By Yudhistir Govinda Das
On May 28, 2016, ISKCON celebrated the 500th anniversary of Lord Chaitanya’s visit to Vrindavan at the famous Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
The Festival of Inspiration, which was attended by nearly 8,000 people from Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and other parts of India, saw the presence of several senior vaishnavas including:
HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja
HH Bhanu Maharaja –
HH Lokanath Maharaja
HH Navayogendra Maharaja
HG Basu Ghosh Prabhu
HG Sridhama Prabhu
HH Bhakti Anugrah Janardhan Maharaja among many others
The festival was inaugurated by India’s Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma. While addressing the audience he praised Srila Prabhupada and his remarkable contributions in taking the message of India all around the world. Dr. Sharma congratulated the devotees for the 50th anniversary of ISKCON and appreciated the legacy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his movement.
The Hon’ble Minister later released a book on Vraja Mandala Parikrama authored by HH Lokanath Maharaja and was presented a memento in the form of Srila Prabhupada’s Bust by ISKCON India Chairman HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja and thanked the minister for supporting the program and the culture and tradition of India.
The Festival of Inspiration was supported by the Indian Government and personally overseen by HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja with assistance from all the temples of Delhi-NCR. The event showcased several presentations by national and international devotee artists who captivated the attention of the audience, many of whom were donors and well-wishers of ISKCON.
Participants were treated to the likes of Bhaktivedanta Academy (Mayapur) who chanted mantras for bringing in auspiciousness and which was followed by Dasavatar Odisi dance, Shadow Play on Bhagavad Gita by the students of IIT Kharagpur, Kirtan by the Mayapur International Preaching group, Drama by the Vaikuntha Players (from Delhi) along with talks by the aforementioned devotees.
The festival allowed the devotees to introduce Lord Chaitanya and Gaudiya Vaishnavism to many people who didn’t know about these subjects otherwise. Devotees had setup educational panels all around the campus to let people learn about Lord Chaitanya, Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON activities globally.
The response, in terms of attendance and engagement, has been exceptionally good and beyond the expectations of the devotees. The devotees in Delhi are now gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON later this year.
The photographs of the event can be viewed by accessing the below link: