Lord Nityananda's Appearance Day

Special Report

The auspicious day began with a class on the pastimes of Lord Nityananda followed Abhisheka (bathing) of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Pushpanjali (flower offering) and prasadam.


In Vancouver the main highlight for most devotees is Lord Nityananda's Transcendental Cooking Contest which took place in the evening. Without a doubt this is the best feast of the year as many devotees enthusiastically cook their best preparations for the pleasure of Lord Nityananda.


First introduced in Vancouver in the early 70's, Lord Nityananda's Transcendental Cooking Contest has become a regular part of the Lord's appearance day observance.


A couple of Young Blissful Judges equiped with score sheets & healthy appetites


The candidates prepare and enter their favorite preparation into any one of 11 categories. Each of the categories has a winner and an overall first, second and third place winner.

"The objective of course is to please Lord Nityananda by cooking their best preparation for His satisfaction."

This year more than sixty preparations were offered for the pleasure of the Lord and tasted by the judges. (see "Confessions of a Contest Judge" article at right)

Another Blissful Judge honoring Lord Nityanada's Feast

The Winning Preps

After the scores are tallied by an anonymous score keeper, the winners are determined and awards arranged.

Last year we were fortunate to have visiting us on the awards night, His Holiness Hanumatprasaka Swami who graciously gave out the awards to the perspective winners.

His Holiness Hanumatprasaka Swami was on hand to offer the awards to last year's overall Gold medalist winner Cathy Sarkar

Last Year's Overall Winners


First Place Gold Medal Winner - Cathy Sarkar

Category - Non-Vedic:     (Lasagna)


Second Place Silver Medal Winner - Chaitanya Priya Hardas 

Category - Sweets:   (Srikand)


Third Place - Bronze Medal Winner - Shanti Devi Dasi 

Category - Savory:    (Dahi-bhara with Tamarind Chutney)


Winners of each Category


Best Baked / Bread: - Jagat-Patti Das

Best Condiments: - Hemant & Mansi Garga

Best Dahl: - Madur Bali

Best Large Prep: - Jaya Govinda Das

Best Nectar: - Karuna Mayi Devi Dasi

Best Non-Vedic: - Cathy Sarkar

Best Rice: - Shanti Devi Dasi

Best Savory: - Chandra Lalita Devi Dasi

Best Subji: - Gandhari Devi Dasi

Best Sweet: - Chaitanya Priya Hardas

Best Prep by a Youth: - (under 19yrs) - Damodar Kansal


Their Lordships in Their new clothes for
Lord Nityananda's Appearance Day

Confessions of a Contest Judge
by: Lavanya-mangala-devi dasi

I had never considered judging this contest, being more concerned in
 the past with creating suitable offerings to enter in the contest, and serving out nicely to the judges and devotees.  Many would joke that it was an austere service to judge, since most devotees were quite overwhelmed by the end of the contest from tasting so many prasadam preps.

However, this year, for some illogical reason, I was inspired to judge.  Previous judges coached me to just consume one spoonful of each prep, no matter how good it was, and in this way, I would survive.  I took a seat on the floor, surrounded by tiffins to stash preps, numerous paper plates, and cups. 

The offerings of the contest began to be served out very slowly at first.  I was quite hungry, because I had fasted all day, only drinking orange juice.  No time to eat, since I had cooked up an apple chutney to enter as a prep just before leaving the States!

Although each preparation was perfect, because the cook had imbued it with extra special love for Lord Nityananda, some offerings were outstanding, in the sense that you could literally taste the bhakti oozing from their transcendental contours.  My personal favorite was the Dal Bada that had been cleverly assembled and served in cups, soaking in pure basins of yogurt and drizzled with just the right amount of tamarind chutney, looking like a hot fudge sunday and tasting like 1008 divine mellows.

The other really sweet entry was the purified water.  I was simply amazed that someone intelligently thought to offer totally purified water to Lord Nityananda and the devotees.  Of course, after eating so many varieties of prasadam, water is the perfect control to stabilize the taste buds and re-energize the entire system.

I also appreciated that some servers were very good at presenting the dishes to the judges, with efficiency, devotion, concentration, and clear communication about the name/category that had been assigned to it.

In this way, one infinitesimal aspect of my being was able to vicariously appreciate how Lord Nityananda and the Deities accept our offerings - how important it is to fully concentrate and distill our love into the foodstuffs we prepare, to create an artistic and pleasing presentation, and, above all, to serve out with grace and love, both to the Deities and to the devotees.

I felt so grateful that Lord Nityananda Prabhu is so magnanimous that He would never consent to enjoy all these offerings simply for Himself, but arranges to share them with his dear devotees, and in this way, we were experiencing some deep internal nuance of communion with our most merciful Lord, and also a very spontaneous brotherhood with the devotees who were assembled to judge.

The server gave me a bit of the apple chutney I had made.  I was nervous to know if it had manifested any outstanding qualities.  It was very good!  The dried organic orange peel that I had ground up and added in generous quantity tasted like tiny sweet jewels.

By the time the last prep was being served out, I had loaded my tiffin's with sumptuous stashes of offerings, all neatly categorized into sweets, savories and main dishes.  And I was not feeling uncomfortable from eating the fifty preps. 

The next day I feasted on these for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I remember honoring the lasagna prasadam, and kind of melting into a sort of dreamy bhava while eating this superexcellent concoction, deeply satisfied that it had scored a 10 on my sheet.

All glories to Lord Nityananda!
All glories to Lord Caitanya!
All glories to those who feelingly cook for Nitai and Nimai!
All glories to those who lovingly serve the prasadam of Gaura-Nitai!
All glories, all glories to those souls who can grasp, analyze, and honor the fleeting rapture of the prasadam of Lord Nityananda!

Your aspiring servant,
Lavanya-mangala-devi dasi


Lord Nityananda's Awards