The day after celebrations for one of our biggest festivals of the year, Sri Krsna Janmastami, we used to celebrate one more important festivals as Hare Krishnas – Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja.
The Vyasa Puja festival is always held the day after Janmastami and the festival honours the appearance of our spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupad’s Appearance Day is a very special day for all Hare Krishna devotees as they joyfully glorify their eternal saviour Srila Prabhupada on His appearance day.
Srila Prabhupada was sent by the Lord to fulfill Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction-
pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
“In every town and village, the chanting of My name will be heard.”
One hundred years ago, on that most auspicious spiritual occasion, Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfill the mission of Lord Krishna. Srila Prabhupada grew up as a pure devotee of the Lord and distributed Krishna Consciousness everywhere.
Vyasa-puja is an annual celebration by devotees of Krishna to offer homage to their guru, or spiritual teacher. Krishna says, “. . . one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee.” In the system of bhakti-yoga, the first duty is to accept a devotee as spiritual master and then to render service unto him.
Srila Prabhupada appeared on Nanadotsava. Nandotsava means: Nanda Maharaja’s huge festival celebrating Krishna’s birth. Nanda Maharaja dressed in luxurious garments and distributed profuse charity to everyone in his kingdom. He gave away opulent cloth and ornaments and two million richly decorated cows to the brahmanas. Vraja was alive with vibrations of Vedic hymns and beautiful decorations and everyone was experiencing unending happiness. Bursting with bliss, the Vrajavasis expressed their joy by throwing butter, yogurt and ghee all around.
It is by his causeless mercy that today numerous devotees are practicing Krishna bhakti all over the world in temples opened by Srila Prabhupada and his followers. Indeed generations upon generations shall remain forever indebted to Srila Prabhupada for having bestowed upon them the glorious possibility of going back home, back to godhead, by reading his transcendental books and following his instructions.
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam
The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy. Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it, so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.
Srila Prabhupada made a perfect appearance, led a perfect life and had a perfect departure. Srila Prabhupada lives forever through his books. This legacy will always provide the devotees with Lord Caitanya katha and teach everyone to chant the Maha mantra.
On this great occasion we pray to Srila Prabhupada to please grant us service to his lotus feet, so that by serving him we may be able to make rapid progress in our endeavors in Spiritual life. The devotees of the Lord are very dear to him, and Srila Prabhupada, who spread the names, fame, qualities and pastimes of Lord Krishna throughout the world, is especially dear to him, and grabbing hold of his lotus feet is the best way for us to reach the Spiritual world.