The Saint Who Walked Amongst Us
HARE KRSNA devotees all over the world are getting ready to celebrate the centennial of Srila Prabhupada. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared* on September 1, 1896, in a family of Vaisnavas (Krsna devotees) in Calcutta, India. He was destined to become the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness.
* As explained in the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna and His representatives (and in fact all living beings) are eternal. So rather than speak of the "birth" and "death" of a devotee, we speak of his "appearance" and "disappearance."
Soon after Srila Prabhupada appeared, an astrologer foretold that at the age of seventy he would travel across the ocean as a great religious teacher and establish 108 temples. True to this prediction, at the age of sixty-nine he embarked for America in pursuance of the order of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvat" Thakura. In New York in July 1966, after a year of struggle, penniless and without support, Srila Prabhupada founded ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada deeply realized the teachings of the acaryas (spiritual masters) who had preceded him, and he presented their teachings suitably for the people of modern times. The eighty books he wrote will serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for generations of devotees. Even now, these writings are the law books of the Hare Krsna movement.
With unwavering devotion, courage, and compassion, Prabhupada brought the essence of Vedic culture Krsna consciousness beyond the borders of India and spread it throughout the world.
The Centennial Campaign
As 1996, the year of Srila Prabhupada's Centennial, draws closer, Srila Prabhupada's disciples, grand-disciples, friends and well-wishers want to take this opportunity to unite to glorify him and further distribute his teachings. For this they have launched a worldwide "Centennial Campaign."
This year, ISKCON devotees are focusing on the upcoming celebration. In many parts of India the campaign has been formally inaugurated by government officers and other prominent people. In 1996 the celebrations will extend throughout the year. Some of the events to take place that year will become annual. The centennial celebrations will serve as a sort of gateway through which the Hare Krsna movement can enter the twenty-first century.
More than simply a celebration, the Centennial can serve as an occasion on which all devotees can work together to strengthen Srila Prabhupada's movement. So the Srila Prabhupada Centennial has evolved into a multi-faceted event. Plans for the celebrations have taken the shape of a colorful many-petaled lotus, each petal representing one aspect of the centennial campaign. (See inside front cover.)
Here are some of the major centennial projects undertaken so far.
• Three magnificent temples
Amongst the most prominent offerings with which ISKCON wishes to honor Srila Prabhupada are several majestic temple complexes the size of Hare Krishna Land in Bombay. The new temples at Delhi, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad will include guest houses and Vedic museums. Construction is in full swing at all three sites. The temples are due to open in 1996.
• 1,000 libraries
By 1996 the Bhaktivedanta Archives plans to establish 1,000 Bhaktivedanta Libraries. The libraries, to be set up in schools, temples, and the homes of devotees, will each consist of a full set of Srila Prabhupada's books and all the available tapes and videos of Srila Prabhupada. By June 1994, four hundred such libraries had already been established.
• Memorials, gold coins, and commemorative stamps
The South African government mint will produce a gold coin bearing Srila Prabhupada's image. In India and several other countries, devotees are working for the issuance of Centennial commemorative postal stamps. Devotees plan to install monuments and memorial plaques in places Srila Prabhupada visited and in major holy places in India. In Bombay, Vrndavana, Warangal, and several other places, devotees plan to erect permanent memorial gates.
• Padayatra in 100 countries
For Srila Prabhupada's pleasure, devotees plan to organize Padayatras (walking festivals) in one hundred countries. By the end of 1994, fifty countries had taken part. Centennial Padayatras will also walk throughout India. And in 1996 the Padayatra that started in Dvaraka twelve years earlier will have traveled fifty thousand kilometers on its uninterrupted pilgrimage to spread Krsna consciousness around the Indian subcontinent.
• Distribution of books
As a special offering to Srila Prabhupada, many devotees who usually do not distribute books will join the regular distributors. We hope to distribute Krsna conscious books in quantities never seen before. And we hope to stay in touch with people who receive the books to give them further opportunities to understand Srila Prabhupada's message.
• Strengthening ISKCON
In 1996, we want to offer Prabhupada a still stronger and more closely united Society. To this end, we are compiling a database of all initiated devotees. And we are planning reunions and an international newsletter to bring devotees closer to Krsna and closer to one another. Several years ago, devotees with experience in business and other professions formed the ISKCON Foundation to help support ISKCON and offer guidance to strengthen its management. As part of the Centennial programs, the Foundation will organize training seminars to help temples achieve excellence in temple management.
• Writing down what Srila Prabhupada did
Some devotees are writing books of their memories of Srila Prabhupada. Others are compiling accounts of what Srila Prabhupada did in different parts of the world. By 1996 we hope to have published accounts of Srila Prabhupada's activities in France, Italy, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, and places in India such as Delhi, Bombay, and Vrndavana.
