Dear Respected Readers,
Dandavat pranama. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
Today, November 6, 2010, under the direction of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja, the international pilgrims performed parikrama of Manasi Ganga. They also stopped for darsan and hari-katha at Harideva temple, Caklesvara Mahadeva, Srila Sanatana Gosvami's bhajan-kutir, and Mukharavinda.
Tonight is Dipavali, and the entire parikrama party will go to Manasi Ganga to offer their ghee-lamps. In honor of this special day, we are sending an excerpt from Srila Maharaja's lecture of 1996:
[Question:] Why do we celebrate Dipavali, and in what mood is it celebrated by Vrajavasis?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Dipavali means 'a time of happiness.' When Lord Rama defeated Ravana and reached Ayodhya, a big Dipavali festival was performed there.
Sri Vamanadeva wanted to cheat Bali Maharaja. He did not cheat him; rather he gave his mercy, although it seemed that He was cheating. When Bali Maharaja was offered a benediction from the Lord, he requested, "Always remain in my home." In this way the Lord Himself was cheated. Lord Vamana was very glad, and he agreed to stay there forever. Due to great happiness, Bali Maharaja then asked all his associates to hold a Dipavali festival, and that was the first Dipavali.
When Krsna defeated Duryodhana and returned to Dvaraka, a Dipavali was also celebrated there.
Lord Krsna Himself, along with Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and all other Vrajavasis, came here and celebrated this festival with their own hands. In other words they themselves offered dipa (a lighted ghee wick) and rendered many other services.
Divali also means 'light.' If there is no bhajana of Krsna there is darkness, and in Krsna Consciousness there is light. We celebrate this function in order to give up darkness and to bring the light of bhakti, pure devotion. This is the same celebration. Real happiness comes from playing karatalas and mrdangas. If one hears this, and if maya hears, maya will go away at once. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought the sankirtana movement to this world to drive out maya. Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu do this Themselves, and we try to follow Them.