Vasanta Panchami

Vasant Panchami, the Fifth day of the waxing moon in Magha maas, marks the beginning of spring in India, and the beginning of the festivities of Holi in Vraja. On this day the Lords in Shri Krishna Balaram Mandir, Iskcon Vrindavan, and all the other temples in Vraja, are dressed and decorated in yellow garments, jewels and flowers. Following in the same mood of the festival, many of the devotees also dress in yellow garments. The Lords are offered various dishes with kesar and other yellow ingredients that make the foodstuffs also match the overall color code of the festival. From this day forth, the colorful festival of Holi, in which Brajendrananadan Krishna and the gopis headed by Shrimati Radhika engage in throwing flower petals, colored powders and colored water on each other in a transcendental love battle, is celebrated for 40 days in different parts of Vrindavan. The transcendental pastime of Vasant raas also took place on this auspicious night in Govardhan at Chandra sarovar, in which the moon stood still to take darshan of this divine dance for the duration of one night of Lord Brahma, which is equals to trillions of years on this earthly planet.

This day also marks the appearance day of Shrimati Vishnupriya devi, the consort of Mahaprabhu, who is an embodiment of divine love. At the very tender age of 16, her husband Prem Purushottam Mahaprabhu took sannyas, leaving her in a state of great distress and separation. After Mahaprabhu’s sannyas, for the rest of her life she spent her time chanting and singing the glories of Krishna and the Lord of her life, Gauranga. She would put aside a grain of rice after every mantra of Hare Krishna that she would chant and after chanting whole morning, she would cook the rice that she had put aside and offer it to her deity of Mahaprabhu, whom she used to worship day and night with tears of love and devotion streaming forth from her beautiful eyes. Thereafter she would offer the rice to her dear mother in law, Sachi mata, and only eat whatever was remaining after Sachi mata had eaten. In this way she spent her life in the remembrance of her husband, who is none other than Brajendranandan Shyamsundar.

Radhunath das goswami also blessed this world by appearing on this very day. After having received the mercy of Lord Nityananda in Panihatti and organizing the great festival of Panihatti chidadahi in accordance with his instructions, he submitted himself in the lotus feet of Mahaprubhi in Shri Ksherta Puri dham , where Mahaprabhu put him under the care of Swarup damodar, under whose guidance Raghunath das goswami received all spiritual knowledge. Mahaprabhu also blessed Raghunath with his own personal Giriraj shila, whom he used to worship and a Gunja bead necklace, that Mahaprabhu used to worship as Shrimati Radharani. After the disappearance of Lord Chaitanya and his associates, Raghunath das goswami was grief stricken, and with the intention to give up his body by jumping in the Jamuna or jumping from Govardhan, he came to Shri Vrindavan dham, where Srila Rupa and Sanatan goswami consoled him. Thereafter Raghunath das goswami started residing at Radhakund, regularly associating with the other goswamis in Vrindavan, writing bhakti shastras and always immersed in transcendental mellows of Krishna prem. Raghunath das goswami is the prayojan acharya and has blessed the entire devotee community with great literatures as Manah shiksha, Vilap kusumanjali and others.

This auspicious day of Vasant panchami is also the disappearance day of Shrila Vishwanath chakravarty thakur, who is a manifestation of Srila Rupa goswami. Srila Vishwanath chakravarty thakur re-established the flow of pure devotion which had slackened after the disappearance of Narottama das thakur, Shrinivas and Shyamananda prabhu. While residing in Vraja, he made a great contribution to the treasure of gaudiya literatue in the form of many commentaries and books of his own, such as Raga vartama chandrika, Camatkar chandrika, Prem samputa, Vraja riti chintamani, Bhakti rasamrita sindhu bindhu, Ujjvala nilmani kiran and many others. His mercy is of utmost importance for anyone aspiring to make advancement in Krishna bhakti.

In this way the auspicious day of Vasant panchami is celebrated in Iskcon vrindavan by discussing about the various sweet pastimes performed by the Lord on this day and glorifying the various devotees of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.