Special Features of the 2018-19 Calendar
(Note 1) Sri Rama Navami will be observed on Gaura Ashtami instead of Gaura Navami because Navami happens to be ksay this year. This is to ensure the observance of paran for Sri Rama Navami (for those who observe a full fast on this day) does not conflict with the observance of Ekadashi. If one were to observe Sri Rama Navami on the Dashami following a ksay Navami, one would have to break fast on Ekadashi. To preclude the possibility of this, the exception is given that in the event of Navami being ksay, Ekadashi being pure, and there being no Mahadvadashi, Sri Rama Navami should be observed on the day of Ashtami and ksay Navami.
(Note 2) Sri Jagannathdev’s Ratha Yatra will be observed this year on Gaura Pratipad instead of Gaura Dvitiya because Dvitiya happens to be ksay. Sri Ratha Yatra is an exception to the rule that observances are moves to the day after a ksay tithi because Ratha Yatra should always be observed on same day that it is in Sri Jagannath Puri. The disappearance of Srila Svarup Damodar, which is associated with the same Gaura Dvitiya as Sri Ratha Yatra, is not an exception to this rule, however, and will thus be observed on Gaura Tritiya as is the standard practice for observances associated with a tithi that is ksay in a given year. Sri Gundicha Marjan is always observed the day before Ratha Yatra regardless of the tithi it falls on, so in this instance it will be observed on the same day as the observance of the disappearance of Srila Gadadhar Pandit and Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur.
ekadashi, janmashṭami, vamana-dvadashi
sri-rama-navami, ara nrisimha-chaturdashi
ei sabe viddha-tyaga, aviddha-karaṇa
akaraṇe dosha, kaile bhaktira labhana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Madhya-lila, 24.336–7)
“Ekadashi, Janmashṭami, Vaman Dvadashi, Rama Navami, and Nrisimha Chaturdashi—for all these vratas, viddha days should be rejected and non-viddha days should be observed. To not do so is a fault, and by doing so, one attains devotion.”
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Ṭhakur comments in his Anubhashya: “For Ekadashi, days that are viddha at dawn, and for all other vratas, days that are viddha at sunrise should be rejected; only non-viddha vratas should be observed. Following viddha vratas is a fault; only by following non-viddha vratas does one attain devotion. To understand the details of this, study Vilasas 12 and 13 of Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa.”
dashamyam paraṇayash cha nishchayan navami-kshaye
viddhapi navami grahya vaishṇavair apy asamshayam
(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa: 14.253)
“Because of the certainty of having to break fast on Dashami, if Navami is ksay, Vaishṇavas, without doubt, should observe even this viddha Navami.”
tatra cha navami-kshaye sati tithi-hrasa-krameṇa ekadashyash cha shuddhatve kim kartavyam ? tatraha uposhaṇam iti
(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa-dig-darshini-ṭika: 14.252)
“When Navami is ksay and Ekadashi is pure, then what should be done? Here is it said that such a viddha Navami (day which is Ashtami at sunrise) should be observed.”
kintv idrig bhakti-sandarshi-jagannathanusarataḥ
dola-chandana-kilala-ratha-yatrash cha karayet
(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa: 14.327 (RNV: 14.104))
“Practices of bhakti, such as Dola Yatra, Chandan Yatra, Snan Yatra, and Ratha Yatra, should be performed as they are for Sri Jagannathdev (they should be performed on the same day that they are in Sri Jagannath Puri).”
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj on 27 November 2006: “In the scriptures, there are so many procedures within vaidhi-bhakti. When there are complications in the laws for vaidhi-bhakti, Srila Sanatan Goswami said that we should follow the dates observed by Lord Jagannath.
kintv idrg bhakti-sandarsi-jagannathanusaratah
dola-chandana-kilala-ratha-yatras cha karayet
(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa: 14.327)
“When we cannot settle the proper time and date for a festival, we should follow the date observed by Jagannath. This means we will observe services to the Lord such as Ratha Yatra and Chandan Yatra on the day these services are being offered to Jagannath. We are following this rule by the grace of Srila Guru Maharaj.”
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math’s panjikas for the years 1965, 1999, 2008, and 2017 are precedents in the event of Dvitiya being ksay for the observance of Sri Ratha Yatra on Pratipad and Srila Svarup Damodar’s disappearance on Tritiya.