Vancouver Gaura Purnima
BY: SUN STAFF
Mar 16, VANCOUVER, CANADA (SUN) This year's Gaura Purnima festival at ISKCON Vancouver was a great success. The festivities began with a well-attended mangal arotik. Bhava dasa led the kirtana and Gokulananda dasa gave the morning class on the mercy benediction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance in this Kali Yuga world.
When the curtain opened all the devotees were stunned by the beauty of the Deities, who wore exquisite new outfits from Mayapur dham. Navadvipa dasa and Brajabhumi dasi along with children Radha, Rama, and Laksman, crafted a large lotus backdrop, hand-flowered in brilliant shades of blue, white and pink. The effect was astonishingly beautiful.
The entire temple room was beautifully decorated, with opulent garlands above the altar, and Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana festooned in greens and garlands. A large painting of Lord Caitanya was placed on a garlanded easel beside the altar, and the devotees paid their obeisances constantly.
An enthusiastic harinama party took the Holy Name out into the city for several hours, from late morning through the afternoon, waking up the sleeping souls and turning rain into sunshine by the mercy of Mahaprabhu.
Many devotees tirelessly served throughout the day, making all sorts of arrangements for the festival. A long list of activities were organized by Jaya Govinda prabhu, as venues were created both within and all around the temple grounds.
Throughout the afternoon, devotees chanted and read to the Deities, their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Madana-Mohan, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, and Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra.
As the temple began to fill-up, a palanquin arrived bearing Padyavali devi's Sri Sri Nitai-Gauracandra Deities. Mahamantra dasa led an ecstatic kirtan as Their Lordships were welcomed by the devotees in the temple. Their Lordships were later taken on parikrama, circumambulating repeatedly around the temple.
Under bright moonlit skies, large crowds of devotees thronged in and around the temple throughout the night. Large tents were set-up for prasadam and kirtan, and a huge holi fire was constructed by Badri-nitai. A properly frightful looking Holika demon was built by Manaharini devi, who circumambulated the crowd before tossing her on the ceremonial fire.
Inside the temple, Narada Muni dasa performed abhisheka, which was followed by another exceptional transcendental drama performed by Bhakta Peter, Jennifer and Gaura dasa. The play highlighted the Lord's pastime of deciding to manifest in the world as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Many ecstatic kirtans and much dancing took place as the devotees moved from scene to scene around the temple. Prasadam was served to long queues, who happily received the Lord's mercy for many hours as the 2006 Gaura Purnima festival unfolded.
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