Inauguration Festival of Sri Sri Guru-Gaurachandra-jiu: an Overview.

By the grace of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga, and by the will of Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj, we have concluded the week-long celebration of the inauguration of the service of Sri Sri Guru-Gaurachandra here at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Mission, Salt Lake City.

The festivities began on Monday, July 30th, with the arrival of Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj from Mexico. Srila Ashram Maharaj is always very gentle and affectionate, and his association gives great assurance and hope to the aspiring devotees. We were overjoyed to see and meet with his Grace, and hear his talks, including how he first joined with Srila Prabhupada’s movement and later with Srila Guru Maharaja at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

A few days later on August 1st, we were blessed with the arrival of Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj from Soquel. As is always the case with the saintly Vaisnava, Maharaj’s good humor and wonderful talks were the background of the heart-transforming nature of his presence.  His most loving relationship with Srila Gurudev is a great blessing to everyone around him.

 Srila Janardan Maharaja was accompanied by Sripad Bhakti Chandan Parvat Maharaj, whose good humor and cheerful friendliness gave enthusiasm to everyone. We were also blessed with the arrival of Sriman Ramai Archan Niketan Prabhu, the pujari of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Seva Ashram in Soquel.  His gentle, humble instruction and dedicated seva carried the inauguration puja, as he bathed and dressed the Lord, offered Him the first bhoga offering, and performed the first arotik. The merciful Lord must have known how absolutely helpless we would have been without Ramai Prabhu!

 Many devotees attended the festival; some came from Soquel, some from San Jose, Oregon and even Canada. All of them immediately dived into service: cooking, cleaning, decorating, serving prasadam and taking prasadam, kirttan, Sankirrtan in the streets, non-stop audio-video recordings, garlands and vase-making – anything that was required was done with unobstructed enthusiasm by one and all. Many guests also came and received the opportunity to serve the Vaishnavas. The atmosphere of the temple was filled with love, laughter and joy.

On Sunday, August 5th, the auspicious day of Gaura Dvitiya designated by Srila Acarya Maharaj, the Lord was invited into His deity form by Srila Janardan Maharaj, Srila Ashram Maharaj, and all the Vaishnavas present. When the curtains finally opened to reveal the beautiful holy Form of Sri Sri Guru-Gaurachandra, the kirttan was tumultuous, as we prayed to feel the sweetness of service to that most kind, merciful Lord Sri Sri Guru-Gaurasundar-jiu, and His most beloved servants, our Sri Guru Varga. After the first aroti and fire yajna, a glorious feast of prasadam was served. Paneer steaks; shukto; kofta; idlis; paneer yogurt subji; muli subji; okra subji; bitter sak; cauliflower pakoras; samosas; dahl; plum, ginger, and coconut chutneys; rice; fancy rice; kheer; sandesh; cake; fudge; chaas; and strawberry lemonade prepared by the great cooks were simply amazing.

As the festival ended and the vans, trains and planes began to carry the devotees back to their respective Ashrams, we pray that the divine kirttan of Sri Sri Guru-Gaurachandra will continue to ring in the hearts of.

All Glories to the Vaishnavas of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math!


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The sannyasis arriving in Salt Lake City:




The devotees’ service:




Harinam Sankirttan in Downtown Salt Lake City:



The Festival Day:





The Fire Yajna (Sacrifice):





Jay Sri Sri Guru Gauracandra-jiu ki-jay!