11 Oct Grand Celebration Of Srila Prabhupada’s Memorial Festival 2015 & 50th Anniversary Of The Arrival Of Srila Prabhupada In America
By co-incidence or by arrangement of Krishna, the 17th September is also the Vyasa Puja day of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja. So from the beginning Maharaja celebrates this day not as Vyasa Puja day but as Srila Prabhupada’s memorial festival.
So to celebrate both the occasions this year, a grand 4 day festival (from 16th September-19th September) was organized in Surat (Gujarat),India.
It was one of the most grand celebration. More than 1000 disciples of HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj came to Surat from different parts of the world, that means from South-Africa, Europe, Bangladesh, Mayapura etc. Also almost 1000 devotees from Surat & nearby areas participated in the festival.
The festival had few main features :-
1.50th anniversary celebration of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in USA.
2. Srila Prabhupada Memorial festival.
3. Temple Of Vedic Planetarium project’s presentation & requesting all devotees to help in raising funds ( By HG Radhajivan Prabhu & HG Jananiwas Prabhu ).
4. 70th Vyasa Puja celebration of HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja.
All the programs were held in Vijaylaxmi Hall in Surat which was quite big. Below is the summary of the festivals:
16th September :- Maharaja gave an inspiring Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture reminding us “Ante Narayana Smrti”, (At the end of life we have to remember Krishna, so always remember Krishna.)
!7th September:- In the morning “Srila Prabhupada Memorial festival” was celebrated in very grand way. The whole stage was decorated on theme of “Jaladuta” ship yatra. Srila Prabhupada was sitting on the boat-shaped Vyasa-asana written “JALADUTA” on it. The whole hall was as bluish as an ocean as if Srila Prabhupada is inviting all of us to ride on “JALADUTA “ boat & cross this ocean of material world on his “JALADUTA”. It was unique. Many senior devotees of ISKCON, i.e., His Holiness Gaura Krsna Goswami Maharaj, His Holiness Bhakti Prabhava Swami Maharaja, His Grace Sankarshan Nitai Prabhu (Mayapur ), etc. were assembled & glorification of Srila Prabhupada took place with almost 1500 devotees’ presence. By deep heart-felt appreciation of His Divine Grace, all devotees were reminded about Srila Prabhupada’s inconceivable achievements.
In the evening, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja’s Vyasa Puja was celebrated. Surat devotees had done unique arrangements for Guru Maharaja’s welcome with different dress codes. He gave a wonderful address to all devotees. Many disciples read their offerings to Maharaja which continued on 18th Sept. morning also.
Also, one press conference was arranged by Surat devotees in which Maharaja explained about greatest welfare activities of ISKCON & told that by ISKCON Food Relief program, ISKCON is distributing prasadam to 1.20 million people every day.
On 18th September morning , one grand Nagar Sankirtan was organized for 2 hours in Surat .All the devotees ecstatically attended it & with great devotion, devotees performed kirtan & dance by which many souls were benefited by hearing the Holy Name.
One of the main feature of program was Temple of vedic planetarium (TOVP ) introduction. HG Radhajivan Pr informed everyone very emphatically about the importance of this temple & inspired them & devotees contributed 10.50 crores for TOVP project.
On 19th September, ” 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in United states of America (USA)” was celebrated. On this auspicious occasion, the great fortune was to have association of His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj who told about Srila Prabhupada’s inconceivable gift to whole world. Also many senior devotees,i.e. HG Vasughosh Prabhu etc. came to Surat to attend this program & glorified Srila Prabhupada & reminded everyone to remain fixed on lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.
Some very important teachings of Guru Maharaj’s lectures are:-
1.Your last thought will be wherever your deepest attachment is so develop your attachment to Krishna. How ? Wherever your real attachment is, offer that attachment to Krishna, i.e. money, children etc.By this, you become materially detached & become attached to Krishna.
2. The secret of success of Srila Prabhupada was – his implicit faith in the Holy Name. So please have implicit faith in the Holy Name then your spiritual success is guaranteed.
3. Never think that you understood everything .Spiritual wisdom is endless ocean of knowledge (Ananta Sesha deva is describing Lord’s glories since time immemorial but not able to finish yet ).
4. For me your real clapping will be – accept my instructions to the heart & follow them.
This 4-day festival filled all the devotees’ hearts with great joy & appreciation for Srila Prabhupada, his disciples & ISKCON. The fact was established that if we always keep Srila Prabhupada in the centre then ISKCON will be very strong & we will be able to establish this movement all over the world.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja Ki Jaya.
Srila Prabhupada Ki Jaya!