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Ganga-sagar Mela

 
Ganga-sagar Mela   Ganga-sagar is situated 140 km from Calcutta in a remote region at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. The river Ganges was brought down from the spiritual world to liberate the 70,000 sons of Sagar Maharaja, the fortieth descendent of the Sun Dynasty. But this was just a pretext to make available the association of Mother Ganges to humanity at large.

The Ganga Sagar Mela is a festival that happens on January 14 when the Sun traveling towards north enters Scorpio. At this most auspicious time, millions of pious pilgrims assemble to take a holy dip
 
at the confluence of the Ganges and the ocean. This moment of Uttarayana is so glorious that Bhishmadeva, one of the twelve Mahajanas, chose this time to leave his body. According to the scriptures, when the sun opens the doors of the heavenly planets for one who leaves the body.

Devotees from ISKCON Mayapur set up an elaborate arrangement to distribute hot, nutritious prasada and other facilities to the pilgrims at Ganga Sagar Mela. Here are highlights of what they provide:
 
Free night shelter
Free distribution of warm clothing
Free distribution of Bhagavad-gita
Immersion of the ashes of departed souls
Srimad-Bhagavata Katha
Maha Harinam Sankirtan by international devotees
Vishva-shanti Maha Yajna by international gurukula students
International seminar on Ganga Sagar
Attractive and educational cultural programs
Educational Programs on Vedic culture
 
Ganga Sagar
 
Ganga Sagar
 
Ganga-sagar Mela   Since Ganga Sagar is situated in a remote area, there is naturally a lack of arrangement for food and shelter for the pilgrims. ISKCON makes elaborate arrangements to provide proper care for pilgrims who come to take advantage of this auspicious day.
On this day Yudhishthira Maharaja distributed in charity in Krishna's presence. On this day, charity in the form of prasada distribution is strongly recommended. Isn't this a wonderful opportunity to serve at the Ganga Sagar Mela? Wherever you are in the world, you will get the rare chance of serving the pilgrims and devotees on this very auspicious day in an auspicious place! From wherever you are, you can just become the sponsor. Don't miss the chance!
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Ekachakra Nityananda-trayodasi

Ekachakra Nityananda-trayodasi   Ekachadra dham is the most auspicious birth place of Lord Nityananda prabhu. Lord Nityananda is non-different from Sri Baladev (Balarama hoilo nitai…) Many business people, devotees especially gaudiya vaishnavas, other sadhus, many villagers and the local residents- all gather in Ekachakra to celebrate Lord Nityananda’s birthday together. So three days festival is arranged there. This is an amazing event. All these devotees together chant the holy names, glorify Nityananda prabhu, cook for Nityananda prabhu and finally relish the remnants prasadam of Nityananda prabhu.
“One cannot get the mercy of Gauranga without the mercy of Lord Nityananda” .
Nityananda Prabhu is the original spiritual master of all the living entities. In the Vaisnava culture, service attitude is recommended. Through the medium of service to Nityananda Prabhu, one can easily attain devotional service to Sri Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
 
Feeding Villagers with Harinam Party   who is non-different from Sri Sri RAdha Krsna. Any little service to Nityananda prabhu performed by a devotee pleases Gauranga very much. What to speak of on the birth day of Nityananda prabhu? Indescribable!

Gaura Nitai broke open the store house of love of Godhead! When they become pleased, they will just bestow that Love to Their devotees. The best way to please Gaura Nitai is to feed Their devotees in Ekachakra on Nitai’s birth day. Since a beautiful temple for Lord Nityananda is coming up…. Those devotees who sponser for feeding the devotees will also automatically help building the temple for Lord Nityananda in Ekachakra!
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Shantipur Festival

Shantipur Festival   Sri Madhavendra Puri is a renowned Vaisnava sannyasi and spiritual master in the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradäya. The seed of the desire tree of devotional service served by the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradäya first fructified in him (Cc. Ädi 9.10 and Antya 8.34). His disciples include Sri Isvara Puri, Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Paramananda Puri, Sri Brahmananda Puri, Sri Ranga Puri, Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi and Sri Raghupati Upadhyaya. Srila Madhavendra Puri’s disciple Sriman Isvara Puri became the spiritual master of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu proceeded to flood the entire world with spontaneous transcendental love for Krsna through the medium of Harinam sankirtan.
 
So Srila Krsnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes in Caitanya Caritamrita about Srila Madhavendra Puri and offers obeisances as follows “I offer my respectful obeisances unto Madhavendra Puri, who was given a pot of sweet rice stolen by Sri Gopinatha, celebrated thereafter as Khira-cora. Being pleased by Madhavendra Puri’s love, Sri Gopala, the Deity at Govardhana, appeared to the public vision.” (Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi Khanda, Nityananda’s pastimes) It is this same exalted Srila Madhavendra Puri’s appearance day celebrated in Santipur by Srila Advaita Acharya, a disciple. Srila Advaita acharya would very pompously celebrate his spiritual master’s birth day.   Shantipur Festival
 
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in Santipur, it was coincidently the appearance day of Srila Madhavendra Puri. Thus Advaita acharya made elaborate arrangements for the offering of wonderful varieties of Prasad and for the distribution of Prasad in honor of Srila Madhavendra puri. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very very pleased by this arrangement.
 
