- Wednesday, 11 May 2005
- Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2005
A report with photos
Sri Navadvip-dham, 11 May 2005
On the auspicous day of Akshay Tritiya, the devotees headed by Sripad Bhaktivedanta Parivrajak Maharaja, Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja, Sripad Bhaktivedanta Govinda Maharaja, Sripad Bhaktivedanta Harijan Maharaja, Sripad Premananda Prabhu, and other senior vaishnavas conducted the inauguration ceremony of Sri Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Math, Navadvipa. The cornerstone laying ceremony was successfully carried out under the guidance and blessings of Om Visnupada Asttotarasata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, the founder Acarya of Bhaktivedanta Trust International (BHAKTI) and president of the International Gaudiya Vedanta Trust.
Three days prior to the event, devotees began arriving from various places of West Bengal. By the morning of the 11th, approximatly 50 devotees were eagerly awaiting for the ceremony to commence. After the temple's morning program, as more and more bhaktas arrived kirtan was started around the sacrifical fire pit. The Deities were taken from their temporary home and placed before the yagna pit, after which Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja began the fire ceremony. Upon completion of the sacrifice, the Deities were taken to their new home, and all the devotees rejoiced with more kirtan and parikrama.
Devotees then began taking all the ingredients for the cornerstone laying ceremony to a specially prepared pit that will later become part of the permanent temple. Invoking auspicious mantras and offering sacrifical ingredients, Sripad Tirtha Maharaj carefully layed the foundation stones. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, Sripad Shruvak Maharaj and Sripad Tirtha Maharaj spoke Harikatha to the assembled vaishnavas and afterwards prasadam was distributed. Among those present were vaishnavas from other Gaudiya Mathas, prominent members of the local government, and local political party leaders.
In the evening, a large prasadam feast was prepared for the local dhamvasis and was served after Harikatha and Gaura-arati. In total, enough prasadam for 6,000 people was distributed.