Kartik Purnima was celebrated on Saturday in Vrindavan. The coming of the full moon marks the last day of the holy month of Kartik. It is also known as Dev Deepawali.
Dev Deepawali lamps in Mathura (P.C. Amar Ujala)
The gods are said to be sleeping throughout the four months of chaturmasyai, which includes Deepawali, and awaken only on Devotthan ekadashi. Thus they celebrate the festival of lights on Kartik Purnima instead. In Mathura, the Dev Deepawali festival committee and the Tirth Purohit Mahasangh celebrated in the evening by lighting thousands of lamps on the Yamuna shore from Swami Ghat to Bangali Ghat. Lakshminarayan Chaudhary inaugurated the program with a lamplighting ceremony.
Yamuna Bath and Parikrama
On Kartik Purnima, thousands of devotees bathed in the Shri Yamuna river at Vrindavan and Mathura. They also performed pooja of Shri Yamunaji with flowers and lights. The number of devotees who undertook Vrindavan parikrama on this day is huge. It was like a human chain was formed along the parikrama marg from day to night. The whole city rang with with the melody of “Radhe Radhe!” “Hare Krishna!” as parikrama-goers sang and danced along the way.
Kartik Purnima marks the appearance day of Shri Nimbarkacharya, the father of the Nimbark Sampradaya. On this day a special seminar was held, where sants expressed their love for Radharani and spoke about Radha Tattva. Scholars from all corners of the country praised Vrindavan as the land of rasa and emphasized Radha’s importance. “Without Radha, Krishna of Vrindavan cannot be attained,” was the gist of the day’s discussions. As part of the Nimbark Jayanti celebration 5,100 lamps were offered to the Divine Couple.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on procession. (P.C. Anuragg Goswami)
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Agamanotsav
Kartik Purnima marks the day that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the father of the Gaudiya Sampradaya, came to Vrindavan. In honor of that holy event the yearly shobhayatra (procession) was taken out on parikrama from the Amiya Nimai temple in Gopinath Bazar. Mahaprabhu in the form of his chitrapat (portrait) was taken from Gopinath Bazar to the Yamuna River, Gopeshwar Mahadev, Mathura Road, Nagar Palika, Seva Kunj and Nidhivan before returning back to his temple. The procession was accompanied by heart-stirring songs of Mahaprabhu’s lila.
Special Raas Lila Darshans
In the sapta devalay, Shri Radha and Krishna were dressed beautifully for their Raas Lila. Special decorations, lighting and dioramas in each temple enchanced the beauty of the night. Darshans at Banke Bihari and Radhavallabhji were also unique and devotees relished visiting all of them. Several temples remained open till late at night, allowing more time for the Divine Couple to reveal their Raas Lila Darshan to the devotees.