The 531st appearance anniversary of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was the inspiration for devotees from the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple in Durban, South Africa to bake, pack and distribute 5,310 biscuits. The goal of the biscuit distribution was to help spread Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy to everyone and anyone.
A group of devotees gathered at the temple’s Govinda’s restaurant bakery facility which holds industrial ovens to bake the biscuits. Temple President, Vibhu Caitanya dasa said that the thought behind this endeavour came after the devotees baked and distributed 5,000 cupcakes for the ISKCON50 celebration last year. Vibhu Caitanya said, “We took advantage that this year the Gaura Purnima festival is on a Sunday. This meant that we could host a 3 day festival. As Srila Prabhupada blessed us with the wonderful gift of Krishna Consciousness, we would like to help him spread the mercy. A small team of 18 devotees began baking which took 18 hours to complete.”
The ingredients accumulated to 2 cases of 500g of butter, 4 bales of 500g self-raising flour, 10kg of sugar and oil. Once the biscuits were offered to Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Radhanath, another team packed each biscuit into a small packet and attached a maha-mantra card to the delicious treat of mercy.
Saturday, 11 March saw 13 Harinam parties take to the streets of Durban in pre-Gaura Purnima celebrations. These groups of chanting and dancing devotees distributed the biscuits at strategic spots.
The festivities continue on Sunday, with a mini festival for the children. This includes a special Ratha-Yatra chariot parade around the temple property where children can lead and enjoy their very own festival. Story-telling, a birthday cake for Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and chariot parade will be on the cards for the children.
Within the temple room, there will be a 6 hour kirtan with an hour dedicated to reading from the Caitanya Caritamrta. In the evening, after a sumptuous prasadam feast at moonrise, the temple’s amphitheatre will come alive with the Bhakti Theatre drama crew presenting a production titled: Caitanya Yuga. During the Gaura Arati, Their Lordships will be adorned in special holi dharshan.
The festivities continue on Monday, with the Jagannath Misra Festival. The morning class will be delivered by Bhakti Caitanya Swami; thereafter a feast will be served in traditional Vedic style.