Golden Moon Festival at ISKCON of Houston 2018


HOUSTON: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) of Houston celebrated Gaura Purnima, translated as “golden full moon” signifying the appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu during the full moon, 532 years ago. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also known as  Gauranga, due to his golden complexion, appeared in Mayapur, India and propagated “Sankirtana” – congregational chanting of the holy names, specifically the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, as the most effective means to attain the highest spiritual perfection – Love of Godhead.


Typically, devotees fast on this day until moonrise which signifies the appearance of the Lord. Gaura Purnima is one of the major festivals of Vaisnava tradition and planning and preparation for this festival started weeks in advance. The festival also marks the ushering of the Gaudiya New Year, and devotees from far and wide attended the early morning services at 4:30 AM to offer their respectful prayers to the Lordships and make an auspicious start to the New Year. The public celebrations started in the evening with bhajans. The temple wore a festive look with flowers and special garlands made with popcorn donning its pristine marble walls and exquisitely carved teakwood altar.


The festivities started off with abhisek of Gaura Nitai deities combined with chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Abhishek is – bathing ceremony where both Lord Gaurachandra and His dear associate Lord Nityananda were bathed in colorful sweet fruit juices, milk, ghee, honey, yogurt, and other auspicious substances. HH Hanumat Presaka Swami gave an inspiring talk on the appearance of Lord Chaitanya where he spoke about the reasons for the appearance of the Lord, His form and His teachings for a devotee of the Lord to cultivate the qualities of humility, tolerance and mutual respect. A vegetarian feast was served to everyone following yet another aarti and ecstatic chanting of the holy names.


To continue with the festivities on Sunday evening, the cultural program kicked off with a recital of the sole composition of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu -Siksastakam by the Sloka class students. The Sunday school children regaled the audience with several melodious Vaisnava bhajans including a mrdanga-violin recital. The final piece was a drama on the pastimes of Lord Gauranga and His Associates emphasizing the importance of the Holy Name in this age of Kali and concluded aptly with the resounding chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. The festivities ended with a sumptuous vegetarian dinner prasadam. Over 1000 enthusiastic devotees attended the event on Thursday and Sunday.

This year, a special holi festival – Color HTX is planned at the new Govardhan Urban Farm in Houston and is scheduled for Saturday, April 21. Please visit for more details. ISKCON of Houston temple (located at 1320 West 34th Street) invites you to attend our weekly Sunday program, starting at 5 PM.