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Everyone is surprised when Srila Gurudeva leads the singing and chanting of not one, but two Bengali hymns.

Saturday, March 6th, 2004

Nabadwip, West Bengal, India

Gaura Purnima

Srila Gurudeva sings

Today is Gaura Purnima, the Golden Full Moon: the divine appearance day of the Golden Lord, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Thousands of pilgrims from India and abroad have come to commemorate this day here at the world headquarters of the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Nabadwip Dham, India.

There are many special offerings, aratis, and pujas, as well as special readings from the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, and chanting of the Lord's holy names throughout the festival. Everybody fasts until moonrise: the feast celebrating Mahaprabhu's appearance is tomorrow.

In the early evening, Srila Gurudeva comes down to the nat mandir to address the congregation. Due to ill health, Srila Gurudeva seldom leads the chanting of any of the kirtans any more, so everyone is surprised when Srila Gurudeva leads the singing and chanting of not one, but two Bengali hymns.

Then, to the amazement of all, Srila Gurudeva begins to lead the singing the verses of the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita (Adi Lila, Chapter 13, verses 89–124) that are traditionally chanted at Gaura Purnima:

caudda-sata sata-sake masa ye phalguna
paurnamasira sandhya-kale haile subha-ksana

"Thus in the year 1407 of the Saka Era (1486 A.D), in the month of Phalguna (March–April), on the evening of the full moon, the desired auspicious moment appeared..."

To everybody's surprise and increasing delight, Srila Gurudeva, in a resounding voice, continues to sing all thirty-six verses all the way to the end:

janma-lila gaila krsnadasa

"...I Krishnadas, sing the glories of the Lord's appearance."

Everyone is very happy, and joyfully engages in ensuing kirtan. After the moon has risen, we all partake of a wonderful ekadasi prasadam feast.

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