru—tears; stambha—being
stunned; pulaka—jubilation; viçeña—specifically.
As soon as the prince was touched by Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, symptoms of ecstatic love immediately manifested themselves in his body. These symptoms included perspiration, trembling, tears, being stunned and jubilation.
‘kåñëa’ ‘kåñëa’ kahe, näce, karaye rodana
täìra bhägya dekhi’ çläghä kare bhakta-gaëa
kåñëa kåñëa—O Kåñëa, O Kåñëa; kahe—chants; näce—dances; karaye—does; rodana—crying; täìra—his; bhägya—fortune; dekhi’—seeing; çläghä—praise; kare—do; bhakta-gaëa—all the devotees.
The boy began to cry and dance, and he chanted, “Kåñëa! Kåñëa!” Upon seeing his bodily symptoms and his chanting and dancing, all the devotees praised him for his great spiritual fortune.
tabe mahäprabhu täìre dhairya karäila
nitya äsi’ ämäya miliha—ei äjïä dila
tabe—at that time; mahäprabhu—Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; täìre—the boy; dhairya—patient; karäila—caused to be; nitya—daily; äsi’—coming; ämäya—Me; miliha—meet; ei äjïä—this order; dila—gave.
At that time, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu calmed the youth and ordered him to come there daily to meet Him.
vidäya haïä räya äila räja-putre laïä
räjä sukha päila putrera ceñöä dekhiyä
vidäya haïä—taking leave; räya—Rämänanda Räya; äila—came back; räja-putre laïä—taking the King’s son; räjä—the King; sukha päila—felt great happiness; putrera—of his son; ceñöä—activities; dekhiyä—seeing.
Rämänanda Räya and the boy then departed from Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and Rämänanda took him back to the King’s palace. The King was very happy when he heard of his son’s activities.
putre äliìgana kari’ premäviñöa hailä
säkñät paraça yena mahäprabhura päilä
putre—his son; äliìgana—embracing; kari’—doing; prema-äviñöa hailä—he became ecstatic; säkñät—directly; paraça—touch; yena—as if; mahäprabhura—of Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu; päilä—he got.
Just by embracing his son, the King was filled with ecstatic love, just as if he had touched Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu directly.
sei haite bhägyavän räjära nandana
prabhu-bhakta-gaëa-madhye hailä eka-jana
sei haite—from that day; bhägyavän—the most fortunate; räjära nandana—the son of the King; prabhu-bhakta-gaëa-madhye—among the intimate devotees of the Lord; hailä—became; eka-jana—one of them.
From then on, the fortunate prince was one of the most intimate devotees of the Lord.
continued further in the book
The Rath-Yatra of Lord Jaggan-Nathji in Puri
The Appearance of Lord Jagannath &
Ratha-Yatra Festival at Jagannatha Puri
- by Sri Nandananda dasa ACBSP
The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yäträ
Benefits of Ratha-yatra Explanations
History of Rathyatra
Rathayatra - Carnival of Chariots - UK
350 Pictures of Ratha Yatra 2007 - ISKCON New York
Mission Possible: Up the Carts to the Lotus Feet - by Devamrita Swami
June/July 2006 and Jagannath
By Stephen Knapp (Srinandanandana dasa ACBSP)
Jagannatha Puri, a town of 75,000, is one of the most important pilgrimage centers and one of the four holiest cities in India. These four cities are Badrinatha in the north, Dvaraka in the west, Ramesvaram in the south, and Puri in the east. Badrinarayan in Badrinatha was especially worshiped in Satya-yuga, Rama in Ramesvaram in Treta-yuga, Dvarakanatha in Dvaraka was especially worshiped in Dvapara-yuga, but Lord Jagannatha in Puri can be worshiped by everyone in Kali-yuga. In fact, the importance of Jagannatha Puri, sometimes called Purushottama-Ksetra, is explained in chapters 52 through 57 of the Uttarabhaga section of the Narada Purana. There we find it stated that simply by visiting Puri, which is rarely achieved except for those who have performed many pious acts, and by seeing the Deity of Jagannatha (Krishna), one can easily attain freedom from future births and reach the spiritual abode.
In the middle of this city is the large temple dedicated to Lord Krishna as Jagannatha, meaning "Lord of the Universe." From the Skanda Purana we get information that the original construction of the first Jagannatha temple was in Satya-yuga, millions of years ago. It is related that Lord Jagannatha told Maharaja Indradyumna that He first appeared in the Svayambhuva manvantara of the first part of Satya-yuga, on the full moon day, after being pleased by devotion. This is about 153 million years ago. Then Brahma installed the Deities in the temple. This appearance is celebrated by the Snana Purnima, or Snana-Yatra, which is the public bathing of Lord Jagannatha, His brother Balarama, and His sister Subhadra. The celebrated Ratha-Yatra festival is said to have started in the time of Svarochisha Manu, or the second manvantara period, and is predicted to continue until the end of the second half of Lord Brahma's lifetime. Even in the Ramayana by Valmiki Muni (Uttara Khanda 108.30) it is related that when Lord Rama was getting ready to leave this world he told Vibhishan, Ravana's younger brother, that in His absence he should worship Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the Iksvaku dynasty.
The Skanda Purana also fixes the date of the Ratha-Yatra festival, which should be celebrated on the second day of the bright fortnight if the month of Ashadha, a day called Pushyami Nakshatra by astrological calculations. The Padma Purana describes (as related in Sanatana Goswami's Dig Darshini Tika to his Brihad-Bhagavatamrita, 2.1.159) that in Purushottama-kshetra, or Jagannatha Puri, the supremely blissful Personality of Godhead pretends to be made of wood. In this way, although the Lord takes on what appears to be a material form, it is completely spiritual by the causeless mercy of the Lord for the conditioned souls who cannot perceive the transcendental domain.
