Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Installation of the Deities at Pichlada Gaudiya Matha

Installation of the Deities at Pichlada Gaudiya Matha

Paramaradhyatama Srila Gurudeva preached suddha-bhakti extensively for several years in Pichlada and in Assam, and the faithful people in the area repeatedly requested him to establish a Sri Vedanta Samiti preaching centre there. Moved by their strong insistence, Srila Gurudeva agreed to open a preaching centre near Pichlada pada-pitha. A short time before snana-yatra, he sent tridandi-svami Srimad Bhaktivedanta Paramarthi Maharaja with a few brahmacaris to arrange for the installation of the deities. He himself arrived in Pichlada village with many of his sannyasis and brahmacaris. Tridandi-svami Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja also reached Pichlada one day before Snana-purnima.
Sri Pichlada Gaudiya Matha was established on Sri Jagannatha-deva’s Snana-purnima, 20 June 1959 and the deities of Sri Sri Guru, Nityananda-Gauranga and Radha-Vinoda-bihariji were also installed on that day.

On the day of the installation, after early morning kirtana and adhivasa-kirtana (kirtana before a ceremony starts), the temple and matha premises were decorated with mango leaves, flower garlands, flags, banners and other auspicious items. In accordance with the rules of Hari-bhakti-vilasa, twelve banana trees, twelve pipal trees and twelve gulara (wild fig) trees were placed on the four sides of the temple. Twelve water pots marked with svastikas were placed in front of the banana trees, and mango leaves and coconuts were placed on top of the water pots. Another five water pots were filled with sacred water that had been collected from a holy river some distance away with nagara-sankirtana and a band party. These five pots were placed in the bathing chamber, or snana-mandapa, of Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihariji.

After the arrival of the deities on the altar of the snana-mandapa, the priests performed maha-abhiseka of Sri Salagrama Sila (the representative form of Sri Sri Gaura-Nityananda) with milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey, sugar and one hundred and eight pots of fragrant water sanctified by mantras. During the abhiseka the sound of the kirtana with mrdanga and karatalas mixed with the sound of conch shells, the jaya-dhvani and the ladies ululating reverberated in every direction. At the same time, prasthanatraya (i.e., Veda, Upanisad, Visnu-sahasra-nama, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Gopala-sahasra-nama and Srimad Bhagavad-gita) were recited with loud voices on all sides of the temple. After the abhiseka, while the atmosphere was resounding with the transcendental sounds of the sankirtana-yajna and the recitation of the Vedas and other scriptures, the deities were taken to the altar. Srila Acaryadeva himself performed the consecration of the deities with Vedic mantras.

Afterwards the altar doors opened and thousands of assembled faithful people took Their darsana accompanied by loud jaya-dhvani. After puja-arcana and bhoga-arati, supremely delicious maha-prasada was distributed to about five thousand faithful people.
After evening arati and tulasi-parikrama, there was a large assembly at which Srimad Bhaktivedanta Paramarthi Maharaja, Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and others spoke. After that, Sri Acaryadeva lectured vigorously for two hours. His very substantial discourse was filled with siddhanta concerning the deity and the matha and temples. He talked about the situation in modern India and about the village of Pichlada and its residents. He also spoke about sri vigraha-tattva, explaining what a matha actually is and how the matha-mandira is factually beyond the three modes of material nature.

He went on to discuss personalism (sakara-vada) and impersonalism (nirakara-vada); Christianity’s personalism, impersonalism and fruitive mentality (karma-vada); Islam’s personalism and impersonalism; Buddhist and Jain personalism; and Acarya Sankara’s personalism and impersonalism. He then made a critical study of different Indian doctrines and sects, including the personalism–impersonalism of Hankaradeva of Assam, and the impersonalism of Kabir, Nanak and others. After that he talked about the progressive development of atheistic society in India, the necessity for mathas and temples, and other subjects.

Srila Gurudeva said, “Dharma does not have a supreme place in the present independent India. Adharma is manifest under the cover of people’s indifference to dharma. As a result, an indescribable violent dance of immorality, licentiousness and bad thought is running rampant in our country.

“Nowadays, under the guise of communism, we see very forceful efforts to drag elevated people down and make them equal to inferior people. However, nowhere do we see any corresponding effort to elevate inferior people so they become equal to the superior class. This trend is clearly visible in all fields, such as politics, social movements, economics and education.

“India is a pure and religious land, which is why Gita calls the great battlefield dharma-ksetra, the field of religion. In our country we can see many impersonal religious societies. In reality impersonalists cannot at all abandon the ideology of personalism. They want to absorb themselves in an imaginary impersonal meditation while keeping a personal form in the centre. It is this imaginary, impersonal meditation which has given birth to atheism in our country. The doctrine that the Lord has no form, no character, no quality and no power is completely false and imaginary. It is also the origin of the Buddhists’ voidism (sunya-vada), or atheism, which is opposed to the Vedas. This philosophy is completely contradicted by the Vedas and by all other sastras, which consistently acknowledge the Lord’s eternal form, or svarupa. To acknowledge this is theism. Persons who do not accept the eternal form of Bhagavan are atheists.” The audience was very impressed by his lecture, which was full of deep siddhanta and logic, supported by proofs from sastras.

At this ceremony, Sri Sudama Sakha Brahmacari became a special object of mercy because of his efforts in collecting ornaments, clothes, pots and other items in Navadvipa-dhama and Kolkata and bringing them to Pichlada, and for his great endeavour in other services for the installation of the deities. The pious Sri Prabodhacandra Pandya Mahasaya from Kasimpura district donated the Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihari deities and Their simhasana and covered most of the festival expenses. He deserves appreciation for this service and is the special object of the mercy of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. The Samiti is grateful to the honourable Sri Gajendra-moksana dasa Adhikari for donating the deity of Sriman Mahaprabhu and for rice and other items for the festival. He provided almost forty maund (about sixteen hundred kilograms) of rice ever year for the Sri Dhama Navadvipa parikrama. His ideal service is praiseworthy in all respects. Above all, Sri Govinda dasa Adhikari of Pichlada is an object of mercy for his endeavour with his life, wealth and intelligence to establish the matha. The endeavours and service of Sri Kokila Raksita, Sri Govinda dasa, Nirapada Maiti and Sri Murari Mohana are also specially notable.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

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