Then the Brahmans gathered, according to Gopal’s instruction, nine hundred pots of cool water from Govinda Kunda was brought and as they were collecting these pots, there was beautiful kirtans, musical instruments, and the singing of women and thus the festival of the installation took place. Some sang and some danced. All the milk, yogurt and ghee from the entire village were brought to the festival. Various foods and sweetmeats and other kinds of presentation were brought there. They brought large quantities of Tulsi leaves, flowers, and various kinds of garlands.
And then Madhavendra Puri personally began the abhishek ceremony. First they dispelled all inauspiciousness by the chanting of mantras. Then the deity was massaged, with a large quantity of oil, so that His body becomes shiny. After the first bathing, they bathed Him with the Panchagavya. Panchagavya means cow dung, cow urine, ghee, yogurt and milk. Then they bathed Him with panchamrit – which is made of the five kinds of nectar including ghee, yogurt, milk, honey and sugar. And they bathed him with over one hundred pots of water – scented or with fine oils as well as with ghee. This is called the Maha-Snan.
After the Maha-Snan was finished they again massaged Gopal’s body with scented oil. Then again the last bathing ceremony was performed with scented water kept in a conch shell. After the deity was cleansed, He was dressed nicely with new garments and sandalwood pulp, Tulsi garlands and other fragrant flower garlands were placed upon the body of the deity. After the bathing ceremony was finished, incense and lamps were burned and all kinds of food were offered before the deity. These food included yogurt and milk and many sweetmeats as they received. As soon as the people of the village understood that the deity was to be installed, they brought the entire stock of all their foods – all rice, all dal, all vegetables and they prepared preparations that covered the entire surface of the top of the Govardhan Hill.
This is a section of the book “Vrindavana Lila”.
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