A report by Gaur-gopal das
Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Math, Navadvipa, W. Bengal
April 30, 2006
A grand celebration was held by the vaisnavas of Sri Sri Keshavaji Gaudiya Math, in Sri Navadvipa Dham, on this day of Akshay Tritiya. The construction of this new temple was offically begun on this day last year, under the perfect guidence of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj.
This day resides in the month of Vaishakh, which has the speciality that any vrata that is undertaken during this month will bear extraordinary results. Additionally, anything established on this Akshay Tritiya will be imperishable. For these reasons Srila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja, in the company of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj and others, chose this day to establish Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in 1941. Following in his Gurumaharaj's footsteps Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja has established this center in order to fulfill the desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Two days prior to the festival Sripad Harijan Maharaja along with a few brahmacaris went to all the temples in Sri Navadvipa and Mayapur dham and invited all the bhaktas to attend the celebration. Resident devotees went door to door collecting alms for the program and invited everyone to attend. In addition a grand nagar sankirtan was held by the devotees throughout the streets of Sri Navadvipa Dham.
On the morning of the festival, just after mangal arati and morning mantras, all the devotees began their sevas dilligently. One group of bhaktas immediately began cooking, another began kirtan, a third began preparations to receive all the invited guests, and the last group went to the local villages to personally invite all surrounding devotees.
At approximately 9:00 AM, the devotees started to assemble in the temple room for the kirtan program. About sixteen sannyasis along with brahmacharis and devotees from the different maths in Mayapur and also from the maths here in Navadvipa like Sri Devananda Gaudiya Math and Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Math came to join the celebration. Kirtan proceeded until 11:00 AM, when visiting vaisnavas were requested to speak about the glories of this sacred day.
Devotees glorified Srila Paramgurudeva, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaj, his conception of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta and spoke about Chandan Yatra, Akshay Tritiya, and the concept for establishing Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti on this day.
Afterwards the devotees all assembled to honor mahaprasadam in the new temple building.
No expense was spared as the list of preperations included 300 kilos of rice, 150 kilos of yogurt, 50 kilos of curd, and 1200 sweets. Distribution began at about 1:00 PM and continued for four hours.
After a short rest and some more preparations, fresh prasadam was distributed for two hours in the night.
In conclusion, the celebration at Sri Sri Keshavji Gaudiya Math managed to serve over six thousand bhaktas in accordance with the rules of vaishnava ettiquete and is considered a grand success.