The Gaura Pūrṇimā festival is the commemoration of the appearance of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, the most merciful devotee-incarnation of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in this world 531 years ago in the color and devotional mood of Śrīmati Rādhārāṇī. He descended to deliver the fallen souls of kali-yuga by the weapon of Hari-nāma Saṅkīrtana. For Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, this festival is considered the new Year’s Day.

At ISKM Puducherry we had a grand celebration on the 12th of March. The program started with Hari-nāma Saṅkīrtana during Sandhyā-ārati in the evening. The devotees participated joyfully in the chanting and dancing. Many guests started pouring in.

After the ārati followed the cultural show. We arranged a paṇḍāl on the road just outside the temple where the cultural show, abhiṣeka, book distribution, and prasādam distribution were conducted.

The cultural show kicked off with Vaiṣṇava bhajanas. Following that was a unique presentation of Lord Caitanya’s Śikṣāṣṭaka prayers portrayed in a Bharata-nāṭyam dance sequence performed by 12 year-old twin sisters, Graha Lakshmi and Kirtana Lakshmi.

A drama — The Deliverance of Jagāi and Mādhāi — depicting the most merciful pastime of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda was enacted by the devotees. The drama was very much appreciated by devotees and the neighborhood people alike. They understood and verbally appreciated the purpose of Lord Caitanya’s incarnation as a devotee in this Age of Kali.

After the cultural show, an abhiṣeka ceremony was performed for Their Lordships Śrī Śrī Gaura-Nitai. Finally, the abhiṣeka caraṇāmṛta and prasādam feast was distributed to all present.