• Other new books
Devotees plan to publish a high-quality book of photographs of all the ISKCON temples in the world and a fully illustrated edition of Srimad-Bhagavatam for children. Other devotees plan to publish manuals giving Srila Prabhupada's instructions for painters, for his women disciples, and so on.
• Grand Bathing Ceremony
(Sahasra Kalasa Maha-abhiseka)
In Calcutta, September 6, 1996, the actual anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's appearance, the sculptured form of Srila Prabhupada will be bathed with holy waters collected from 1,008 sacred rivers, ponds, confluences, and estuaries in India. Similar ceremonies, on a smaller scale, will be held at every ISKCON center.
• Personal offerings
Some devotees are pledging offerings that pertain to their own spiritual development and purification. Some are learning one hundred verses from Vedic literature. Others are increasing their chanting of Hare Krsna. Some have even pledged to get rid of one hundred inner contaminations!
• 1996 events worldwide
The 1996 calendar of Centennial events includes traveling festivals, academic conferences, a World Feast Day, and a special "Srila Prabhupada Marathon" for distribution of Srila Prabhupada's books (devotees hope to beat all previous records).
Events In India
Apart from the celebrations already mentioned, in India a traveling festival will hold programs in twenty-five towns and cities. In Calcutta the Bhaktivedanta Institute will sponsor, in Srila Prabhupada's honor, a six-day gathering of scientists, religious leaders, and scholars the Conference for the Synthesis of Science and Religion. In February and March, thousands of devotees will gather at ISKCON's center in Mayapur, West Bengal, for a Hare Krsna World Convention. And in October/November devotees will hold the grand openings for the new ISKCON temples in Delhi, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad.
Be A Part Of It!
The success of the celebration depends on how much energy we put into getting ready for it. Our goal is to involve everyone. All the followers of Srila Prabhupada can take part: everyone who practices Krsna consciousness, or reads Srila Prabhupada's books, or in any way appreciates him any man, woman, or child.
Our plans for Srila Prabhupada's Centennial won't be accomplished by temple devotees alone. We are depending on all Srila Prabhupada's followers and admirers to step forward. The Centennial offers an opportunity for everyone to serve Srila Prabhupada. It is an occasion through which we can all show our love for him by working together to spread Krsna consciousness all over the world.
Srila Prabhupada has glorified Krsna so much, so now Krsna wants to glorify him. Unseen, Krsna is at the top of the Centennial Campaign, overseeing all the arrangements to honor His pure devotee.
Everyone, get involved! It is time to come forward and celebrate together. Krsna wants you to glorify Srila Prabhupada. And while we attempt to glorify Srila Prabhupada, we also purify ourselves.
All glories to our ever well-wisher, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He lives forever, and his followers live with him.
For more information, get in touch with the ISKCON center nearest you. Or contact our Centennial office: Global Ministry for Srila Prabhupada's Centennial 62, Sant Nagar (Near East of Kailash), New Delhi 110065, India Phone: +91 (011) 6469633. Fax: +91 (011) 6470742.
"Srila Prabhupada once said that devotees actually celebrate the appearance of the spiritual master and Krsna at every moment. But a centennial celebration, which happens on a particular date, is an excellent opportunity for us to focus the attention of many people on the glories of Srila Prabhupada." (Jayapataka Swami)
"I have outgrown the cynical idea of thinking of the Prabhupada Centennial as a hype. It is a genuine effort by sincere devotees to glorify our spiritual master and to wake up the nondevotees to the importance of Srila Prabhupada." (Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami)
"Let us begin individually. If we become better devotees, then we'll be able to work better collectively. In this way we can offer Srila Prabhupada a spiritually very healthy, strong, enlivened, dynamic, and expanding ISKCON on his Centennial celebration in 1996." (Prabhavisnu Swami)
"If we increase the hearing of Srila Prabhupada's words through his lectures and read his books carefully for the Centennial celebration, this will glorify Prabhupada very much. We will be associating with him directly." (Harikesa Swami)
"One of the main reasons for the degradation of today's world is the lack of great personalities. At a time when the world is craving for a real hero, from the spiritual world has come the greatest hero for all times, the pure devotee of the Lord. Now it is up to us to make the world aware of him." (Bhakti Caru Swami)
"The whole world should appreciate the valuable service he has done. In glorifying Srila Prabhupada, whatever is possible we should do, and do it so wonderfully that the whole world will ask, 'Who is Srila Prabhupada?' " (Bhakti Svarupa Damodar Goswami)
"For most of us, such a rare opportunity to glorify Srila Prabhupada will not come again in this lifetime." (Gopala Krishna Goswami)
"In our movement much healing has taken place in the last several years, and I see the Centennial as a culmination of this healing process." (Ambarisa Dasa)
"What better way to help people appreciate the glories of Srila Prabhupada than to give them a book by or about him? Therefore massive distribution of Srila Prabhupada's books is essential for the success of the Srila Prabhupada Centennial." (Navina Nirada Dasa)
How Can I Serve?
