Gaura Purnima is a Gaudiya Vaishnava festival that celebrates the auspicious appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadwipa, India. Gaura Purnima means “Golden Full Moon”. The name signifies that Lord Chaitanya took birth at time of full moon and He blesses everyone with the moonlike rays of His teachings.This festival also marks the beginning of the New Year for GaudiyaVaishnavas. Devotees across the world celebrate Gaura Purnima by fasting till dusk, chanting the Holy Name of Lord Krishna
Lord Chaitanya is non-different than Lord Krishna appearing as His own devotees. He spread the congregation chanting of Holy Name and taught that one can gain enlightenment by chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
At ISKCON Sri Narasimha~Giridhari Mandir, the festival is celebrated in a very grand manner. The deities are adorned in grand new outfits. Devotees will be engaged in reading and listening to the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu from Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita and other Vedic scriptures. The grand festivities begins in the evening, devotees gather at main temple hall singing special Gaura-lila kirtans glorifying the sweet pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The utsava Deity of Sri Gauranga receives an elaborate ceremonial bath. The Deities are first bathed with panchamrita (Milk, Curd, Ghee, Honey and Jaggery Water) and then with panchagavya (Milk, Curd, Ghee, water mixed with Cow Urine and Cow dung) followed by various fruit juices. After that the Deities are bathed with sanctified water from kalashas, they then receive a wonderful offering of 56 dishes (ChappanBhoga).
After the abhisheka and offering, shayanaarati is performed, to the accompaniment of a special song – Sri Gaura Arati–a special song composed by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura glorifying Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We invite you all to visit the temple on this auspicious day and participate in the festival.
The festival concludes with an anukalpa feast (made from non-grain ingredients) for devotees. It is prohibited to consume any grains on this day. The next day devotees offer a special feast to the Lord. It is called Jagannath Mishra Feast, named after Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s father, who arranged a grand feast to celebrate the birth of his son.
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