17 Sep Srila Prabhupada Memorial 2015 – 70th Vyasa Puja Celebration OfHis Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami
The day just after Janmastami, when every temple devotee is very tired, is not the ideal time to glorify Srila Prabhupada on his Vyasa-puja day. His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami therefore also celebrates a Srila Prabhupada Memorial festival starting from 17 September, D-Day of ISKCON with Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in Boston, USA. This year especially we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in Boston & New York and Guru Maharaja’s 70th birth day.
I discussed all this with my friend Madhu Gopala here in Radhadesh Belgium and we decided to have the Prabhupada Memorial go on for three days and try to have as many devotees as possible attending the different events. We started on last Thursday 17 September and we finished on Sunday 20 September 2015 with a grand Sunday Love Feast.
To celebrate the Vyasa-puja of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Mandira Dasi put up the decorations in one of the Radhadesh conference rooms. While preparing things we could follow the grand celebrations of Guru Maharaja’s appearance day festival in ISKCON Surat. At 18h00 Thursday evening we got together with several Radhadesh devotees and visitors. We started with a reading from Srila Prbhupada lilamrita. It was very touching to hear how Srila Prabhupada in his most difficult moments fully depended on his Friend, Lord Krishna.
At 19h00 we all attended Gaura Arati followed by a lively Bhagavad-gita class given by Puskara Prabhu, a famous Srila Prabhupada disciple and painter. Later we got back to the conference room and read our offerings, we offered the cake and snacks to Guru Maharaja. Then Janaki and Bhakta Timour came in with guitars and sang Hare Krishna and other Krishna conscious songs, very sweet experiences.
We continued on Saturday 19 September (Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in New York) with a wonderful Harinam procession in Antwerp, a very important city in the North of Belgium. All along the way to Antwerp we got dark, cloudy weather with lots of rain. But as soon as we arrived in Antwerp the Sun appeared and we did not get one drop of rain during that Harinam!! Actually I myself felt sick on Saturday morning but at 11h30, the time of our scheduled departure Bhakta Joachim showed up at my door. He had gathered a full van of devotees for the Harinam and since there was no other driver I felt obliged to drive. This was real victory of preaching enthusiasm and team building spirit in our harinam program which is going on every week in major cities of Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany.
Saturday evening we got back in time for the Gaura arati in our beautiful Radhadesh temple. We had a roaring kirtan and Raghupati Prabhu from Manchester gave a wonderful Bhagavad-gita class.
This Sunday morning we rounded up our Prabhupada Memorial celebration with a Sunday Love Feast, cooked under the guidance of Shyama Suhagani Mataji. When His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami visited Radhadesh last year Shyama Suhagani felt ecstatic when she was allowed to cook for His Divine Grace. When Guru Maharaja tasted that prasadam and showed satisfaction she was deeply touched. Since then she has become the principal cook in Radhadesh, just amazing and wonderful! Malari Krishna Prabhu had put up kirtans of Guru Maharaja in ISKCON Ujjain which were so fired up that we truly felt : “Nothing is impossible in Krishna consciousness!”
This Prabhupada Memorial stimulated by Guru Maharaja’s Vyasa-puja festival is just the beginning of the 50th year ISKCON celebrations. These three days were really wonderful and give us a drive for the rest of our lives! HARE KRISHNA!!
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
To see all related pictures, please click here