Our Centennial office in New Delhi received this letter from a gentleman from West Bengal.
I am very interested to make the Centennial a grand success, giving this present demoniac civilization a big push to rethink its aims and ways. This Srila Prabhupada Centennial is surely a great opportunity to shake the consciousness of the people, as well as make ourselves more advanced spiritually through serving such a very dear devotee of Krsna.
Of course, I am a very ordinary school teacher with little spiritual merit. Still, I aspire to make my humble self connected with the great endeavour to correct the misguided civilization. That is why I dare to write. How can I serve? Kindly show me the way. I live in a remote village area, so facilities are scanty. Yet as the people need Prabhupada, we have to do something. What and how?
Of course, I've taken a decision to get others to read Prabhupada's books. My target is 100 persons. Further instructions from you expert ones may help me.
West Bengal, India
One Leader's Commitment
For 1996 I've already committed myself to overseeing big Centennial festivals here in Poland and in Russia, three major Rathayatras in South Africa (Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town), and two months of festivals in New Zealand. Whatever little time is left, I want to spend with the Centennial in India, as I promised you. I plan to bring about fifty Eastern European devotees with me to link up with the Centennial celebrations there. (Indradyumna Swami)
1996 Centennial Events
EVENTS AT EVERY CENTER
• Padayatra Week and World Holy Name Day (April 21-28): A global effort to spread the holy name of Lord Krsna.
• Vyasa Puja Day (September 6): The anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's appearance. Celebrations in every temple. Special celebrations in Calcutta.
• World Feast Day (November 23): Distribution of prasadam (food sanctified by the mercy of Krsna) from every temple and the home of every devotee. Massive distribution in cities like Durban and Calcutta.
• Book Distribution Marathon (December): Distribution of Vedic literature on a massive scale.
FESTIVALS IN SPECIFIC PARTS OF THE WORLD
Australia (January). India (January-December). Europe, North America (May-August). South America (October-November). South Africa (December).
INTERNATIONAL EVENTS IN INDIA
• Hare Krsna World Convention (February 19-March 19): A gathering of devotees from all over the world for four weeks of festivities and spiritual programs in Mayapur and Vrndavana.
• Grand Vyasa-Puja (Calcutta, September).
• Opening of new ISKCON centers in Delhi and Bangalore (October-November).
• Commemoration of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance (Vrndavana, November 14).
• Convocation of sadhus to glorify Srila Prabhupada (Vrndavana, October-November).
• Second World Congress on the Synthesis of Science and Religion (date to be announced).
What Will You Do?
Here are some of the services you can do for the Srila Prabhupada Centennial.
Make a personal commitment: Commit yourself to doing something special as your personal Centennial offering.
Sponsor a memorial: Select a type of memorial from the Centennial Ministry's "Memorials Manual" and sponsor its construction or installation.
Donate funds: Contribute funds to local, national, or global Centennial projects. Your donation, no matter how small or no matter how big will make a difference.
Distribute books: The more book distributors, the more books distributed! One per day, one per week, or one per month, but distribute books. Nothing is more pleasing to Srila Prabhupada.
Hold "Prabhupada Nights" at home: Invite your friends to special gatherings to read about Srila Prabhupada, share memories and realizations about him, sing bhajanas and cook for him….
Attend the Hare Krsna World Convention: Join thousands of devotees from around the world. Take part in the 1996 festival in Mayapur and Vrndavana several weeks of festivities, walks, seminars, reunions, processions, cultural programs, and more.
Join Action '96: Contact the Centennial Ministry to enroll in Action '96 a program especially designed to engage an unlimited number of people in Srila Prabhupada's Centennial.
Write articles about Srila Prabhupada: Get them published in ISKCON publications or in other newspapers and magazines.
Take part in Centennial traveling festivals: Traveling festivals will be organized on several continents, and especially in India. Take part in organizing them or join when they visit your area.
Become a member of a Centennial committee: Link up with Centennial organizers and actively push forward the Centennial campaign.
Volunteer to organize 1996 events: Take time off your regular schedule to help coordinate 1996 events locally, globally, or in India.