Shantipur Festival   The Lord relished the transcendental delicacies and spoke about the glories of Srila Madhavendra Puri between His mouthfuls. It would be difficult to say which type of nectarine mouthful He relished more. The Lord said, “If one is fortunate enough to taste this wonderful prasadam in honour of the appearance day of Srila Madhavendra Puri, then one is immediately showered with loving devotion to Sri Krsna.” (Sri Caitanya Bhagavat, Antya Khanda, ch-4)
 
Any intelligent person certainly wont miss the opportunity of distributing delicious Prasad in the honor of Srila Madhavendra Puri in Srila Advaita acharya’s place, Santipur. Whoever misses.. will also be bereft of the causeless blessings benedicted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
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Panihati- Chida Dadhi Festival

 
Panihati- Chida Dadhi Festival   Panihati is a village away from Calcutta. Lord Nityananda prabhu during His travels was preaching in Panihati. Raghunath das, who later became one of the six goswamis, wanted to take Nityananda prabhu’s darshan and serve His lotus feet. He knew that only by the mercy of Nityananda prabhu, one can get the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus somehow by getting permission from his father, Raghunath Das, set out to Panihati to meet Lord Nityananda. But out of sheer humility and respect, Raghunath Das hid himself behind a tree, not coming infront of Lord Nityananda and His associates.
 
Sensing Raghunath Das' state of mind, Nityananda Prabhu decided to lovingly joke with him. And so, as Raghunath came forward, the following words emanated from Nityananda Prabhu's lips: “You are a thief, Raghunath Das! Come here, and I will now punish you.” Raghunath Das naturally became reluctant to approach Him. Nonetheless, Nityananda Prabhu caught hold of Raghunath Das and forcibly placed His feet on his head. All the devotees laughed as they saw Nityananda Prabhu's punishment turn into a humorous benediction.
 
Further “punishing” Raghunath Das, Nityananda Prabhu gave him the following order: “Prepare a big festival and feed all of the devotees with yogurt and chipped rice.”** Hearing this, Raghunath Das was greatly pleased. Finally able to use his wealth in the service of the Lord, he immediately sent some of his servants to purchase the necessary ingredients. Soon, the area was inundated by vast quantities of chipped rice, yogurt, milk, pastries, sugar, bananas, and assorted savories. Just to take part in the jubilant festivities, priests, laymen, and other pilgrims came from miles around. Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunath Das arranged to acquire more provisions from the neighboring villages. He also brought some four hundred large, round earthen pots for soaking   Panihati- Chida Dadhi Festival
the chipped rice. Together, in a cooperative spirit, the devotees prepared the feast and while so doing they chanted the holy name with great ecstasy.
 
Panihati- Chida Dadhi Festival   In addition to the countless devotees attending the festival were Nityananda Prabhu and other intimate associates of Shri Chaitanya. These intimate associates were each given a seat on a raised platform, as was the etiquette, and the other devotees sat around them. Everyone was then offered two earthen pots. One pot contained chipped rice with condensed milk.
The other contained chipped rice with yogurt. The devotees ate to their full satisfaction and shouted “Hari bol! Chant the names of Hari. Chant the names of the Lord!” At this time, by the will of Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Chaitanya mystically appeared on the scene.
Only those devotees who were accomplished in spiritual realization were able to perceive Shri Chaitanya's presence. Both Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu enjoyed seeing the devotees eating the chipped rice, yogurt, and condensed milk.
 
After the feast, Raghunath Das liberally distributed gold and jewels to the devotees present, but they were indifferent to everything except their loving relationships with Raghunath Das and Nityananda Prabhu. This whole incident came to be known as the Danda Mahotsava, which means, ironically, “the Festivity of Punishment.” To this day, pilgrims travel annually to Panihati in commemoration of the chipped rice Danda Mahotsava festival. It is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the bright moon in the month of Jyeshta (May-June).

This is a very auspicious festival where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda prabhu personally distributed the chira-dahi
  Panihati- Chida Dadhi Festival
Prasad to the unlimited congregation of devotees. What great fortune one can accumulate by distributing chira-dahi prasada on that particular day of Panihati mahotsav? One gets unlimited causeless mercy from Nityananda prabhu which paves the way for attracting the mercy of Gauranga and all His associates to chant the Holy Names ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare’ purely (caitanya caritamrita, antya lila 6-57)..
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" No one within ten miles radius of ISKCON Mayapur temple should go
hungry"
Srila Prabhupada
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