All glory to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga

Kirtaniya sada hari

CHANDAN YATRA FESTIVAL 2016

Posted on: May 3, 2016 Posted By: Gaudiya Mission

Chandana Yatra is a festival during the hot season in India in which the Deities are covered with sandalwood paste (chandana) to cool Them. For 21 days with the Utsava Vigrahas covered in chandan. The Deities are covered completely with chandan(sandalwood paste), which provides the Lord relief from the scorching heat of summer in the month of Vaisakha/Jyestha (May/June).

Once, Lord Jagannatha instructed the ancient King Indradyumna to perform this festival on this occasion. Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the best of balms is said to be sandalwood paste. Since heat in the month of Vaisakha is extreme in India, the cooling effect of sandalwood paste would be pleasing to the Lord.

 

Sandalwood paste is applied all over the body of Lord Jagannatha leaving only his two eyes exposed. The Utsava Vigrahas (functional Deities – Vijay Utsav) are taken on procession and placed in a boat in the temple pond. To commemorate this festival, Lord Chaitanya Dev also performed water sport with his devotees.

Madhavendra Puri was a great follower of the Gaudiya-sampradaya. When he was in Govardhana, he dreamt of a deity of Gopala dug in the jungles. The Lord said, “Madhava, I am much suffocated in the jungle beneath the earth. Please excavate my place and install Me in a temple.” So Madhavendra Puri, with the help of the Annore villagers, excavated the earth and found the deity and Gopala was installed on top of the Govardhana Hill. One day, Gopala said, “I was beneath the earth for long and My body is worn out. Would you please bring some sandalwood from Jagannatha Puri and smear on Me with its pulp and soothe My body?”

Madhavendra Puri was then an old man and he couldn’t deny the order of Lord Gopala. So he set out to Jagannatha Puri. On the way, he reached the Remuna where the Gopinätha temple is located at the border of Orissa and Bengal. He stayed there overnight and saw that the pujari offered twelve pots of ksira to the deity. So Madhavendra Puri thought, “If I could taste a bit of ksira, then I would also make similar offerings to my Gopala in Vrindävan. Immediately, his consciousness scolded him, “Oh, I am so stupid. Before offering it to the Deity, I think of eating it.” Realising his mistake, he immediately left the temple. He went outside and sat beneath a tree and chanted the Hare Krisha Mahamantra to pass the night. At night, the Deity appeared in the dream to the priest and said, “I have shielded one pot of kshira (condensed milk) behind My garment. Take it to Madhavendra Puri sitting beneath the tree outside the temple. The priest reached the temple and did so as instructed. Then the priest described the whole episode to Madhavendra Puri. Thereafter, Gopinatha became famous as Kñéra-cora, who stole ksira for His great devotee.

In the next day morning, Madhavendra Puri set out to Jagannatha to collect chandan for Gopala. Before he reached Puri, the news was spread there that Gopinatha stole kshira for Madhavendra Puri. At Jagannatha Puri, Madhavendra met the pujari of Lord Jagannatha and expressed the desire of Lord Gopala. The pujari took him to the King of Puri. Hearing the episode, the king gave him one mann (nearly 37 kg) of special sandalwood used in Puri and two security guards and gave him a written order not to harm Madhavendra, the carrier of chandan. While he reached near Gopinatha, Govinda appeared in his dream and said, “Madhava, you embalm Lord Gopinatha with sandal paste so that I too would receive it, for Gopinatha and I are one.” Madhavendra Puri anointed Lord Gopinatha with chandan paste as Gopala instructed. The Chandan Yatra festival started since then to commemorate the incident.

Every year Gaudiya Mission organises Chandan Yatra Festival at its headquarters and branches. This year also the festival would be held at the main office of the Mission in Baghbazar, Kolkata from May 9 to 29, 2016. In this festival the Deities are anointed with varieties of flowers and sandal paste. The devotees can have the view of the Deities from 6 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. As a part of the festival, special Sankirtans and dances are performed before the Deities.

SRI GAUDIYA MATH

16/A, Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street (Bagbazar), Kolkata – 700003,

P.O – Bagbazar, P.S – Shyampukur

Nearest Location: Opposite Of Bagbazar Girish Mancha (Theatre Hall)

Parking Of Vehicles: Due To Narrow Lane Do Not Park Vehicles Infront Road Of Gaudiya Mission, Please Park Vehicles Infront Of Girish Mancha.

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