The main temple building, called Sri Mandir, was built in the 12th century by King Chodaganga Deva, though the site goes back much farther as described above. This is a huge complex where buildings house as many as 5,000 priests and assistants. The whole compound is surrounded by a thick stone wall 20 feet tall that encloses an area 665 feet by 640 feet. The wall has four large gates, one on each side. The additional smaller buildings were added after the 16th century. The main temple, which reaches 215 feet in height, is where we find the six foot tall Deities of Jagannatha, Balarama, and the shorter Subhadra. They stand on a five foot high throne facing the pilgrims as they enter the temple room. Outside the main temple hall are over 100 smaller shrines dedicated to the various demigods. There is an arati ceremony six times a day from 4 AM to 9 PM when devotees come in for darshan of the Deities, in which they sing, chant, or worship the Deities in ecstasy. As many as 50,000 people come to the Jagannatha temple in a day. Unfortunately, foreigners are not allowed into the temple grounds, but you can get a look at the temple from the roof of the Raghunandan Library across the street for a donation.
The temple compound also has a huge kitchen, employing over 650 cooks and helpers who make hundreds of vegetarian preparations for the 54 separate offerings that are given to the Deities every day. After the food is given to the Deities it becomes prasada, or the Lord's mercy. By taking such spiritually powerful food it is said that one becomes more and more spiritually surcharged and free from past karma. Much of the prasada is sold or given to people who depend on the temple. When I had my ricksha driver buy some for me, I got a basket with several clay pots filled with a variety of rice, vegetable, dahl, and sweet preparations. It was absolutely delicious and was enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two days. Taking this prasada at Puri is to partake in a tradition that goes back thousands of years and is considered especially purifying. It is said that only by Krishna's grace does one get the opportunity to receive the remnants of food offered to Him.
The Appearance of Lord Jagannatha
The significance of Jagannatha Puri and the story of how the Deities first appeared goes back many hundreds of years to the time of King Indradyumna, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. It is related that one time in his court the King heard from a devotee about an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, named Nila-madhava. (Nila-madhava is the Deity form of Lord Vishnu.) The King very much wanted to see this form of the Supreme and sent many Brahmanas to search for Nila-madhava. All came back unsuccessful except for Vidyapati, who did not come back at all. He had wandered to a distant town which was populated by a tribe of people known as Shabaras of non-Aryan heritage. He had stayed in the house of Visvasu, and later, at Visvasu's request, married his daughter, Lalita.
After some time Vidyapati noticed that Visvasu would leave the house every night and return at noon the next day. Vidyapati asked his wife about this. Though her father had ordered her not to tell anyone, she told Vidyapati that Visvasu would go in secret to worship Nila-madhava. After repeated requests, Vidyapati finally got permission to go see Nila-madhava, only if he went blindfolded. But Vidyapati's wife had bound some mustard seeds in his cloth so that a trail could be left to follow later. When they reached the shrine, Vidyapati saw the Deity Nila-madhava after the Shabara took off the blindfold, and he felt great ecstasy.
The story continues to relate that while Visvasu was out collecting items for worship, Vidyapati saw a bird fall into the nearby lake and drown. The soul of the bird suddenly took a spiritual form and ascended back to the spiritual world. Vidyapati wanted to do the same and climbed the tree to jump in the lake. Then a voice from the sky declared that before he jumped he should tell Indradyumna that he had found Nila-madhava.
When Visvasu returned to worship the Deity, Nila-madhava spoke and said that He had accepted the simple worship from him for so many days, but now He wanted to accept the opulent worship that would be offered by King Indradyumna. When Vidyapati went back to tell the King, Indradyumna immediately went to find Nila-madhava but could not locate Him. So the King arrested Visvasu, but a voice told him to release the Shabara and that he should build a temple on top of Nila Hill where the King would see the Lord as Daru-brahman, the wooden manifestation of the Absolute.
After great endeavor, King Indradyumna built the temple at Sri Kshetra, now known as Jagannatha Puri, and later prayed to Lord Brahma to consecrate it. However, Lord Brahma said that it was not within his power to consecrate the temple since Sri Kshetra is manifested by the Supreme's own internal potency and is where the Lord manifests Himself. So Brahma simply put a flag on top of the temple and blessed it, saying that anyone who from a distance saw the flag and offered obeisances would easily be liberated from the material world. Nonetheless, after much waiting the King became anxious since Nila-madhava had not manifested Himself. Thinking his life was useless, the King decided he should end his life by fasting. But in a dream the Lord said that He would appear floating in from the sea in His form as Daru-brahman.
The King went to the shore and found a huge piece of wood that had the markings of a conch, disc, club, and lotus. This was Daru-brahman. But try as they might, the men could not budge the wood. In a dream the Lord spoke to the King and instructed him to get Visvasu and put a golden chariot in front of Daru-brahman. After doing this and forming a kirtana party to chant the holy names, and praying for Daru-brahman to mount the chariot, Daru-brahman was easily moved. Lord Brahma performed a sacrifice where the present temple now stands and installed a Deity of Lord Narasimhadeva, the Deity that is now on the western side of the temple.
From the wooden Daru-brahman, the King requested many expert carvers to carve the form of the Deity, but none could do so for their chisels immediately broke when they touched the wood. Finally the architect of the demigods, Visvakarma, (some say the Lord Himself) arrived as an old artist, Ananta Maharana, and promised that he would carve the Deity form of the Lord inside the temple in three weeks if the King would allow him to work behind closed doors. But after 14 days the King became very anxious because he could no longer hear the sounds of the carving. Finally he could stand it no more. On the advice of the queen he personally opened the doors of the temple to see what was happening. Then he saw the forms of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama, and Lady Subhadra. But because the King had opened the doors sooner than he was supposed to, the Deities were not completed; Their feet and hands had not yet been carved. Thus, the Supreme manifested Himself in this form.
