Nitya Raas – An Holi Occasion To Celebrate Gouranga Mahaprabhu In Nabadwip

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My photographs are devoid of external colours because it is the Holi of the Supreme faith
My photographs are devoid of external colours because it is the Holi of the Supreme faith

Holi means a riot of colours. One cannot imagine Holi without colours. Yet, my photographs are devoid of external colours. Why? Because it is the Holi of the Supreme faith. And faith has many colours deep inside the soul. So, one can impose colours of one’s faith on to my photographs to feel the impulse of the occasion.

Rajarshi wished to establish a temple of Gouranga Mahaprabhu (Shri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu) in Nabadwip
Rajarshi wished to establish a temple of Gouranga Mahaprabhu (Shri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu) in Nabadwip

The king of Manipur, Rajarshi Bhagyachandra Singh (Ching Thang Khomba) received divine command to carve an idol of Sri Govinda (Lord Krishna) out of a jackfruit tree. Rajarshi was a devotee of Lord Krishna and followed the path of Gaudio Vaishnavism, introduced by Mahapravu Shri Chaitnya Dev (Mahapravu Gouranga). He most faithfully followed the command and established the idol of Shri Govinda and His consort Radharani in 1767 in Manipur

In 1779, he introduced Manipuri Raas (a dance-drama, depicting the love of Lord Krishna and His consort Shri Radha) and it is said that the whole script for the holy Raas dance was conceptualised from his sacred dream

Princess Bimbabati, too, received a divine command, in her dream, from Shri Govinda Jew, to carve a wooden idol of Shri Gouranga Mahaprabhu
Princess Bimbabati, too, received a divine command, in her dream, from Shri Govinda Jew, to carve a wooden idol of Shri Gouranga Mahaprabhu

His daughter, Princess Bimbabati (Sijalaiongbi) performed the role of Shri Radha in the introductory Rasa festival. Since then, the Meitei Vaishnavism has been prevailing in Manipur

Rajarshi also wished to establish a temple of Gouranga Mahaprabhu (Shri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu) at Nabadwip. Princess Bimbabati, too, received a divine command, in her dream, from Shri Govinda Jew to carve a wooden idol of Shri Gouranga Mahaprabhu

In 1794, the idol of Gouranga Mahaprabhu was carved out. Since the idol was carved out with permission (anumoti’) from Shri Govinda, the idol was named Anu Mahaprabhu

During the festive season of Holi, hundreds of Meitei devotees of Manipur assemble here to commemorate the birthday of Gouranga Mahaprabhu
During the festive season of Holi, hundreds of Meitei devotees of Manipur assemble here to commemorate the birthday of Gouranga Mahaprabhu

In 1798, Rajarshi build a palace (Rajbari) at Nabadwip and installed Anu Mahapravu in a temple on the palace premises. Since then, during the festive season of Holi, hundreds of Meitei devotees of Manipur assemble here to commemorate the birthday of Gouranga Mahaprabhu. The occasion is observed with kirtans, dance and devotional chants, performed by numerous groups from Manipur. The main attraction is the Manipuri Raas (Nitya Raas) that has remained unchanged since its inception. 

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