Chandana Yatra Mahotsava 2012
BY: CHANDAN BHATIA
May 09, 2012 SRIDHAM MAYAPUR, WEST BENGAL (SUN)
Chandana Yatra Mahotsava - 24 April to 14 May 2012:
Chandana yatra starts on the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Vaisakha month, and continues for twenty-one days. Lord Jagannatha gave direct instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time. Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the best of ointments is sandalwood paste. Since the month of Vaisakha is very hot in India, the cooling effect of the sandalwood is very pleasing to the body of the Lord. Sandalwood paste is applied all over the body of Jagannatha leaving only his two eyes visible. The utsava murtis (functional Deities - Vijay utsav) are taken on procession and are placed in a boat in the temple pond. To commemorate this festival, Lord Caitanya also carried out water sports with his devotees.
Akshaya Trutiya tithi marks the beginning of the construction of the Rathas (chariots) for the ceremonial journey and sojourn of Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra at the Gundicha Temple in Jagannatha Puri for a week.
History of Veshas Offered During Chandana Yatra:
In 2010 the devotees kindly requested Jananivasa Prabhu, the head pujari in Sridham Mayapur, to explain a little about how Veshas started being offered to Radha Madhava during Chandana Yatra. This is what they shared.
Jananivasa Prabhu: I heard about this festival of offering Lord Jagannatha twenty different dresses (veshas) during Chandana Yatra and I wanted to perform them. Then, in 2007, Narottama das, who serves in Srila Prabhupada's Pushpa Samadhi, showed me another list of dresses that he had found in a Gaudiya Math book, and inspired me to offer them to small Radha Madhava. That year, Keshavi Mataji, who designs the Deities' dresses, volunteered to make four or five dresses, of which the Gajendra Moksha dress was remarkable.
Shortly after that, I was approached by the Girl's Gurukula (Sri Anasuya Vidyamandala) who requested the service of making all of the twenty dresses by the next year. It would be incorporated in their art class, and all the girls would be able to assist in making all the dresses that are offered to Sri Sri Radha Madhava. It was a grand success with many astonishing dresses, such as the twenty-foot long snake Aghasura with a gaping mouth, and Cupid's Chariot with galloping horses. This year, the girls have promised even better, so Chandana Yatra will be a real treat. Hare Krishna!
Pankajanghri Prabhu: The Gurukul girls' hard work and enthusiasm is very much appreciated by all the devotees, eagerly awaiting at darshan time to see what pastime dress Krishna will be wearing today. The students not only get to make the dresses, but naturally want to know about the pastimes, so they become absorbed in hearing and chanting the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. You can see their devotion reflected in the dresses and the pastime paraphernalia that they have created. May they receive more and more creativity to inspire the devotees by the grace of Lord Jagannatha.
The dresses offered to the Lord are:
Natabara Krishna (The Best Dancer,
Krishna Janma (Birth of Lord Krishna)
Rajadhiraja (King of Kings)
Vana Vihari (Frolicking in the Forest)
Vastra Haran (Stealing of Gopis' Clothes)
Gomati Krishna Vesha (Mother Cow)
Chakra Narayana (Creator of the Universe)
Rasamandali Vesha (Circular Arena of the Rasa Dance)
Nauka Keli (Boat Pastimes)
Raghunatha Vesha (Lord Ramachandra)
Khat Doli (Swing Festival)
Sadbhuja Gauranga (Six-armed form)
Kandarpa Ratha (Cupid's Chariot)
Giri Govardhana (Govardhana Puja)
Gajendra Moksha (The Deliverance of Gajendra)
Aghasura Vada (Deliverance of Aghasura)
Giridhari (Lifting of Govardhana Hill)
Rasamandala Vesha (Rasa Dance)
Bumble Bee Vesha
Live video and audio (with moving pictures) broadcast is now available from Sridham Mayapur. Please visit: http://Mayapur.tv for the ecstatic darshan of Their Lordships!
Mayapur.tv is the hub of devotional live streams, presenting many amazing and wonderful events from many countries including broadcasts from the Temples around the world - London, Los Angeles, Prabhupada TV, live coverage of Jagannatha Rathayatra's from around the world etc. Please find below the pictures from last year's "Chandana Yatra Mahotsav" at Sridham Mayapur!
Morning darshan at Sridham Mayapur start at 7am India-time (GMT+5:30hrs) everyday.
Day 1 - NATABARA KRISHNA (Best Dancer)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA & ASTA-SAKHIS - NATABARA KRISHNA VESHA
Sri Sri Radha Madhava, surrounded by Their Ashta-sakhis (eight principal gopi friends) — Sri Lalita, Sri Champakalata, Sri Chitra, Sri Tungavidya, Sri Vishaka, Sri Indulekha, Sri Rangadevi and Sri Sudevi, along with Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Giri-Govardhana. The small Radha Madhava Deities in the altar goes out in procession during Ratha-yatra and other festivals like Jhulana-yatra (swing festival) or boat festival. These Deities also come out in procession on a chariot every Saturday after Sandhya-arati during winter from the beginning of the Kartika (Damodara) month till Gaura-purnima.
tara madhye hema-pitha, asta-dale vestita
asta dale pradhana nayika
tara madhye ratnasane, basi achen dui-jane
syama sange sundari radhika
"In the midst of the golden lotus of one hundred petals, there is a golden platform surrounded by eight petals. Situated upon those eight petals are the eight principal sakhis, headed by Lalita and Visakha. On that golden platform, the Divine Couple sit upon a jewelled throne. In the company of Lord Shyama sits the beautiful Radhika." (Srila Narottama Dasa Thakur's Prarthana)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA
SRI MADHAVA'S LOTUS FEET
Day 2 - KRISHNA JANMA Vesha (the Birth of Lord Krishna)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA & ASTA-SAKHIS - KRISHNA JANMA VESHA
Day 3 - RAJADHIRAJA Vesha (King of Kings)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - Rajadhiraja (King of Kings)
Day 4 - VANA VIHARI Vesha (Frolicking in the Forest)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - Vana Vihari Vesha (Frolicking in the Forest)
Day 5 - VASTRA HARAN Vesha (Stealing of Gopis' Clothes)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - VASTRA HARAN VESHA
Day 6 - GOMATI KRISHNA Vesha (Mother Cow)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - Gomati Krishna Vesha (Mother Cow)
Day 7 - CHAKRA NARAYANA Vesha (Creator of the Universe)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA & ASTA-SAKHIS - Chakra Narayana Vesha
SRI MADHAVA LOTUS FEET
Day 8 - RASAMANDALI Vesha (Circular Arena of the Rasa Dance)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - Rasamandali Vesha (Circular Arena of the Rasa Dance)
Day 9 – NAUKA KELI Vesha (Boat Pastimes)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - Nauka Keli Vesha (Boat Pastimes)
Day 10 - RAGHUNATHA Vesha (Lord Ramachandra)
SRI SRI RADHA-MADHAVA - Raghunatha Vesha (Lord Ramachandra)
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