11 March 09
And there it was, the much anticipated Gaura Purnima of 2009. I had been waiting all along for this day since last year. And here I am. It’s so nice when you write down your dreams, they eventually materializes into goals, then you take various actions to achieve it and presto! It’s a reality.
My dhoti and kurta looked exceptionally white from the dry cleaning. I left it outside the room the day before, the dhobi-wala takes it, at about 9am and brings it back by 5 pm, the same day. And here, I give a few shirts and fewer trousers and they need 2-3 days to get it dry cleaned ! Anyways, I woke up at 3am, had a nice shower, adorned my spotless garments, took my time to get the tilaka marks all over my body right, grabbed the bead bags, the mobile phones, the iPod, the camera, the keys, the tripod and a copy of the Srimad Bhagavatham. And a bottle of water too. Talk about excess baggage ! Soon, I was hopping away along the fields to the Mayapur temple, looking my best. It was dark, the moon was full and the air cool. I reached the temple by 4am. Wanted to make sure I got the best place in the room to view the deities.
But it was packed already. I managed to quickly get inside. There must have been thousands and thousands of devotees there. “WoW”, I thought. Anyways, I reached right in front of the Pancha-Tattva deities somehow. I was on the borderline of the men and women section of the crowd arrangement. An Indian mataji looked concerned. And then we all waited. After a while, the priest comes out. Blows his conch shell. People begin to cheer. Plenty of pushing. The gigantic curtain is pulled away and the dark room is illuminated by the bright light from the altar and the first thing you notice is Their clothes – It’s white too !!
I was even more captivated by the smaller deities. They looked so excited and ready to jump towards all the devotees assembled.
I am not sure how long I spent in front of the deities but it must have been hours. Today was a special day and I just didn’t feel like going anywhere. It was a great experience to be amongst so many devotees, all possible under going the same magical experience of being in front of the beautiful enormous deities, being in Mayapur and that too for Gaura Purnima. The combination was perfect. I think we may have been proud slightly for having received Their mercy and getting a chance to be there.
Krishna and Companions looked very colorful as well. They were a big hit with many of the Indian visitors who seemed to be completely lost in their stare on Him. Many just sat in front of the altar and continued to stare. What a great way to spend the day. I joined them and the happiness was constantly increasing. All the altars looked so powerful, beautiful, vibrant and exciting.
The altar room of Lord Nrsimhadev looked very opulent. I am a great fan of those lamps on the floor and on the side wall. You see many of these in the South Indian temples. We have some of these at our home in the village. And all my life, I have lit them in the mornings.
So, that’s a shot of all the deities on Gaura Purnima morning. It was a fun filled day. Later in the evening, we had the abhishek followed by an ecstatic kirtan. And that was crazy and out of this world!! More on that in the next post….