35th Annual Panihati Festival
Posted May 17, 2011
ISKCON - Atlanta Panihati/Rathayatra festival - June 3rd - June 5th We have reached another ISKCON milestone, 35 years of Panihati festival at ISKCON Atlanta! The first Panihati Festival was celebrated at ISKCON Atlanta in 1976. There have been memorable events since then. Most recently, HH Jayapataka Swami attending the festival after his devastating stroke in 2009. When we asked about how to run the festival without his presences, he stated "I have never missed a Panihati festival and I don't plan on missing one now". Which brings us to the next milestone.
30 years of attending the Panihati festival by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami! His Holiness is responsible for the festival being what it is today. In 1975, Srila Prabhupada blessed our temple with a memorable visit. He named the temple New Panihati dham. He told the pastime of Ragunath das's punishment by Lord Nityananda at Panihati.
Lord Nityananda order Srila Ragunath das to feed all the assembled devotees chip rice soaked in yogurt. All the town's merchants heard of the festival and they all brought their goods to be used in the service of Lord Nityananda. This is the place where one can receive Lord Nityananda's special mercy. Lord Nityananda is very merciful to the most fallen.
Balavanta prabhu and a few devotees visited Panihati on their way to attend the 1976 Mayapur festival. They sat under the original tree and read the pastime of the festival. They also distributed prasadham. When they return to Atlanta, they celebrated the festival on the day of the pastime with three pots offered to each set of deities. This was the practise until Jayapataka Swami visited Atlanta.
He said "why offer only three pots? Offer enough to have a grand festival. Invite the devotees from all over North America and feed them chip rice." Since that time, the altar has been filled with over 300 pots of various flavors prepared by the hands of His Holiness. Where else in the three worlds can you honor mahaprasad prepared by the hands of Jayapataka Swami? Also at that time, the Atlanta Rathayatra festival was combined with the Chip Rice festival.
The three day festival will begin on Friday, June 3rd. We plan to honor Jayapataka Swami Saturday morning for his 30 years of dedication to the Atlanta temple. Rathayatra will begin from the temple grounds and return. Chitadahi festival will be on Sunday. We also have a lot more activities schedule (children's rides, satsang, various stage activities).
Also in attendance will be HH Bhakti Vikas Swami, Rtadhvaja Swami, Tamohara das, Malati dd, and the Mayapuris.
So, mark your calendar and come on down(or up for the Florida folks!) for the 2011 Panihati Festival at ISKCON Atlanta.
For more information, visit our atlantaharekrishnas.com
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