The King felt he had committed a great offense for having opened the doors before the allotted three weeks had passed, so he decided to end his life. But in a dream Lord Jagannatha told the King that though he had broken his promise, this was just a part of the Supreme's pastimes to display this particular form. The King was told that this form, even though it appeared to be incomplete, was actually the form of the Lord that was meant to be worshiped in this age of Kali-yuga. Occasionally the King could decorate the Deity with golden hands and feet. Yet those devotees filled with love would always see the form of Lord Jagannatha as the threefold bending form of Syamasundara, Krishna, holding a flute. Thus, the Supreme appeared in this form so that people could approach and see Him, especially as He rides through town on the huge carts during the Ratha-Yatra festival.
The Ratha-Yatra Festival
During the Ratha-Yatra festival is the most popular time to go to Jagannatha Puri. This is usually in July when it is very hot. But thousands upon thousands of pilgrims flock to Puri to take part in this auspicious event, which is said to have been celebrated for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest and one of the biggest religious festivals in the world. This is the time when the Deities come out of the temple for all to see. It is also the time when as many as a million people gather in this small city with one purpose: to show their faith and devotion to God in the form of Lord Jagannatha.
As big as this festival is, it can be quite expensive. The only festival in the world that is bigger than this is the Kumbha Mela festival that draws many more millions of people. The Ratha-Yatra festival is financed primarily by the Orissan government with an annual budget of $50,000, which is a very large sum for India. But with the number of pilgrims that come to Puri each year, the temple and surrounding businesses also are benefitted with the extra financial income.
The actual construction of the carts begins two months before the festival day, on the third day of the bright fortnight of Vaisakha (April-May). More than 600 trees, or 400 cubic meters of wood, are needed for the construction, taken from the local forests along the banks of the Mahanadi River. Using the same simple tools and procedures as they have for the past hundreds of years, once the basic elements are made, such as the wheels, then the actual construction begins only a few weeks before the festival. When I saw the carts a few days prior to the festival, I doubted that they would be finished in time. However, the construction crew works on them night and day, and everything was ready the day before the festival.
In the main road in front of the temple huge stacks of wood are used to assemble the three chariots which will reach up to three storeys tall and will roll on wheels, each eight feet high. The chariots are painted with bright colors and the tops are covered with red, black, yellow, or green canopies. The colors signify which chariot is for which Deity. Lord Jagannatha uses red and yellow, Lord Balarama uses red and green, while Subhadra uses red and black. The Deities are also painted with particular colors that mean something. Jagannatha's blackish color represents faultless qualities; Balarama's white color signifies enlightenment; and Subhadra's yellow color signifies goodness.
Each cart is different. The cart of Lord Jagannatha is called Cakradhvaja or Nandigosha, which means tumultuous and blissful sound. Using 16 wheels, it rises 45 feet tall, and weighs 65 tons. It also carries a figure of Garuda on its crest, and is drawn by four white wooden horses. Balarama's cart is called Taladhvaja, meaning the sound of significantly powerful rhythm. It has 14 wheels, and is drawn by four black wooden horses. It carries Hanuman on its crest. Subhadra's cart is called Padmadhvaja or Darpadalan, which means destroyer of pride. It has a lotus on its crest, uses 12 wheels, and is drawn by four red wooden horses. After the Ratha-Yatra festival the wood from the carts is used as fuel for the big kitchen in the temple, which can last up to nine months.
About two weeks before the festival, the Deities of Jagannatha, Balarama, and Subhadra are given a ritual bath, which is performed on the front main wall of the temple, which allows everyone to observe it from the street below, or one of the surrounding buildings. This is called the Snana-Yatra. After this They play the pastime of getting a cold. They are then taken to a designated area and given special treatments and offerings. They may also be repainted at this time. About every 12 or 19 years the bodies of the Deities are replaced with new ones carved from a ritualistically selected Daru-Brahman in the form of a nima tree. This is known as the Nava-Kalevarna festival. It occurs when there is a leap (additional) month in the Vedic calendar that appears between Snana-Yatra and Ratha-Yatra. This was last performed in 1996, 1977, and 1969. After such an occurrence, the crowd that attends the Ratha-Yatra in Puri expands from the usual 700,000 or so to as many as two-and-a-half million.
As the Ratha-Yatra festival draws near, thousands of pilgrims come to Jagannatha Puri, but as many as a million or more people may be in town on the day of the festival. Some are top officials in the Indian government or other VIPs. Many people begin arriving in front of the temple near the carts on the morning of the festival. At first it is very interesting to wander about looking at the nicely decorated carts and all the pilgrims who have attended. But then the police begin cordoning off the area around the carts. Then there are only certain areas where people can get between the carts and the buildings. This creates bottlenecks which can be very dangerous when too many people are pushing on each other trying to get through. I saw people begin to panic at times because of the pressure on them, and worried mothers had to hold their babies above the crowd to make sure they did not get crushed.
The Ratha-Yatra festival can be both spiritually ecstatic and physically exhausting. Though July is in the monsoon season, if the rains have not arrived yet, it gets very hot. When it is hot, you will be soaked with sweat a few hours after the sun comes up. In fact, from where I was, I saw dozens of Indian people who had collapsed from the heat and had to be carried away from the crowd on stretchers. The heat can take a lot out of you, especially when in a crowd of many thousands. So it is best to have a source of water with you, like a canteen.
A good place to be during the festival, if you do not want to be on the street amongst the people, is on a rooftop. But you have to make reservations and pay for your seats several days in advance. Even then there may not be any guarantee that you will get the seats you want.
I have been at Jagannatha Puri to attend two Ratha-Yatra festivals, once in 1991, and another in 2001. At each one things happened at different times of the day. In 1991 it was around eleven in the morning when the temple priests came out to sanctify the carts. In 2001, everything got started much earlier, and the priests came out before 9 AM. They walk up the gangplanks to the platform on the cart and sprinkle holy water around while circumambulating it three times and chanting specific mantras for purification. Later, the priests bring out the small Deities that will also ride on the cart.
When the big Deities are brought out, first there is Lord Balarama, then Lady Subhadra, and then Lord Jagannatha. Each time excitement suddenly fills the air and many men blow conch shells and bang on drums and cymbals to announce the arrival of the Deities at the main gate of the temple complex. Then the smiling face of Lord Balarama appears through the doorway and the crowd shouts and chants, "Jai Balarama. Baladeva ki jai!" Generally, however, unless you are situated on a tall building, you cannot see the faces of the Deities because there are so many assistants that help move Them. But you can easily see the huge headdress They wear. Once the Deity is on the cart, the headdress is torn off and distributed amongst the people as prasada.
Daityas, strongly built men who lift the Deity, carry Lord Balarama. It is described that they move Him from one large cotton pillow to another, however, I couldn't see any. Lord Balarama is five feet and five inches tall and has an arm span of 12 feet. When carried, there are five men on each arm, with up to 50 men pulling in front and 20 offering support in the back. All of these carriers are Daityas, members of the Dayitapati family who are descendants of Visvavasu. Gradually, taking about a half hour or so, Lord Balarama moves from the temple gate to the chariot and is placed on it so everyone in the crowd can see Him. Then Subhadra, who is less than five feet tall, is also carried from the temple to Her chariot. And finally Lord Jagannatha is brought out. He is five feet and seven inches tall with an arm span of 12 feet, and also needs many assistants to be moved.
In 1991 it was around two o'clock, when the King of Puri arrived in a procession, walked up the planks to the platform and swept the cart with a gold handled broom, and then sprinkles sandalwood scented water on them. He circumambulates the platform three times and is assisted by the priests. He does this to each of the carts. In 2001, however, this took place around 10 AM, and everything that year happened in a much more timely manner.
It should be pointed out here that the way the King sweeps the carts is an example of how the festival has changed over the years. If you read accounts of the Ratha-Yatra festival as described in the Caitanya-caritamrta, there are some major differences in the festival we find today compared to 500 years ago. The King used to sweep the street in front of the carts as they paraded down through the town. The reason he no longer does this is related in a story I was told. It seems that at one time years ago a King of Puri, Purusottama Dev, was to marry a princess who was the daughter of a king, Maharaja Sallwo Narasingha, from the district of Kanchi. When the Ratha-Yatra festival was to take place, the father of the princess was invited, but sent his minister Chinnubhatta Godaranga instead. When he attended, the King of Puri performed the devotional tradition of sweeping the road in front of the carts. The visiting minister, however, rather than being impressed with the devotion of the King for Lord Jagannatha, did not approve of him sweeping the road, even if it was for the Lord. When he reported this to King Sallwo Narasingha, the king objected to the idea of his daughter marrying the King of Puri since he was merely a street sweeper. Purusottama Dev was extremely angry that he, as the servant of Lord Jagannatha, would be insulted for his service like that. So he gathered his troupes and went to Kanchi to teach King Sallwo a lesson. Unfortunately, King Purusottama Dev was badly defeated.
On returning to Puri in such a downcast mood, he stopped at the simple cottage of Saikatacharya, a great ascetic, householder devotee of Lord Jagannatha. This devotee pointed out that the King had forgotten to ask permission from Lord Jagannatha before he went to attack King Sallwo. With this realization, the King returned to Puri and visited the temple of the Lord, crying over his defeat, asking why the Lord had let this happen. He spent the night in the temple, and with doors closed, before the night came to an end, the King heard a voice asking why he was so distraught over such a simple thing. The voice said to go gather his troupes again, and that we two brothers, Jagannatha and Balarama, would go along to fight on the King's behalf. As the news spread, many people, both old and young, joined the King's forces to fight with Their Lordships. However, as they went, the King was filled with some doubts whether Their Lordships were really going with him.
While the King and his army went onward, far ahead were two soldiers that rode on one black horse and one white horse. They stopped to quench Their thirst at a small village near Chilika Lake by buying some yogurt from a devotee named Manika. She offered Them yogurt, but when she asked for payment, they said They had no money. Instead They gave her a jeweled ring and told her to give it to King Purusottama Dev, who would then give her payment.
After some time, the King caught up to the lady, who flagged him down to give him the ring and asked for payment for the soldiers' drink. The king was shocked to see the ratnamudrika ring of Lord Jagannatha and then regained his confidence that, indeed, Their Lordships had certainly come with him. In payment for the ring, the king gave her the whole village, which is still named Manikapatna. After this the king and his troupes were victorious over King Sallwo, and he also took King Sallwo's daughter as well. However, he did not marry her after the insult her father had given him. He instructed his minister to see that she get married to a qualified sweeper. After one year, at the next Ratha-Yatra, the King again performed his sweeping ceremony. At that time, the king's minister announced that the king was the most qualified sweeper, since he swept for Lord Jagannatha, and that the princess, Padmavati, should marry him. Then Maharaja Purusottama Dev married the princess and she later gave birth to a great devotee of Lord Caitanya, who became known as King Prataparudra. Anyway, at some point after this, the King of Puri discontinued sweeping the streets and now sweeps the carts.
The festival parade also used to start in the morning and then stop at noon near the Jagannatha Vallabha Gardens where the Deities would get offerings of food, worship, etc., from the many devotees. There would also be many groups of people singing devotional songs, and though you will still see some people in kirtana groups, there were very few in 1991, while there were several big kirtana parties in 2001, including a large one consisting of the devotees from the Iskcon temple in Mumbai (Bombay).
After the King has swept the carts, they quickly begin to disassemble the gangplanks that lead up to the cart and begin to fasten the wooden horses that point the direction. Many thousands of devotees surround the carts and the people in the front take up the long, thick ropes to pull the chariots down the main road to the Gundicha temple, where the Deities stay for a week. Then the leaders on the carts that ride near the wooden horses direct those who are pulling the ropes to take up the slack. When everything is ready, a whistle is blown by the chariot driver and a hundred people on each of four ropes begin to pull. Then the numerous priests and assistants on the carts that ride along begin to bang on the gongs and cymbals, and suddenly the cart lurches forward and begins to move.
Once the carts get going, you mostly hear the spectators simply shout out, "Jayo, Jai Jagannatha," and raise their hands in the air and watch the cart go by. Many police have to guard the chariot wheels to make sure no one gets too close and is crushed under them. In 1991 it was after five o'clock before Lord Balarama's cart got started and loudly rumbled down the road and soon reached the Gundicha temple. In 2001 it started by about 10:30 AM or so. Subhadra's cart began to move a while later.
Lord Jagannatha's cart did not get started until after six o'clock in 1991, which was quite late, but got started by 11 AM in 2001. However, both times it did not make it to the Gundicha temple until the next day. The people pulled it about two-thirds of the way before it almost ran into some shops on the side of the road. So Lord Jagannatha spent the night wherever the cart had stopped. The following morning the people redirect the cart and continued with the Ratha-Yatra to finish pulling it to the Gundicha temple about two miles down the road from the main temple where the Deities stay for a week before returning to the temple in a similar parade.
Sometimes the chariots mysteriously stop, though everyone is pulling hard. In fact, it is not unusual, as in the case of this festival, that a chariot may stop completely and stay there overnight and then continue the next day. Sometimes if there is difficulty, the local government minister will pray to Lord Jagannatha for forgiveness from whatever offenses the residents of the town may have committed. Then the chariots begin to move again as if they move only by the will of Jagannatha.
The parade is a fascinating event in which to participate and see. But when the chariots get rolling, the crowd gets very intense. You either have to get out of the way to let them by, or struggle, as you get pushed this way and that, to move with the crowd as it goes with the cart. Many people try to pull the ropes and it is not easy, and can be dangerous, to get a place nearby.
The Deities spend the first two nights on the carts outside the Gundicha temple, or wherever else They may be if They do not make it there the first night. During this time, pilgrims can climb up on the carts and see the Deities very closely and even embrace Them. But the priests are quick to charge everyone a certain number of rupees for this opportunity, which makes for a very good business for the priests. When I climbed a cart and was about to give a "donation," as many as five of the attendants grabbed the money at once before I let go of it. And when I did not let go of it right away, they started to get very angry. This was after I had been assured that I could climb the cart to see the Deity of Lady Subhadra and there would be no charge, and I would also be allowed to take a photograph. I indeed was allowed to see Lady Subhadra and even embrace Her, which is a rare event for any pilgrim, what to speak of a Westerner. But after I had given my donation, I took out my camera to take a photograph and a guard immediately came over and objected and ordered me to get down off the cart. So that brought an abrupt end to the episode. Nonetheless, if one can overcome this businesslike atmosphere, it can still be a very devotional and memorable event. And you can also go up on the carts of Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama as well, if you can handle the crowds and the many priests who ask for donations, or who want to direct people, sometimes forcefully with the use of sticks. Some people simply stay on the ground and offer prayers and small ghee lamps from a distance. Others climb all three carts to get the personal darshan of all three Deities.
The Deities are then taken inside the Gundicha temple only on the third night. After the Deities' stay at the Gundicha temple, They return a week later to the main temple in a similar parade that is attended by fewer people. This can be a time when you can get much closer to the carts and walk more easily with the parade, providing you have time to stay in Puri for this event. Again, the Deities come out of the Gundicha temple as before and are placed on the carts with much fanfare from the devotees. Then again the King of Puri comes to cleanse the carts, and shortly thereafter the carts are ready to be pulled in a most festive parade back to the main temple. The return trip usually happens all in one day. However, again the Deities stay outside on the carts for two nights, allowing everyone who wants to climb up on the cart for a close darshan. Then on the third night there is the Suna Vesa festival in which the Deities are dressed in gold outfits. Again, the city becomes extremely crowded as people want to see the Deities in the golden ornaments. These include gold crowns, hands and feet, golden peacock feather, gold earrings, different golden necklaces, and ornaments such as a silver conch and gold disk for Lord Jagannatha and golden club and plow for Lord Balarama. These are all solid gold, and all together weigh up to one ton.
No one is allowed on the carts for the gold festival except for the intimate servants of the Deities. The way the crowd works for this festival is that they approach the carts from the main road. The closer to the carts you get, the thicker the crowd becomes. You are then directed by numerous police to walk with the crowd around the front of the carts and then down a side street. The police will also not let you stop along the lanes, but make sure everyone keeps moving. As you walk, you can then look toward the Deities to see Them in Their unique gold ornaments. They look especially powerful dressed as They are like this. Your darshan is only as long as it takes for the crowd to move, and then you must continue on, or come back around again, all of which can take an hour to make it through the crowds. Then as you come back around, the street is divided into two lanes, one for those approaching the carts and the other for those leaving. So you have to continue a ways away before you can begin to come back around. Getting directly in front of each of the carts is the only way you can have a direct line of sight toward the Deity during this event.
After this, the Deities stay on the carts one more day and are then taken into the main temple the following evening, as They were when taken into the Gundich temple. Then the Ratha-Yatra festival is completely finished until next year.
The Internal Meaning of the Ratha-Yatra Festival
The meaning of the Ratha-Yatra parade is steeped in religious sentiment. The form that Lord Krishna takes as Jagannatha is the manifestation of His ecstasy that He feels when He leaves the opulence of His palaces in Dwaraka, represented by the Puri temple, to return to the town of Vrindavan and the simple and pure spontaneous love the residents there have for Him. Thus, there is no difference between Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannatha. So in the mood of separation from His loving devotees, Jagannatha mounts His chariot and returns to Vrindavan, which is symbolically represented by the Gundicha temple. In this way, the esoteric meaning of the Ratha-Yatra parade is that we pull the Lord back into our hearts and rekindle the loving relationship we have with Him. Many great poems and songs, such as Jagannatha-astakam, have been composed describing the event and the highly ecstatic devotional mood one can enter while participating. Many verses are also written in the Caitanya-caritamrita that describe the pastimes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had during these Ratha-Yatra festivals 500 years ago.
To explain the internal meaning of Ratha-Yatra further, Lord Jagannatha is the embodiment of Lord Krishna's love for Srimate Radharani. While Lord Krishna was living in Dwaraka, he felt great separation from Radharani and the residents of Vrindavana. On the day of one solar eclipse, He traveled to Kuruksetra with His brother Balarama and His sister Subhadra on His chariot. There He met Srimate Radharani and other residents of Vrindavana, all of which wanted to take the Lord back to Vrindavana. While traveling and thinking of this meeting, He entered mahabhava, the highest sentiments of loving exchange. In that state, His eyes dilated like fully bloomed lotuses, and His hands and legs retreated into His body. In this way, the form of Lord Jagannatha is called radha-viraha-vidhura, the separation from Radharani, and also mahabhava-prakasha, the manifestation of mahabhava for Radharani. Lord Caitanya was the embodiment of Srimate Radharani's love for Lord Krishna. So Lord Caitanya taking Lord Jagannatha from the main temple to the Gundicha corresponds to Srimate Radharani's wanting to take Lord Krishna from Dwaraka back to Vrindavana, the place of spontaneous and ecstatic love of God.
It is also explained that by participating in this festival, chanting and dancing, or helping pull the ropes of the chariots, one becomes free of many lifetimes of karma. One can even become liberated due to the spiritual potency of Lord Jagannatha's presence. One of the ways this happens is explained as follows: at the very end of one's life when the memories of his activities pass through the mind, when he remembers the amazing Ratha-Yatra festival his mind stops and focuses on that event. Thus, he dies thinking of Lord Jagannatha and is liberated from material existence and returns to the spiritual world, just like a yogi is transferred to the spiritual strata when his mind is fixed on the Supersoul at the time of death. This is why thousands of pilgrims come to Jagannatha Puri every year for Ratha-Yatra.
Other Places of Spiritual Importance in Jagannatha Puri
While in Jagannatha Puri, there are many other places of interest that pilgrims come to see, so I will describe a few of these. About a quarter mile from the Jagannatha temple, walking toward the beach, is Siddha Bakula. This is where, 500 years ago, the great saint Haridas Thakur used to live and chant the Hare Krishna mantra 300,000 times a day and where Sri Caitanya would visit him. Since Haridas could not enter the Jagannatha Temple, being of a Muslim family, Lord Caitanya took the stick He had used as His toothbrush and stuck it in the ground. It immediately grew into a beautiful shade tree, under which Haridas Thakur lived. Sanatana Gosvami had also stayed here for a time as well.
Haridas attained such an elevated position of ecstasy from chanting the Hare Krishna mantra that even though a beautiful prostitute came to tempt him with sex, he was not interested. Thus, he is called the namacarya: the master of chanting the holy names. In 1991, a small shrine was found here, along with the old and bent tree under which Haridas would chant. However, since then, as found in 2001, there is a nice temple and plenty of walled protection for the tree at this place. The tomb of Haridas Thakur, where you'll also see beautiful Radha Krishna Deities as well as an image of Haridas, is located next to Purusottama Gaudiya Math near the beach. This is an important place of pilgrimage.
A 15 minute walk from here is the temple of Tota-Gopinatha. The Radha Krishna Deities here are especially beautiful, and it is accepted that Sri Caitanya ended his life by entering into the Deity of Tota-Gopinatha. Also near this area is the old house of Kashi Mishra. It is now used as part of a temple and has nice diorama exhibits of Sri Caitanya's life. It is here we find the Gambhira room, which is where Sri Caitanya lived for 12 years. Through a small window you can see Sri Caitanya's original wooden sandals, water pot, and bed.
A short walk to the east of the Jagannatha temple is the Gaudiya Math temple and the place where Srila Bhaktisiddhanta took birth. A little farther east is the Jagannatha Vallabha Garden, which is almost across from the Balagandhi temple which used to be where Lord Jagannatha would stop during His Ratha-Yatra parade to accept food offerings from all the devotees. At this garden, Sri Caitanya had many pastimes and is where He saw Lord Krishna manifest Himself. A little ways away from the garden is Narendra Sarovara, a small lake where many festivals have taken place with Sri Caitanya and his associates. Even now many pilgrims will visit and take a holy bath in this lake. The Govinda Deity from the Jagannatha temple is brought here for festivals where He is given boat rides. There is also a little temple with Lord Jagannatha Deities located here. So if foreigners want to see Lord Jagannatha they can usually come here for darshan, unless it is during the Ratha-Yatra festival.
Farther down the main road of town near the Gundicha Mandir is the very old temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha, which we can enter to view the Deity. This is also where Sri Caitanya engaged in many kirtanas with his close associates. Not far away is Indradyumna Lake where Sri Caitanya once manifested His Mahavishnu form showing His associates His supernatural qualities as an incarnation of God.
About 14 miles from Jagannatha Puri is the Alarnatha temple at Brahmagiri. Lord Alarnatha is a four-handed form of Lord Vishnu. Whenever the Jagannatha Deities in Puri would be removed from the altar before the Ratha-Yatra festival for two weeks, Sri Caitanya would stay here. This is a temple where, at the end of the kirtana hall in front of a Deity of Sadbhuja, there is a large stone slab with the imprint of Sri Caitanya's body. Once when He fell onto the stone in an ecstatic trance, the stone melted leaving the imprint of Sri Caitanya's body as we find it today. Across from the Alarnatha temple is another Gaudiya-Math temple that was established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. It is also here where we find the small Alarnatha Deity that was uncovered during excavations around the main Alarnatha temple. However, once when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was staying at his temple, the priest at the Alarnatha shrine had a dream in which the Lord came to him and said that He wanted to accept the worship of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Then the priest brought the small Alarnatha Deity to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta who worshiped Him, and where the Deity has remained since then. Also in this town of Bentapur we can see the birthplace of Ramananda Raya, a close associate of Sri Caitanya.
Nineteen miles north of Jagannatha Puri is Konarka, a most interesting temple to Surya, the sun-god. Although it is very old and no longer used for worship, many people come here every day. A Surya temple was here as long ago as the 9th century, but the present temple was built in the 13th century to resemble a huge chariot and has 24 gigantic stone wheels all around it. There are also carvings of seven strong horses who pull the chariot, and the temple is covered with many panels of stone figures depicting many aspects of life, such as scenes with hunters, soldiers, ascetics, maidens, birds, elephants, etc. There are also three green chlorite deities of Surya in niches on the outside of the temple, reached by ascending flights of stairs. The interior has been filled in and blocked up to help support it. Outside the temple grounds are many shops who sell food or the usual gamut of nick-nacks.
About six miles from Puri is the Saksi-gopala temple, located between the Jagannatha Puri and Khurda Road Junction railway stations. A new station called Saksi-gopala is there where people get off to visit the temple. The Saksi-gopala Deity is the Gopala Deity who walked from Vrindavan to Vidyanagara, a town located 20 to 25 miles from Rajahmundry on the banks of the Godavari River. How this happened was that two brahmanas were traveling and visiting the holy places. One was poor and young and was serving the older and richer brahmana. The older one was so satisfied with the charitable service of the younger brahmana that he vowed in front of the Gopala Deity that he would give his daughter to the younger brahmana to be his wife. Later, when they returned home, the older brahmana hesitated to fulfill his promise due to pressure from his family. There was some controversy about this between the two brahmanas and in a meeting with the people of the town it was agreed that if the Deity Gopala would come to testify as a witness, the older brahmana would give his daughter as promised.
The younger brahmana went back to Vrindavan and related the situation to the Gopala Deity who finally agreed to walk. He told the brahmana that He would follow him and that the sound of His ankle bells would indicate He was there, but if the brahmana turned around to look, He would walk no farther. So for 100 days they walked toward Vidyanagara, then the sound of the Deity's ankle bells ceased to sound. The brahmana looked back and the Deity was standing there smiling. The brahmana went to gather the people of the town who were amazed to see the Deity. Then the older brahmana agreed to give his daughter in marriage as promised and a temple was built for the Deity. Later the King of Orissa, Purusottama, was insulted by the King of Kataka (Cuttack). So Purusottama fought and defeated the King of Kataka and took charge of the city. He then brought the Gopalaji Deity from Vidyanagara to Kataka and built a temple there. The Deity also stayed in the Jagannatha Temple for some time, but then was moved to a village about six miles from Puri, called Satyavadi. Some time after that a new temple was constructed where we find the Saksi-gopala Deity today. Though the temple does not allow foreigners inside, many people visit this temple with the understanding that whether the Supreme is in the spiritual realm or expands Himself in the material realm in the form of a stone Deity, He can change what is spiritual into material and vice versa whenever He wants. This is why a stone Deity can do what is considered miraculous things, like walk, talk, etc. Thus, it is accepted that the bona fide Deity of the Supreme is nondifferent from the Supreme Himself.
These are some of the significant events and places that we can find in and around the town of Jagannatha Puri.
[Click here] to see some most interesting photographs of the amazing Ratha-Yatra festival at Jagannatha Puri of June, 2001.
(This article is from: http://www.stephen-knapp.com)
Ratha Yatra, the Festival of The Chariots, originated
thousands of years ago in Jagannatha Puri in Orissa on the North Eastern
coast of India, where it is still observed by the entire population. Over
5 million people attend the event, and it is also celebrated in every town
across India. The main event is the enthronement of three large deities
– Jagannatha (Krishna), His brother Balarama and Their sister Subhadra
– each onto Their own wooden chariot. These three huge chariots are then
hauled by ropes held by hundreds of Their devotees along a parade route
lined by admirers, worshippers and spectators.
The carved and colourfully-painted chariots, liberally bedecked with flowers and garlands, are accompanied by enthusiastic kirtana (congregational chanting) sung by tens of thousands of devotees. After the procession there is, as at all Vaisnava festivals, a large feast of Krishna prasadam for all participants.
The deities who grace the chariots are kept throughout the year within temples where They are worshipped daily in a regulative way. But once a year They emerge in order that the public may see Them. Krishna thus presents Himself as Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe (from which we get the English word "juggernaut" meaning a large truck or chariot).
Over the last thirty years Ratha Yatra has been introduced into many cities around the world such as New York, London and Sydney by ISKCON's founder Srila Prabhupada, and his followers. As an outdoor street festival it never fails to attract the attention of the public and media and has become a much loved and appreciated event in many urban calendars to the delight of members of ISKCON.
Since Srila Prabhupada organised the first Ratha-Yatra in the Western world in 1967 in San Francisco, the festival has been celebrated yearly in all corners of the world. Apart from dozens of cities across the United States, it has been held in over 60 countries such as Canada, South America, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe, Poland, New Zealand and Australia, to name a few.
SIGNIFICANCE AND BENEFITS OF RATHA-YATRA
500 years ago, the festival became the center of the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, who is Krishna Himself appearing in the guise of a great devotee. Each year Lord Caitanya danced and chanted in the Ratha-Yatra festival along with His associates. The Vedic scriptures state that anyone who sees Lord Jagannatha or pulls His chariots achieves immense spiritual benefit, attaining liberation from the material world and entrance into the eternal blissful pastimes of the Lord.
The special benefits one can derive in participating in this festival are immeasurable:
** By seeing the most merciful form of Lord Jagannatha, mainly recognizable by His two large round eyes, one will make rapid spiritual progress and gain instant purification.
** if anyone just sees the Rathayäträ cart passing and stands up to receive the Lord, he can purge all sinful results from his body.
** if anyone follows the Rathayäträ cart when the Deities pass in front or from behind, even if he is born of a lowly family, he can achieve opulence equal to that of Viñëu (God).
** By engaging in dancing and chanting during the Ratha Yatra parade, one can uplift one’s soul beyond all meditations.
** By performing any activities to help making this festival a success, one is granted the full blessings of the Lord.
** By donating one’s time, one’s efforts or one’s money - One’s home, family and friends will be fully blessed forever.
Although one may think such statements to be exaggerations, expert devotees who know the intricacies of transcendental science do not doubt them.
Yoga means to link with God in loving exchange.
Lord Kåñëa teaches in Bhagavad-gétä (6.47)
that the highest yogé is “he who always abides in Me with great
faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service.” The Rathayäträ
Festival is a potent transcendental stimulus for developing love of Godhead.
The Rathayäträ procession—the gigantic, opulently decorated Deity
cars and thousands of people chanting Hare Kåñëa and
dancing ecstatically—can attract even the materialistic person. By becoming
attracted to the Supreme Lord in His form as Jagannätha one loses
his attachment to the illusory happiness of the mundane world. Thus simply
by seeing the Deities, simply by hearing the transcendental sound vibration
of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa
Kåñëa, Hare Hare/Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma
Räma, Hare Hare, or simply by tasting foodstuffs offered to Kåñëa,
anyone can begin his progress back to Godhead without difficulty. And by
applying his energy in understanding the Kåñëa consciousness
movement and participating in glorifying the all-blissful Lord of the universe,
one can revive one’s eternal loving relationship with the Supreme Personality
Rathayäträ is a love festival. God, Kåñëa, is the ultimate object of love, and we are meant to love Him. Such spiritual loving ecstasy as was felt by the thousands who took part in the Rathayäträ Festival does not come from idol worship, but is an authorized transcendental feeling. Only a stone-hearted man could not react with delight to see the Deity of Lord Jagannätha drawn on His huge cart, surrounded by hundreds of chanting devotees. Idol worship means to pay obeisances to some whimsical material object, like a wood carving or stone sculpture of an imaginary God created within the mind. The Christian scripture, for example, declares that one should not worship any graven image. Lord Jagannätha, however, is certainly not in the category of imagination. Jagat means universe, and nätha means Lord, so Jagannätha means the Lord of the universe—Kåñëa. Kåñëa is accepted by all the followers of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures known to man, as the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. As stated in the Brahma-saàhitä, “Kåñëa, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.”
In India there are thousands of Kåñëa temples, and millions of people acknowledge Him to be the original God, the one without a second. Kåñëa Himself declares in Bhagavad-gétä that He is the father of all living entities. So He is nothing like “a Hindu deity,” but He is the source and sustainer of all entities, be they Christian, Hindu, atheist, or lower animals and plants. Moreover, it is stated in Vedic scripture that Kåñëa appears in the incarnation known as arca-vigraha, the Deity form, just so the devotee may worship Him easily in His personal form. Because in our conditioned state we cannot see Kåñëa in His original spiritual form, with two hands holding a flute, He kindly appears in the natural elements such as wood or brass or oil paint. The Deity incarnates in this way just so the devotees can worship Him, dress Him, offer Him foodstuffs and look upon His grace-giving countenance. This is not a matter of imagination; rather, it is Kåñëa’s grace. God is so kind that He becomes pliable to the devotees’ worship, He allows the devotees to feed Him, and whatever they offer Him with love and prayers, He accepts (Bg. 9.26). Similarly, the Lord is pleased to ride on the Rathayäträ cart and be seen by thousands of His subjects.
We request everyone to try to understand the transcendental nature of the Rathayäträ Festival. God is actually able to ride on the Rathayäträ cart, and in His form as the Deity, bestow His blessings upon all. Who can deny God if He wishes to appear before us? According to all authorized statements and the experience of great devotees and scholars of spiritual love, Lord Jagannätha is Kåñëa Himself. We may believe or not believe; that is a different matter. But Lord Jagannätha rides on, and the devotees feel pleasure at heart, and all persons factually receive His blessings on the occasion of Rathayäträ.(1970's BTG Article on Iskcon's Holy Rathayäträ Festival)
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