This year Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj organised a sankirtan and prasadam distribution programme at the Ganga Sagar Mela, where more than one million pilgrims gathered to bathe at the convergence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal.
Daily at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math’s pandal, three to four thousand people received prasadam and listened to the kirtans and lectures taking place all throughout the day. Simultaneously, twenty kilometres north on the Ganga Sagar island in Chakphuldubi, where Srila Acharya Maharaj has constructed Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math’s newest Temple, sankirtans and classes went on as the masses of pilgrims stopped by on their way to the seashore. Devotees of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math from all over Bengal and around the world assisted Srila Acharya Maharaj in this work of spreading Sriman Mahaprabhu’s Nam-sankirtan-dharma amongst the Lord’s lost servants.
On the day of Makara Sankranti, Srila Acharya Maharaj led a sankirtan parikrama to the seashore and offered arati to the Ganges as thousands of pilgrims bathed and offered prayers. In this way he pleased Ganga Devi and showed all the pilgrims that the real mercy and purification to be received from the Ganges is devotion to the Lord. At the same time of year, when Sriman Mahaprabhu came to the bank of the Ganges just after taking sannyas, He told Nityananda Prabhu,
ataeva eta hari-namera prachara
gangara vatasa asiya lage etha
ataeva shunilana hari-guna-gatha”
“This is the Ganges’ greatness: one hears the Holy Names chanted. I hear glorification of the Lord’s qualities wherever the Ganges’ breezes blow.”