By Janardana dasa Vice President
Dear Maharajas and Prabhus:
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and to Lord Chaitanya’s Sankirtan mission.
On behalf of Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir - Vrndavana, we would like to invite everyone to Sri Vrndavan dham.
This is the time of the season to fully recharge you spiritual battery by coming to Sri Vrndavana dham as part of Mayapur Vrndavana Gaura Purnima festival.
The following is an excerpt from HH Lokanatha Swami’s Vyasa Puja offering in 2001 to Srila Prabhupada:
“While working on the book in Puri, I saw a number of my Godbrothers there, also absent from the Mayapur festival. One of them, on his way to the Mayapur festival, said to me, āI see so many devotees here. Isnāt the festival enlivening anymore?ā Pancaratna Prabhu also felt that our participation in the festivals is below standard. I quote him in my book as saying, āSrilla Prabhupada set the standard for his leaders to follow by his regular attendance at the Mayapur festivals. He went to great lengths to enliven and inspire the devotees. In Mayapur he made himself available to the devoteesāand not just for a few days. He would be there the whole time, going on walks, giving classes and darsanas, and overseeing the GBC meetings.ā
These festivals are one of your legacies, and we senior devotees and leaders cannot ignore it. You used to be the first to arrive at the festivals and the last to leave. Dropping whatever you were doing, you would travel to Mayapur from wherever you were in the world.
Attending the Mayapur-Vrndavana festivals is a principle of bhajana and sadhana. You integrated this bhajana into the ISKCON devoteesā yearly sadhana, but somehow we have become deviated or distracted from attending the festivals. As a result, we do not derive the benefits, and the movement is the loser. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakure said about the Vaishnava, āHe lives forever through his divine instructions, and his followers live with him.ā Because we are not following your instructions regarding the festivals, we are not getting the benefit of associating with your instructions. What we need to do is revive the festivals and keep them going the way you wanted. Working on my book in Puri was like revisiting those days with you at the festivals. This topic has been a meditation for me over the past few years, as I sorted through the interviews and the other materials to paint a picture of those festival times. We have fallen short of the spirit of those days when you were present, and it hurts to see how the festivals have deteriorated. The Vrindavana festival is even weaker than the Mayapur festival because more leaders skip it, though the devotees are still into it. We are not doing it the way you did it. To put my book together I interviewed dozens and dozens of devotees, and they all concluded there was a really high spirit in those days. Everyone practically fought to get to the festivals. No one wanted to miss that once-in-a-year opportunity. Most of our second-generation devotees do not know what they are missing. They did not experience the early festivals. So your disciples who lead the movement have an obligation to maintain and re-enact the festivals. āDo as I did,ā you often said. You also said that the leaders should think of the world first and their local areas second. The Mayapur-Vrindavan festival is an opportunity to put this instruction into practice. Devotees from all over the world come to India, where we can serve one another, associate with one another, and inspire one another. The ISKCON body will get healthier by following this principle.” (end of quote)
If somehow you are in India next month, please try to make it to Vrndavana after the Gaura Purnima festival to please our dearly beloved Srila Prabhupada and to follow his simple formula of bringing everyone’s spirits high so that we may be able to vigourously continue to preach Lord Chaitanya’s mission all over the world.
Our post Gaura Purnima festival will start on the 24th and culminates on the 29th of March with our world famous Boat Festival for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara and Lalita and Vishaka.
24th March- Gokula and Raval parikrama
25th March- Varshana parikrama
26th March- Nandagram parikrama
27th March- Govardhan parikrama (1st half)
28th Govardhan parikrama (2nd half)
29th Vrndavan parikrama and boat ride across Yamuna in the morning Evening boat festival in the temple room (the temple courtyard will be filled up with water).
All of the parikramas will by led by HH Mahanidhi Swami, HH Radha Raman Swami and other senior devotees of the movement. Seminars during the day will be conducted by different senior devotees as well and a mini market will be available for the devotees’ needs.
Thanking you all in advance for making you plans to come for the festival in Sri Vrndavana dham. Hare Krsna.
Your servant, Janardana dasa Vice President +91 9897906111
PS. Please let us know if you need to be picked up from the nearest airport or railway stations in Delhi and nearby areas. I will be in Mayapura from 1st - 9th of March if you have any questions or assistance regarding the festival…