GAURA PURNIMA – MARCH 3, 2007
Navadvipa-dhama parikrama culminated with the Gaura-purnima celebration in the new, under-construction Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha on the island of Koladvipa. Srila Narayana Maharaja arrived at 4:30 pm for the new-initiate fire sacrifice and sannyasa ceremony. He awarded sannyasa to four devotees – two Western and two Indian. They are: Dau Dayal dasa, whose sannyasa name is Sripad Bhaktivedanta Giri Maharaja; Pradyumna Misra dasa, whose name became Sripad Bhaktivedanta Vaisnava Maharaja, Haridasa dasa, who became Sripad Bhaktivedanta Puri Maharaja and Dhira Krsna dasa, whose name became Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhusudana Maharaja.
Presenting sannyasa garments
Giving sannyasa danda
Before presenting the new sannyasis with their dandas, Srila Narayana Maharaja had all the present sannyasis touch the danda as part of the ritualistic ceremony, and to bless the new sannyasis.
After the sannyasa ceremony, Srila Narayana Maharaja ascended the vyasasana on the stage and spoke for a few minutes. He then called on a few disciples to speak. Among other things, Srila Narayana Maharaja said:
"It is Gauranga Mahaprabhu's Birthday today. At the time of Mahaprabhu's birth there was a lunar eclipse, and today the same lunar eclipse will occur, from 3:00 to 6:42am tomorrow morning. Get up by 3 am. Do not sleep during this time, do not eat or drink anything, and do not even go to the bathroom during this time. Do this before or after, unless there is too much urgency.
Sriman Tirtha Maharaja and others will stay awake all night. There will be classes and kirtana all night long. You should all come. If anyone chants harinama at the time of the lunar eclipse, and if anyone chants Gopala-mantra and kama-gayatri, you will attain perfection. All of you should be careful. Stay awake and chant your mantras."
Kirtana was performed all night long, and devotees from all over the world danced and chanted the holy names together.