The celebrations started July 29 with Sabha Niyojana – seeking the permission of The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and past acharyas to perform the ceremony and selecting the priest. The evening saw yagna and cultural programs including Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi followed by kirtan for the pleasure of the Lordships and guests. Sumptuous Ekadasi prasadam was served.
On July 30 huge numbers of devotees assembled to participate in welcoming the deities for the first time in a procession with simultaneous chanting of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra from the temple community hall to the bathing stand. The devotees performed Kalash Abhishek of the deities with purified ingredients as part of silpidosa snanam. The deities’ eyes were opened with sweet kirtan.
The atmosphere was filled with devotion, bringing tears to many eyes.
Cultural programs comprising “Dasha Avataar” by ISKCON Odissi School students, and a devotional drama on the ‘Advent of Lord Jagannath” by the ISKCON of Central N.J. drama troupe, charmed the audience. A panel discussion commemorating 50 years of ISKCON and the ‘memories of Srila Prabhupada’ was held where his disciples shared their experiences about their interactions with the founder acharya of ISKCON.
The Nyasa-yagna was performed on July 31 followed by prana-pratistha, maha-abhishek and chappan bhoga offering. Odissi dance on Jagannathastkam was performed as an offering to the Lordships after the first darshan.
His Holiness Subhag Swami, His Holiness Radha Raman Swami, His Holiness Bhakti Purusottama Swami and Deputy Consular General of India in New York, Manoj Mohapatra, spoke at the event.
Temple president Madhupati Dasa thanked ISKCON deity ministry and the brahmanas.