We are going to have a great festivew time in June with HH Bhakti Brihad Bhagavat swami, with a lot of kirtan, krishna katha from Caitanya Caritamrita and a 64 rounds japa day as well. And the day of the festival will be great joy, with prikrama around the island, bull cart, Kirtan and painting the pots by our lovely kids… Below the poster you will find a description of the festival…
Panihati Cida Dahi Utsava
The Chida-dadhi Mahotsav, also known as the Chipped Rice Festival of
Panihati, is a yearly celebration of the pastimes of Srila Raghunatha dasa
Goswami and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Chida-dadhi Mahotsav remembers how the
Lord mercifully reciprocated with His devotees by arranging, through
Nityananda Prabhu and Raghunatha dasa, to provide an ecstatic feast of
yoghurt and chipped rice, along with various other nectar foodstuffs. Below
is an excerpt from Caitanya- caritamrta, Antya lila chapter 6, which
describes this wonderful pastime.
The chipped rice festival – Cool yoghurt (dadhi) and chipped rice
(chida) were offered with sugar, bananas, milk sweets and cakes.
Our feast menu begins with Ganges Curd Upma, a moist and delicious
preparation of vegetables and grain. Before offering, a flavorful stream of
yoghurt is poured around the base of the Upma, in honor of the festival
goers who had to stand in the Ganges to enjoy their prasadam because there
was no room left on the river banks.
A light and simple Cracked Urad Dal is offered, with a side of Banana
Chapatis drenched in Orange Cardamom Butter. A sumptuously rich Cauliflower
& Red Pepper Sabji is simple to make, and brings smiles to the devotees.
A dry curry of Peas and Paneer is stuffed in a hollow Lemon, which adds nice
flavor to the preparation. Rava Idli is a savory cake that goes nicely with
the Aloo Kerala Fry, a spicy fried patty of potato and bitter melon.
Nestled amongst the whites of rice and yoghurt is a delightful Stuffed White
Baby Eggplant which is filled with spiced almond butter, then wrapped
together with lemongrass and baked.
Another pungent savory is the Baigan Sarson, a treat of diced eggplant
wrapped in mustard greens, then crispy fried in ghee. Roasted Okra Raita
provides a smooth and mellow touch with the spicy dishes, while the Rhubard
& Dried Cherry Chutney adds a tangy flavor to the Idli and savouries.
The nectar preparations from the original Chida-dadhi festival are, we hope,
faithfully represented by Chida-dadhi Pots. These two wonderful sweet rices
are served in traditional clay bowls. In one pot, chipped rice is prepared
in sweet yoghurt with bananas, while the second pot contains rice in a
sweet, thick kheer with ghee, bananas and camphor.
A milksweet cake, the Gunja-Mala Malpoori is encircled with fresh red and
black berries, reminiscent of the garland Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave
Raghunatha das to wear around his neck.
The feast is complete with a tart Lime Cooler blending honey, ginger and
anise that would surely please all those sitting in the Panihati sun, on the
banks of Ganga-Ma.
Raghunatha dasa brought chipped rice, yogurt, milk. sweetmeats, sugar,
bananas and ether eatables and placed them all around. As soon as they heard
that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brahmanas and other
gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people. Seeing the
crowd increasing, Raghunatha dasa arranged to get more eatables from other
villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round pots. He also
obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a
brahmana began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lard Nityananda.
In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots.
then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The other half
was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as canpa-
kala. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added. After Nityananda
Prabhu had changed His cloth far a new one and sat on a raised platform, the
brahmana brought before Him the seven huge pots.
Hearing about the festival, all kinds of learned scholars, brahmanas and
priests went there, Lord Nityananda Prabhu honored them and made them sit on
the raised platform with Him. Everyone was offered two earthen pots. In one
was put chipped rice with condensed milk and in the ether chipped rice with
yogurt. All the other People sat in groups around the platform. No one could
count how many people there were. Each and every one of them was supplied
two earthen pots, one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of
chipped rice soaked in condensed milk.
Some of the brahmanas, not having gotten a place on the platform, went to
the bank of the Ganges with their two earthen pots and soaked their chipped
rice there. Others, who could not get a place even on the bank of the
Ganges, got down into the water and began eating their two kinds of chipped
rice. Thus some sat on the platform ,some at the base of the platform, and
some on the bank of the Ganges, and they were all supplied two pots each by
the twenty men who distributed the food.
When chipped rice had been served to everyone, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, in
meditation, brought Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
arrived, Lord Nityananda Prabhu stood up. They then saw how the others were
enjoying the chipped rice with yogurt and condensed milk. From each and
every pot, Lord Nityananda Prabhu took one morsel of chipped rice and pushed
it into the mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a joke. In this way Lord
Nityananda was walking through all the groups of eaters, and all the
Vaisnavas standing there were seeing the fun.
No one could understand what Nityananda Prabhu was doing as He walked about.
Some, however, who were very fortunate, could see that Lord Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu was also present. Then Nityananda Prabhu smiled and sat down. On
His right side He kept four pots of chipped rice that had not been made from
boiled paddy. Lord Nityananda offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu a place and
had Him sit dawn. Then together the two brothers began eating chipped rice.
Seeing Cord Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating with Him, Lord Nityananda Prabhu
became very happy and exhibited varieties of ecstatic love. Lord Nityananda
Prabhu ordered, “All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari. Immediately
the holy names “Hari Hari” resounded, filling the entire universe.
When all the Vaisnavas were chanting the holy names “Hari Hari” and eating,
they remembered how Krsna and Balarama ate with their companions, the
cowherd boys, on the bank of the Yamuna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord
Nityananda Prabhu are extremely merciful and liberal. It was Raghunatha
dasa’s good fortune that They accepted all these dealings. Who can
understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu? He is so
powerful that He induced Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come eat chipped
rice on the bank of the Ganges. All the confidential devotees who were
Cowherd boys, headed by Sri Ramadas, were absorbed in ecstatic love. They
thought the bank of the Ganges to be the bank of the Yamuna.
After receiving the remnants of food left by Lord Nityananda Prabhu,
Raghunatha dasa, who was greatly happy, ate some and distributed the rest
among his own associates. Thus have I described the pastimes of Lord
Nityananda Prabhu in relation to the celebrated festival of chipped rice and