The Upcoming festival of Nityananda Trayodashi

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nityananda namastubhyam premananda-pradayine
kalau kalmasa-nasaya jahnava-pataye namah

I offer pranama unto Sri Nityananda Prabhu who bestows the bliss of divine love, who eliminates the filth of the age of Kali, and who is the master of Jahnava-devi.

On Trayodasi tithi of the auspicious month of Magha (Feb-March), just after Vasant Pancami when the earth is covered in beautiful,fragrant flowers blooming everywhere, the moon of Nityananda ray arose from the womb of Devi Padmavati in the most sanctified village of Ekacakra, giving unlimited bliss to Hadai Pandit, Lord Nityananda’s father, and all the other Vaisnavas. Lord Nityananda performed His inconceivably enchanting and amazing pastimes, first in Ekachakra, after which He traveled to various places of pilgrimage, and then to Shridham Mayapur, where He joined Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Together the two brothers drowned the entire universe in the loud and ecstatic chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.

Lord Nityananda is even more merciful than the munificent Lord Gaurahari, and His two lotus feet, which are as cooling as millions of moons (Nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala) are the only shelter for the aspiring devotees of Lord Gaurahari in this age of Kali, which is full of miseries. Lord Nityananda very mercifully inundated the entire universe with krsna-prema and distributed love of Godhead without considering whether one is qualified or not. Jahnava-pati Nityananda Rama is Lord Balarama himself (Balarāma hoilo nitāi) and is akhanda-guru-tattva (the undivided principle of Sri Guru). He is the one who shows the devotees the path to spiritual advancement. Without his mercy, one cannot even hope to attain the lotus feet of Gaurangadeva.

On the divine appearance day of Lord Nityananda, all the devotees assemble in the Krsna Balarama Mandir in Sri Vrindavan-dhama for the morning program. At 7:30, when the altars open, Lord Nitai, exquisitely dressed in a new outfit and bedecked with beautiful ornaments and flowers, steals away the hearts of all the devotees gathered there to receive a drop of mercy from the most merciful Nitai. The ocean of the endless glories of Nitai is then discussed till it is time for the abhiseka of their Lordships Gaur-Nitai. The Lords shower the Vaisnavas with unlimited transcendental bliss during this bathing ceremony, which is accompanied by love filled kirtana. This beautiful bathing ceremony is followed by a lavish bhoga offering to the Lords prepared by devotees with the desire to please Nitai. After the aratik after the bhoga offering, a feast is held for the devotees, who had been fasting till noon, to celebrate the occasion. In this way Nityananda Trayodasi is beautifully observed in ISKCON Vrindavan.