Golden Moon Festival Burleigh Heads
Posted on March 07, 2017 | Local Gigs
This month the world celebrates the Golden Moon Festival also known as Sri Gaura Purnima. Gaura means golden and Purnima is the full moon and this year the Golden Moon festival falls on Sunday 12th March. Gaura Purnima is the celebration of the appearance in this world of a wonderful transcendental personality named Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is the father of the worldwide kirtan movement and the great apostle of spiritual love.
The kirtan movement has taken the world by storm in recent years but not many of us stop to wonder where and how it all started and, most importantly, who started it. So first of all, the where:
On India’s eastern coast there is a state called Bengal where the holy river Ganges meets the sea. In Bengal is a province called Nadia and in Nadia there is a city called Navadwip. Navadwip was once a major centre of learning in India, similar to a big university town. In Navadwip is a district named Mayapur and around 500 years ago something very important was happening in Mayapur.
On an evening in 1486, just before sunset, as the full moon was rising in the sky, by Divine arrangement, an eclipse darkened the face of the moon. Because of this, people all across India gathered in the holy rivers and began loudly chanting the holy names. An eclipse of the sun or the moon is considered inauspicious so the people gathered in the sacred waters and chanted the holy names of God to counteract any negative influences. At that moment, while the whole continent resounded with transcendental sound, a wonderful baby boy was born in Mayapur. As soon as He was born, He smiled and He was so radiantly beautiful with a glowing, golden complexion, that He was named Gauranga – the golden one.
Sri Gauranga’s mission was to establish the kirtan movement so from the very beginning of His time on this planet, He was very creative in finding ways to encourage people to sing and chant. When He was a baby all of the neighbouring ladies would make excuses to come and see Him because He was so beautiful. They were baffled because He cried incessantly but they found that He stopped crying as soon as they began to sing, “Gopala, Govinda, Krishna, Haribol.” So soon it became everybody’s duty to sing to baby Gauranga and keep Him happy and there was the sweet sound of kirtan at His house day and night.
In His later life, Sri Gauranga became known as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the preached the glories of chanting the holy names. Sri Chaitanya did not come to start a new religion. He simply brought to light what was already there in the ancient scriptures and in this way introduced us to a process or a movement that is simple and joyful and at the same time completely transformative-- the chanting of God’s beautiful holy names. He taught:
“All glories to Sri Krishna sankirtan - the congregational chanting of the names of the Lord - which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for lifetimes.”
We are covered by so much karmic reaction collected for lifetimes. This karmic reaction is a very heavy burden for the soul but kirtan gradually washes away the accumulation of karma. He went on to say:
“It enables us to taste the nectar for which we are always anxious”
By nature we are sat-chit-ananda – eternal, full of wisdom and bliss – but we are covered by such a burden of karmic reaction that stops us from tasting this happiness that is rightfully ours. The hearing and singing of God’s names cleanses away everything that is keeping us from experiencing our original natural condition of pure spiritual love. The ananda or bliss that we are seeking is the bliss of spiritual love – loving union with the Supreme Person and flowing from that – love for all living entities.
This is the movement that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began just over 500 years ago. And these mantras that we are singing are the very same mantras that He sang, handed down through a lineage of saintly teachers. 500 years ago Sri Chaitanya predicted that His movement would spread to every town and village of the world and so here we are on the Gold Coast in Australia singing and enjoying this wonderful experience that is kirtan.
Join us for meditation, music, mantras and moonlight plus a special appearance by the Choir of Angels who will sing a beautiful composition called The Prayers of Lord Chaitanya.
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Sunday 12th March 2016
Burleigh Heads Beach (in front of the surf club)
Bring a light shawl to keep warm.
We’ll serve delicious vegetarian snacks.
Please bring a picnic if you’d like a substantial dinner
“All glories to the congregational chanting and hearing of Krishna’s Names which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years together, and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This congregational chanting of Krishna’s Names is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss and enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.” Sri Chaitanya