Collect holy water: Join one of the teams traveling India to collect water from 1,008 holy places for the grand ceremonial bathing of Srila Prabhupada.
The Centennial is the most important thing happening. Participate!
Increasing Prabhupada Consciousness
How can we better remember and cherish Srila Prabhupada's life, teachings, and personality? Here are a few suggestions. Besides the sources listed, many of these items may be available from your local ISKCON temple.
|READ SRILA PRABHUPADA'S BOOKS|
Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, The Nectar of Devotion,
The Science of Self-Realization, and more
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
(See page 33 for addresses)
Srila Prabhupada Siksamrta (Excerpts from letters, indexed by topic / 3 volumes)
Collected Lectures on Srimad-Bhagavatam (11 volumes)
Collected Lectures on Bhagavad-gita As It Is (7 volumes)
Conversations with Srila Prabhupada (37 volumes)
Collected Teachings of Srila Prabhupada (Miscellaneous lectures / 7 volumes)
The Bhaktivedanta Archives
P. O. Box 255, Sandy Ridge, NC 27046, USA
Tel: (336) 871-3636 / Fax: (336) 871-3641
The Complete Srila Prabhupada Infobase
(All Prabhupada's books, letters, and taped lectures and conversations on computer disk)
|The Bhaktivedanta Archives|
|READ ABOUT SRILA PRABHUPADA|
BOOKS BY SATSVARUPA DASA GOSWAMI:
Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta (6-volume biography), Prabhupada, Prabhupada-lila, Prabhupada Nectar, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada Appreciation, Prabhupada Meditations, He Lives Forever, Life with the Perfect Master
Gita Nagari Press
Rd 1, Box 837K, Port Royal, PA 17082, USA. Tel: (717) 527-4118
|A Transcendental Diary, by Hari Sauri Dasa (Travels with Srila Prabhupada recounted by his personal servant / 3 volumes)||
P. O. Box 2280, Alachua, FL 32615, USA. Tel/Fax: (904) 462-7768
BOOKS BY TAMaL KRISHNA GOSWAMI:
Servant of the Servant
The Final Pastimes of Srila Prabhupada (a drama)
5430 Gurley Avenue
Dallas, TX 75223, USA
|Srila Prabhupada at Radha-Damodara, by Mahanidhi Swami||
ISKCON New Delhi, P. O. Box 7061, New Delhi 110065, India
|Passage from India, by Satyaraja Dasa||
P. O. Box 400716, Brooklyn, NY 11240-0716
|Srila Prabhupada, the Early Days, by Govinda Dasi||
P. O. Box 871, Hauula, HI 96717 USA
|Servant of a Perfect Master, by Bhurijana Dasa||
ISKCON Vrndavana, India
|The Life Story of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Illustrated booklet for children)||
12520 Kirkham Ct., #7 Poway, CA 92064 Tel: (619) 679-9080, Fax: (619) 679-6908
|HEAR FROM SRILA PRABHUPADA|
|Audiocassettes of Srila Prabhupada's lectures, bhajanas, kirtanas, conversations with prominent guests, and so on||
The Bhaktivedanta Archives
(See previous page)
|Narrations of Srila Prabhupada's books with background music and sound effects, by Amaa Bhakta Dasa||
P. O. Box 34241, Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA.
Tel/Fax: (310) 838-4474
|Complete reading of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is||
1380 Garnet Ave., Suite E-270
San Diego, CA 92109
|WATCH SRILA PRABHUPADA|
Your Ever Well-wisher (Biography of Srila Prabhupada)
The Acarya (Srila Prabhupada's life and teachings / 5 cassettes)
Gurudeva, Matchless Gifts, Paramahamsa, and more (Early footage of Srila Prabhupada)
P. O. Box 556, Topanga, CA 90290, USA. Tel: (310) 559-7100 / Fax: (310) 559-7101
Festivals with Srila Prabhupada
Memories of Srila Prabhupada (Remembrances of Srila Prabhupada by his early disciples)
P. O. Box 1015, Culver City, CA 90232, USA. Tel: (310) 559-7670 / Fax: (310) 559-2603
|WORSHIP SRILA PRABHUPADA|
|Murtis (Sculptured forms)||
Locana Dasa (Lawrence Heyda)
Tel: (919) 644-1928
The Bhaktivedanta Archives
(See previous page)
|Drawings of Srila Prabhupada||
Ananta Sakti Dasa
21, Banks Rd., Studio Way, Borehamwood, Herts. WD6 5QR, UK
|Portraits of Srila Prabhupada (Fine quality lithographic prints made from original charcoal drawings)||
P. O. Box 1093, Penn Valley, CA 95946, USA