Govardhan, 2015.11.07 (VT): The 500th anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s arrival in Vrindavan will see numerous celebrations conducted by several groups of devotees following in his tradition.
One of the principal festival organizing committees is the Vrindavan Prakash Mahotsav, which is proposing a large number of activities. According to Abhishek Goswami, one of its organizers, the goal is to place emphasis on Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s primary contribution to the bhakti movement, which is Harinam sankirtan.
Representatives from 90 countries are expected to be present at Kusum Sarovar by Govardhan, where a stage is being set up on the water. More than 40 different performances of different styles of kirtan from 25 Indian states and speaking at least 15 different languages.
The project is under the combined management of Earth Voice and the Shree Dharmik Leela Committee.
Committee secretary Dhiraj Gupta also spoke at the press conference, “It is our hope that is to hold this event every year. And moreover we would like to hold it in various venues throughout the country.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, will inaugurate the Mahotsav on November 17 at Govardhan Kusum Sarovar will Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. On the occasion, MP Hema Malini will be present as a special guest. Then from November 18 to 25 various programs will be held at Fogla Ashram.
Some of the highlights of the Mahotsava will be;
Chaitanya Leela. Dance troops from all across the country will perform enactments of events in Chaitanya’s life. There will also be performances of the living theater of Vraja (Rasleela). The participants are Vaishnavas who through their performances relive the experience of the pastimes of Shree Krishna and Shree Chaitanya.
Samkirtan from temples across the length and breadth of India, including Shabad from Sikh Gurudwaras, Sufi songs, Haveli kirtan, Samaj gayan, temple Dhrupad and Dhamar, Carnatic classical sankirtan groups from South India, and of course, Harinaam Sankirtan from Bengal and elsewhere, including some foreign groups.
‘Prabhat Pheri’, which literally means ‘early morning rounds’, is a tradition that has been lost with modernization. During India’s yesteryears, villages would resound with the holy names early in the morning as devoted villagers would take rounds of their neighborhood chanting and singing the names of God, invoking good spirits, chasing away the evil spirits of the night, and welcoming the new day with pious vibrations. Participating kirtan groups from the evening programs will also participate in Prabhat Pheri.
Recital of Shreemad Bhagvatam. 1008 scholars will recite the 18,000 verses of Shreemad Bhagvat Katha.