Panihati Cida Dahi Utsava

graphic footer

The reservoir of all trancendental mellows, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna himself with the mood and lustre of Shrimati Radhika, and who mercifully distributed the Holy Names of the Lord for the deliverance of the fallen souls in this age of kali, can be attained only with the special mercy and permission of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, who is Adi Guru tattva and the only hope for living entities afflicted by the moods of material nature. The most wonderous story of Panihati chida dahi festival, which is celebrated on the trayodashi in the month of Jyeshtha comamorating this pastime of Nityananda Prabhu, took place in the village named Panihati, not far from Kolakata, when Nitai blessed Raghunath das goswami and ordered him to arrange for this festival, which was pleasing to the hearts of all the devotees.
Once, when the bestower of love of God, Nityananda Prabhu, came to the village of Panihati, Shrila Raghunath das thakur, who at that time, although desirous of leaving home and joining the pastimes of Mahaprabhu, was still a householder and was risiding there, came to the blessed tree where nityananda prabhu was seated, surrounded by his associates, spreading his effulgence which is more cooling then millions of moons and extinguishes the burning fire of this age of Kali. Upon beholding the Lord, Raghunath das immediately fell prostrate on the ground at some distance to offer his respects, but thinking himself to be unquallified, he did not go closer to the Lord. However, the servant of Nityananda prabhu noticed him and on the order of Nityananda prabhu brought Raghunath das infront of him. Feigning anger, he grabbed Raghunath, placed his lotus feet on his head and calling him a theif said that he was trying to reach Mahaprabhu without first surundering himself to Nityananda prabhu. He said that Mahaprabhu is his property and no one can reach Shri Chaitanya without his mercy and permission, and as a punishment, ordered him to arrange a grand festival for all the devotees assembled there. Feeling immensely blessed at heart Raghunath das immediately placed the order on his head and set about making arrangements for the festival as instructed by Nityananda prabhu. He bought huge quantities of chipped rice, yoghurt, milk,bananas, sugar and various other ingredients, and engaged brahmanas to prepare two varities of chipped rice, one with yoghurt and bananas and one with condensed milk. Hearing of the festival many devotees and brahmanas arrived from near by places and in order to please them all, Raghunath das bought more ingredients from the merchants who had come from the near by villages to sell their goods after knowing of the grand festival. Thereafter, Nityananda prabhu took his seat on a raised palatform and was surrounded with his associates, when Raghunath das placed seven large pots with the chipped rice in front of Nityananda prabhu and two earthen pots with the two kinds of chipped rice was given to each of the devotees present there.So many devotees had assembled for the festival that the bank of the Ganges was covered with the devotees, each one relishing their two pots of chipped rice, to such an extent that when there was no place left on the bank, the devotees got down in the waters of the Ganges to honour the prasad. Raghunath das ensured that all the devotees and guests, who arrived there upon hearing of the festival, had enough chipped rice and he even fed the merchants from the neighbouring villages who had come to sell to him the chipped rice, yoghurt, bananas and other ingredients. Relishing the festival, Nityananda prabhu made Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also appear there for the festival, and experiencing transcendental bliss, he was going around in the middle of the devotees, taking morsels from the devotees pots and was feeding the Lord with his own hands. Thereafter, he made the Lord sit next to him and put four pots of chipped rice in front of him to eat. Seeing the activities of Nityananda prabhu all the devotees were astonished and could not understand what was happening except for a few fortuate devotees who could see Shri Chaitnaya Mahaprabhu amidst them, relishing the festival with them. The whole scene was extremely gorgeous and it appeared like Krishna and Balaram were having a picnic with their freinds at the bank of the Yamuna in Vrindavan. At that time, Raghav pandit arrived there and seeing Nityananda prabhu honouring prasad there, he informed him that he had prepared lunch for the Lord, to which he replied that he would come and except that in the evening as at that moment, in the mood of a cowherd boy, he was relishing his picnic with his freinds, and he also made Raghav pandit sit down and eat chipped rice with him. After being fully satisfied with Raghunath das’s offering of chipped rice, he was offered a fragrant garland and sandal wood paste, which he excepted and the remaining he distributed amongst the devotees. The remenants left by the Lord were then distributed amongst the devotees, Raghunath das and his associates. In this way Nityananda prabhu blessed Raghunath das and bestowed his mercy upon him, due to which Raghunath das was able to soon leave his home and join Mahaprabhu in his pastimes in Jagannath Puri.
Remembering the mercy of Nityananda prabhu on Raghunath das and celebrating this festival, we pray that Nityananda prabhu bless us and bestow upon us service to the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the property of Nityananda prabhu and cannot be acheived directly without first approaching Nityananda prabhu and surrendering oneself at his divine cooling lotus feet.