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Panihati Cheda – Dahi Utsav In ISKCON Temples

Panihati Cheda, or Dahi Utsav, is held in Jyestha month (May – June) in ISKCON temples. The festival commemorate the meeting of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami with Sri Nityananda Prabhu in Panihati Village on the banks of Ganga River near Kolkata.

Sri Nityananda Prabhu is believed to an incarnation of Bhagavan Balarama. Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami was an ardent devotee Bhagavan and one of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan or first followers of Chaitanya Maha Prabhu. Together the Six Goswamis established the philosophical writings and records which became the theological basis of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. Among the six, Raghunatha dasa was renowned for his qualities of simplicity and renunciation.

Once when Sri Nityananda Prabhu was in Panihati Village, Srila Raghunatha visited the village and sat far away hidden from Sri Nityananda Prabhu. But Sri Nityananda Prabhu easily recognized Srila Raghunatha Goswami and told him that he needed to be punished for hiding from him.

Sri Nityananda Prabhu asked Srila Raghunatha to served the devotees with a feast of yogurt and chivda (poha).

Srila Raghunatha prepared dahi-chivda with milk, chivda, yogurt, bananas, sugar and other fruits and dry fruit.

The dahi-chivda is prepared by first soaking the chivda or beaten rice in milk, and then mixing some of it with yogurt, bananas and sugar. The remaining soaked chivda is mixed with thickened milk, ghee and edible camphor. The two delicacies are served in earthen pots.

The two delicacies are prepared in remembrance of this divine event at ISKCON temples.