Come the full moon night of Kartik and devotees are seen enchanted in the devotion of Maharasa. The Kartik Purnima, or the Raas Purnima was observed in different ways in Braj – Vrindavan. It is a special day for Vrindavan, as the holy city was discovered on this day more than 500 years ago by Shriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
This day also symbolizes the eternal love of Krishna for the Gopis, as the Maha-rasa was performed on this day. Celebrated in honor of Shri Krishna, His consort Shri Radha and the Gopis, the festival was celebrated with melodious songs, dance and folk stories.
It is said Lord Shiva was named as Gopeshwar on this day, as He tried to enter the Divine pastime of Maharasa, in guise of a Gopi. Many cultural programs were also organized which provided platform for singers, dancers and musicians in the temples of Vrindavan.
This day also marked as the last day of the auspicious month of Kartik. Visitors from distant places reached Vrindavan to spend this special day with the Lordships of Vrindavan.
All the temples were decorated in a unique way, and attracted a big number of devotees. The temples of Gopinath, Gopeshwar and Vanshivat had the special significance on this day. The Gopinath temple was decorated with flowers and lights. Delicious 56 Bhog was offered to Shri Radha Gopinath ji. The Lordship was seated in the middle of eight gopis.
Special cultural program was organized in which the western devotees also participated. They dressed themselves as Krishna and Gopis and performed the dance of Maharasa to please Lord Gopinath ji,
Shri Gopinath Lal Dev Goswami Maharaj, the sevait of Gopinath Mandir said, “Krishna was given the name of Gopinath on this day. In the holy texts, the Ras Poornima has a special significance. In the later autumn Shri Krishna’s union with the Gopis with Dance & songs is expressed in Rasa Lila. Every year we celebrate this festival in a big way.”
Like every year, this year also a procession of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was taken out for Nagar Parikrama from Amiya Nimai Mahaprabhu Mandir, situated at Gopinath Bazar. The Vaishnavas and devotees mesmerized with their heartfelt typical song of ‘Amader Prana Gora Ray’. The procession stopped in every temple and the image of Mahaprabhu was worshipped. It went to Gopinath, Radha Raman, Gokulananda, Gopeshwar, Govinda, Imlitala and many other temples before coming back to the Boro Gour Mandir.
The Yamuna Ghats of Vrindavan and Mathura were decorated with the earthern lamps as this festival is also known as ‘Dev Deepavali’, the celebration of Diwali by the gods.