Under the name Chaitanya Janmotsava, the Gaudiya Mission from Bagbaazar in cooperation with many other Vaisnava missions organized the three day festival inviting practically anybody who felt any affiliation to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Everything started with a big Naga Sankirtan with participation of many different Gaudiya Marths including ISKCON, Gopinath Gaudiya Math, Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, Vrinda and many others.
The Naga Sankirtan went to Bagbazaar Gaudiya Math where a big garden had been rented from the government and three days of lectures, cultural events and bookstalls of all the missions represented by the different Vaisnava missions and their friends. Even the Bharat Seva Ashram had a bookstall, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the Bhaktivedanta Institute and of course the World Vaisnava Association.
Unfortunately the acharya of the Bagbazaar Gaudiya Math Srila Parivrajk Maharaj was admitted to a hospital a few days before but was reported that his health was improving. He was very ably represented by his holiness Sannyasi Maharaj, the secretary of the Gaudiya Mission.
Right after the Gourpurnima Festival in Mayapur, this Janmotsav was a celebration of Lord Chaitanya’s appearance day in the company of the devotees of Kolkata.
The call for unity of the followers of Sanatan Dharma under the protection of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the main topic. The chief guest on the first day was the general secretary of the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha – World Vaisnava Association His Holiness Srila Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Swami Maharaj. He stressed the need of the Vaisnavas participation in Dham Seva and the protection of Yamuna and Ganga rivers. He also emphasized that the huge diversity manifesting by the followers of Vaisnavism and Sanatan Dharma was providing an incredible potency when it comes to solving the issues of joined interest.
The next day Srivatsa Goswami spoke about the need of protecting Sri Vrindavan Dham and to get it recognized as a world heritage site by acknowledging its historical importance. His Holiness Srila Bodhayan Maharaj from the Gopinath Gaudiya Math gave the initial address. The meeting was attended by so many missions, and in the bookstalls you could see a wide range of publications all inspired by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It was generally recognized that the event was a great success, that it should be repeated every year and that future events should have much more participation and preparation to make it even more beautiful and effective.
Lots of people praised the effort of the Gaudiya Mission for making this event possible, being that it was the first of such events in Kolkata and for the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha the third Vaisnava book fair after the first two which were held in Srivas Angam at the beginning of its foundation 21 years ago. For Kolkata, it was a most beautiful celebration. The Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha also presented the magazine of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur and The Vaishnava Portrait, the magazine in Hindi presenting the World Vaisnava Association. Very soon the Bengali version will come out.
The World Conscious Pact tries to expand the spirit of this Chaitanya Mahotsav and our social, environmental and spiritual responsibility around the world to share that spirit of Mahaprabhu with many like minded groups that want to protect the rights of Mother Nature, Mother Bhumi. The broadmindedness of this event came as a happy surprise.
Just a few weeks prior to Gourpurnima a big meeting of elders had taken place in Maisol where the need of union to protect the Rights of Mother Nature was celebrated. Under the direction of Mohan Bhagavad, the leader of the RSS, natives from many countries have been invited to the meeting of the elders, so the prediction of the East and the West cooperating for the uplifting of the proper conduct of humanity actually started moving into action. We hope that next year for the same event and festival we get much more participation and create a strong alliance for all of our joined interests.
Krisna Seva Devi Dasi
Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha
Photographs taken by Sidhanta Das from USA