By Sahadeva dasa
This year, ISKCON Secunderabad devotees celebrated Srila Prabhupada Vyasa Puja festival in the city‚Äôs biggest auditorium, Lalita Kala Thoranam on 23rd August 2011. The invited dignitaries included the State‚Äôs Chief Minister, Home Minister, Mayor, University Vice Chancellors and prominent industrialists. Each were given different write-ups on Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs legacy and contribution to the modern world, to speak from. The Chief Minister and Home Minister cancelled out at the last minute due to a political crisis in the state precipitated by en masse resignation of 29 MLAs.
Mayor Ms Karthika Reddy, in full presence of state media, performed abhisekam of Srila Prabhupada and spoke about the miracles he performed in establishing Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. Altogether, 6000 guests attended the program and enjoyed an opulent feast. Each one offered flowers at Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs lotus feet and hundreds of Lilamrtas were sold on the spot.
All the major Television channels aired the events and next day‚Äôs newspapers also provided good coverage. The venue was open air and some initial rains threatened to disrupt the festival but devotees‚Äô fervent prayers were answered and the venue remained dry. All around the venue, all over the city, there were torrential rains. For many days, people were seen discussing this miracle at Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs festival.
The devotees here plan to celebrate Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs Vyasa Puja in a bigger way than even Janmastami. Plans are afoot to hold this auspicious festival in the city‚Äôs cricket stadium which can
house fifty thousand people. By this year’s festival‚Äôs media coverage itself, millions of people in the state heard of Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs name.
Srila Prabhupada is still relatively unknown in the masses, when compared to many popular mayavadi gurus and yogis.
The photos of the festival can be seen here:
The press coverage can be see here:
And Videos here: