The devotees at world headquarters of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Mayapur, Nadia, are bubbling with energy as they gear up to celebrate the auspicious month-long Kartik festivities. The month is packed with a series of festivals, starting on 13th of October till 12th of November.
The sanctity of Mayapur, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s birth place is non-different from Vrindavan so tens of thousands of devotees, pilgrims, tourists, senior Sanyasis are expected to throng to Mayapur during this month.
One of the important facets of Kartik month celebrations is the Navadwip Mandala Parikrama, to be held from the 1st to the 7th of November, will attract devotees from countries like China, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, America, Russia, Brazil, Ghana, Uruguay, many European nations and various parts of India. The devotees will travel all important holy places in Sri Dham where the Yuga Avatar, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had performed His divine pastimes with His eternal associates, and took bath in the river Ganga regularly.
Keeping in mind the influx of people special security arrangements have been deployed to avoid any mishap and to render a good service to the touring devotees by offering them a calm atmosphere where they can practice uninterrupted Krishna-consciousness.
It is mentioned in the Puranas that the month of Kartik is considered to be the most auspicious month, and the austerities performed to satisfy Lord Vishnu during this period can wash away all sins performed over millions of births, thus one may become eligible to be cut off the repeated cycle of birth, death, disease and old age.
As per the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, this month is also known as Damodar month and holds special importance as during this time the mischievous little Krsna, while performing His sweet childhood pastimes, better known as Bal Lila, was tied by a rope (dam) on His waist (udar) by Mother Yashoda for breaking the pot filled with butter. For all 30 days of the month, every evening the entire Chandradaya temple compound will be nicely illuminated by hundreds of devotees who offer Deepdan, lamp offering, and recite Damodarashtakam as congregational prayer. Besides this, lectures glorifying the pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna are being delivered throughout the day part at various places within ISKCON Mayapur campus.
On the 29th of October, the devotees will perform Govardhan puja and celebrate it as a festival to commemorate the day when Lord Sri Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill on His small finger and held it for seven consecutive days to save the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indradev.
Later, little Sri Krishna had instructed all to worship the Govardhan hill and offer sumptuous delicacies to satisfy it. Following the same tradition, the devotees perform Maha-abishek and prepare delicious varieties of luchi, laddus, sweets, sweet rice, an vegetable prepetaions and offer it to the Hill.
On the 31stof October the Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, founder-acharya of ISKCON will be observed. It is a day, which brings mixed emotions in the heart of every ISKCON devotee. On the one hand the devotees miss the Vapu (physical) association of Srila Prabhupad, while on the other they celebrate the day when their beloved guru entered the Nitya Lila, the eternal pastimes of Lord Sri Radha Madhava in Golaka Vrindavan.
All the devotees will gather at the Samadhi Temple and the disciples of His Divine Grace will go down the memory lane and narrate some heart touching personal accounts.
Gopashtami will be celebrated on the 4th of November. The cows, calves and bulls will be decorated nicely and ecstatic kirtan will be performed at the Goshala in ISKCON Mayapur.[ damodar ] [ kartik ] [ mayapur ]