Aindra Prabhu disappearance day, Hera Panchami, Vakreshwar Pandit disappearance day

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Aindra Prabhu, a name that has become synonymous to ecstatic Kirtan for today’s youth, plunged all the devotees in an ocean of sadness on Hera Panchami, the sixth day in the bright fortnight of the month of Ashadha, when, in 2010, he disappeared from this world to go and continue his service to Srila Prabhupad, Nitai Sachisuta and Radha Shyamsundar elsewhere, after having fulfilled Srila Prabhupad’s desire for there to be 24 hour kirtan in the Krishna Balaram Temple in Sri Vrindavan dham and having done this service for 24 years, along with all the other services that he performed for the deities in the temple. What made Sripad Aindra Prabhu’s kirtan so full of impact that it stole everyone’s heart is the purity of his Bhakti and his serious sadhana with the aim to achieve Vraj bhav, as a manjari of Srimati Radharani. Along with being an expert Kirtaniya, making everyone absorbed in his melodious chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, he was also an expert at dressing Sri Radha Shyamsundar, beautifully arranging their outfits in a way that it appeared as if Radhe Shyam were just about to start dancing, with the chaddars and veils gracefully flowing. He was also well known for performing elaborate pujas for his personal deities, often times at odd hours in the day or the night due to being busy with various services, in which case he would go without eating all day long and accept some Prasad only after performing puja for his beloved Nitai Sachisuta and the thousands of Shilas that he worshiped. His classes were indeed pure nectar for the devotees eager to hear about the glories of the Lord and would go on for hours, way past the allotted time, because of his being totally absorbed in devotional service and his eagerness to share his transcendental bliss with everyone else. Despite being such an exalted devotee, he was very down-to-earth and did not hesitate to the menial service of cleaning the bathrooms in the ashram and engaging other devotees in the kirtan department who were under him, showing his humility and determination to maintain cleanliness in the ashram. Being a perfectionist, he would do all his services meticulously, paying a lot of attention to every single detail. His austere vratas during Purushottam and Chaturmaas are among the many other extraordinary things that he used to do. Indeed, his greatness can be and is felt by not only those who met him personally but also by those who have only heard his kirtans or his lectures. On the auspicious occasion of his disappearance, we pray at the lotus feet of Aindra prabhu, a great inspiration for one and all, to please bless us with a drop of the taste that he had for the holy names of Radha Shyamsundar.

This day is also celebrated in Jagannath Puri as Hera Panchami, when Srimati Laxmi devi, four days after the Jagannatth Rathayatra, goes to Gundicha temple to find out why Lord Jagannath was taking so much time to return and to request him to come back immediately. Being in a hot temper, her servants chastise the servants of Lord Jagannath and demand that they bring the Lord back very soon. Observing this festival, Srivas Pandit and Svarup Damodar would debate, with Srivas Pandit taking the side of Laxmi devi, being an incarnation of Narad Muni, and Swarup Damodar would take the side of the Gopis of Vraja, as he is Srimati Lalita devi herself. Hearing the talks of the two devotees would give great pleasure to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and they would in this way happily celebrate the festival of Hera Panchami.

Sri Vakreshwar Pandit, the expert dancer, also chose this day to bring his pastimes in this world to a close. Being appointed as the lead dancer in one of the sankirtan parties of Mahaprabhu during Rathayatra, he would dance ecstatically and energetically in a most pleasing and enchanting way. Once, in his transcendental ecstasy, he danced and sang continuously for 72 hours, giving great delight to all the vaishnavas. We also beg for his mercy so that we may be able to attain Krishna prem and sing and dance in transcendental bliss.