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Sri Tarakeswar Temple
Grand Inauguration Festival

26 February 2017


The programme begins shortly after 6 a.m. with Tulasi parikrama, kirtans and a short lecture on
the significance of the day and the temple.





Yesterday, everybody was requested to bring some mango leaves
for the water pots and the ladies did so with excitement.



Amita Sakti Devi Dasi and Rukmini Devi Dasi (Venezuela), assisted by a few other devotees,
have had two very busy days preparing all the decorations for the altar and Lordships.



At eight o'clock everybody gathers downstairs to begin the parikrama. The ladies anxiously try their luck to get a pot for the abhisek water (abhisek is a special ceremony of washing the Deities). Srila Acharya Maharaj had warned the devotees not to fight for the pots and said that whether you do the parikrama simply chanting or while carrying a pot, the result was the same.



Happy Supriya Devi Dasi.





The ladies carry empty clay pots on their heads to a pond
at the temple of Baba Taraknath (a 20-30 minute walk from the temple).



The temple of Lord Siva is very busy and the crowd of sankirtan party flooded its every corner.


The altar where Lord Siva resides is further inside (taking photographs is not allowed).


The top of Lord Siva's temple.


On the way back to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Madan-Mohan's house.



The parikrama party was huge. Everybody is very anxious to come
to the temple of Baba Taraknath and once the devotees receive the darshan of Lord Siva
and take some water from the pond, the way back is not as pushy and intense.



His Divine Grace Srila Acharya Maharaj enters the temple and
meets minister Swapan Debnath waiting for him to congratulate on and acknowledge
the appreciation for opening the temple.


The ladies bring the water in the pots to the side of the temple where devotees pour the water out into two big tubs to perform the abhisek later. Srila Acharya Maharaj expressed the significance of this pastime to the effect that those who have brought the water to the temple in this parikrama have become sadhus.


As soon as the pots reach their destination, the Vaishnavs settle down and begin the class.


All special guests of honour received a beige saying "Holy Inauguration: Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Tarakeswar."





When all necessary ceremonies and procedures are performed, Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Madan-Mohan grant Their holy darshan to all the assembled and eager souls.




The attendance is quite overwhelming.



After all Vaishnavs give a short speech, His Divine Grace leads the first arati of Their Lordships.


The (rich and lavish) prasad is served on the second floor of the nat mandir: fine rice, aubergine pakoras, dal, jackfruit subji, cabbage subji, paneer rasa, chutney, yoghurt, rasagullas, puspanna, and sweet rice.


Plates (with a pinch of salt and a slice of lemon) and places are set for the sannyasis
of the Gaudiya Maths and other guests of honour.


The devotees served the Vaishnavs with much zest and affectionate care.



His Divine Grace is giving a donation as a part of Vaishnav seva to each sannyasi.


A happy family reunion: Sudevi Devi Dasi, Anjali Devi Dasi, and Revati Devi Dasi.





His Divine Grace estimates the attendance as fifteen thousand of guests
from all over Bengal, the locality, as well as many other places.


Scooping dal from a huge tank (a few hundreds of litres).


A heap of steaming hot rice.


A second heap of rice.


Twenty minutes later, the second heap of rice is gone, and the heap number one decreased by more than a third.


Five minutes later.




A large group of friends living in the neighbourhood was invited to distribute prasad
and they happily agreed being ready and eager to serve the whole day.

— · —

Thus passes the main festival part of the inauguration. Fortunate are those who have taken part in it, fortunate are those who have seen or heard about its glories. We bow down at the holy lotus feet of Sri Gurupadpadma Om Vishnupad Sri Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj whose mercy has manifest this beautiful festival and temple and pray for the mercy of all the Vaishnavs. We pray to always remain within the pure service line whose current His Divine Grace holds and extends.

— · —





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Gurudev has left, but he has left many things here—he has left his devotees, his Deities,
his temples; he has left the scriptures, his words. We will find him there.