Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Janmastami in Kendrapara

For the second year in a row we observed Janmastami in Kendrapara Orissa at our ISKCON nama-hatta center. It's actually more than a center it is well known in the area as the Sri Sri Radha Nikunjabihari temple. Kendrapara is a rural and traditional Orissan town. It is close to the small village of Choti, the ancestral home of Thakur Bhaktivinode. The Thakur also resided for some time in Kendrapara where he was the first headmaster of the Government High School. Bhaktivinode Thakur's original deities of Sri Sri Radha Madhava have been temporarily residing in Kendrapara for the last few years.

Radha Madhava in their new outfit on Janmastami night

One of our favorite aspects of Janmastami in Kendrapara is the traditional Oriya bhajans. Aside from the ecstatic 24 hour maha-mantra kirtana, there are other bhajans going on simultaneously (in a separate place) most of Janmastami night. Those bhajans are mostly Oriya devotional poetry, songs that due to the language barrier very few Gaudiya Vaishnavas outside of Orissa are aware of. Even though it is very rich in bhakti and rasa, Oriya Gaudiya literature is relatively unknown outside of Orissa, even amongst Bengali and Vrindavan Vaishnavas.

Navaghana Das sang a nice song from the medieval book "Mathura Mangala", by the devotee Bhakta Charan Das.

Click here to listen to the song and translation:

Janmastami bhajans in Kendrapara

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