Srila Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Goswami, one of the foremost Gaudiya Vaishnava teachers of the 20th century, has been given a traditional Samadhi burial in the holy city of Jagannath Puri.
Puri Maharaja, who left this world at Vishakhapatnam, Andra Pradesh on March 3, was transported to Puri later that evening in a refrigated van driven by devotees from the Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mission, which he founded in 1966.
ISKCON guru Radhanatha Swami and Baroda, Gujarat president Bhasu Gosh Dasa flew from Mumbai to the town of Bhubaneshwar, near Puri, to attend the burial ceremony.
They were received at the airport by twenty ISKCON Bhubaneshwar devotees, before travelling to the Samadhi site at the Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mission’s Chaitanya Chandra Ashram in Puri, Orissa.
At the ceremony B.V. Puri Maharaja’s body was placed on a flower-bedecked palanquin and carried in a procession around the Ashram and the nearby Gundicha temple, while one thousand disciples and devotees chanted Hare Krishna. Most hailed from local Orissan towns and villages, although several of Puri Maharaja's leading disciples from Vrindavan, Mayapur, Rajahmundry, and Kharagpur also attended.
As the procession came to a close, Puri Maharaja’s body was lowered into the Samadhi, or grave, where it was seated on cloth and then surrounded by salt, as per ancient tradition.
That evening, visiting devotees were served food from Puri’s famous Jagannath temple; the following day, the Chaitanya Mission’s Orissan president Damodar Goswami cooked a delicious feast for all.
The following several days saw Puri Maharaja’s leading disciples arrange various programs at Sri Chaitanya Chandra Ashram, including kirtan and daily lectures on the ancient scriptures Srimad-Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita.
A grand smaraka – memorial program – was held from March 14 to 16 at the Ashram, featuring glorification and remembrances of Puri Maharaja by disciples and other devotees.
For more photos of the even visit here.