In honour of the Nandotsav, we are positing an excerpt from the lecture Srila Govinda Maharaj gave on this occasion in September of 1994 in Hungary.
This festival was attended by a small group of devotees which included Sripad Bhakti Premik Siddhanti Maharaj. Many years later we heard on a few occasions Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj recall during his lectures on the day of the Nandotsav what he felt to be a sublime and heart-touching revelation by Srila Govinda Maharaj. He said that for over thirty years he would often muse as to why Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad appeared in this world on the day of the Nandotsav. Yearly he felt it to be a most wonderful dual-occasion and that there must be some spiritual significance to the co-occurance of these celebrations. He recalled that one year Srila Govinda Maharaj explained the reason for this and the mood and intention of both Srila Swami Maharaj and Krishna in this regard. Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj would recall this expression of Srila Govinda Maharaj with great feeling. Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj held this expression very dearly within his heart.
Some months after the passing of Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj, we happened upon a video of the 1994 Nandotsav festival in Hungary and found the expression he would lovingly recall. We were asked by Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj to inform him if we ever found this lecture because he had only heard Srila Govinda Maharaj ever speak in this way once and he did not remember when or where he had heard it.
In remembrance of Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj’s great appreciation for this lecture and his yearly recollections of it on the Nandotsav, we are presenting it herein for the satisfaction of the devotees.
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Speaking on Sri Nandotsav in September of 1994 in Hungary
You know that Prabhupad Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, appeared on this day of Nandotsav, the day after Krishna’s appearance day. After Kṛṣṇa’s appearance last night, today Nanda Maharaj makes a festival and all the Vraja-vasis—the cowherd men, boys and ladies—assemble in the house of Nanda Maharaj.
“After so long Nanda Maharaj has gotten a son. And He is unbelievably beautiful.” Hearing this, all the Vraja-vasis come with ingredients like milk, curd, ghee, butter, some ornaments, flowers, and various other things as presents. With all of these things they come to the house of Nanda Maharaj. And their tradition is to dance and sing. So they dance, sing and throw butter, cheese, and other items about in an intoxicated way. We have seen in the villages of Bengal people still celebrate festivals in this way.
The priest of Nanda Maharaj, the very famous Garga Muni, also came to the festival and he gave the Name ‘Krishna’ to the son of Nanda Maharaj. From this day the son of Nanda Maharaj became very famous and Garga Muni told everyone the boy had the power to become the controller of the whole universe. Garga Muni did not say the son of Nanda Maharaj was the Supreme Lord but he saw and felt that He was and considered that everyone else would see His Pastimes in future.
There is very nice song about the Nandotsav:
nander mandire re go-wala gāi re
hāte narī kande bhāva nāche dheye dheye
śiva nāche brahmā nāche āra nāche indra
gokula go-wala nāche paiye govinda
These verses mean that Lord Siva, Lord Brahma, Lord Indra, and all the demigods in the form of cowherd men join in the festival and celebrate the appearance of Kṛṣṇa.
Krishna very mercifully sent His dearmost devotee, Prabhupad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, to this mundane world for the super benefit of our spiritual lives on this day. Krishna sent him on this day, this festival day, the of His own birthday festival, saying, “Go and distribute! All the cowherd men are distributing ecstasy here at My birthday festival and you should go and distribute My Name all over the world in this festive way.”
Everyone has seen what happened after Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj came to the Western world. Within twelve years he performed a great miracle and all over the world people began dancing and chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Now in Hungary, in Russia, in previously communist countries, people are chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Now the whole world knows the name of Kṛṣṇa and something about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you say the name of Srila Prabhupad anywhere almost everyone will understand. And anywhere when people see someone with saffron cloth, tilaka and a sikha they ask, “Are you ISKCON?” So how famous is the preaching of Prabhupad? You all know the glories of Prabhupad. If Prabhupad had not appeared, who would have distributed the Hare Krishna Mahamantra all over the world? Prabhupad has given that transcendental substantial wealth to everyone. And through that also, many of his followers are now doing very nice things all around the world.
Actually we have entered the Western world by the grace of Prabhupad and I know only one society, that is, the world Vaishnava society, and we are members of that society by the grace of Srila Swami Maharaj. By this I mean the pure Vaishnava society. There are many people living in the Vaishnava society of India, but the pure Vaishnava society in the line of Guru Maharaj has been spread all over the world by Srila Swami Maharaj. Everyone knows Srila Guru Maharaj holds the pure line of Rupa Goswami. And in a non-different way Srila Swami Maharaj and Guru Maharaj have tried to spread that consciousness to everyone. One is my Siksha-Guru, one is my Diksha-Guru. They are both in the pocket of my heart. And another pocket of my heart is full of all my friends. I am running on alone now after Guru Maharaj and Swami Maharaj but the pocket of my heart is always full.
I am feeling so fortunate that Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad’s mercy is still flowing all over the world and we are floating within that.