SRILA PRABHUPADA'S Centennial is here. After four years of preparation, the celebrations have started. Let us pray to Lord Krsna for the success of our attempt to glorify His pure devotee Srila Prabhupada.
We followers of Srila Prabhupada see this year as an opportunity to expand the Krsna consciousness movement far and wide. An unprecedented number of devotees can take part in increasing the distribution of books, prasadam (food offered to Krsna), and the Lord's holy name. We can revive and strengthen our bonds of spiritual friendship and love, renew our dedication to Srila Prabhupada, and work together to strengthen his International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
The momentum created by this Prabhupada-centered celebration can boost Lord Caitanya's movement into the twenty-first century. The Srila Prabhupada Centennial can prepare ISKCON to become the dynamic spiritual force it is meant to be.
As this column appears, the first major Centennial event is about to begin the Hare Krsna World Convention. Srila Prabhupada wanted devotees to gather in India once a year for spiritual association. This year's month-long reunion will be the largest international gathering of Hare Krsna devotees ever, with programs in Mayapur, Calcutta, Delhi, and Vrndavana. The highlights of the convention are the grand opening of Srila Prabhupada's Puspa Samadhi (shrine) in Mayapur, the Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama (a pilgrimage through the land of Lord Caitanya's pastimes), 100-country processions in Calcutta and Delhi, and a grand finale in Vrndavana, featuring a spectacular boat festival at the sacred lake Kusuma Sarovara.
Srila Prabhupada was born on one specific day, but his Centennial lasts all year. So after celebrating the Hare Krsna World Convention together, devotees will disperse to organize and take part in local, national, and continental celebrations worldwide.
Among the Centennial activities are the Hare Krsna Utsava, a fifteen-month traveling festival to honor Srila Prabhupada in thirty-two Indian cities; the opening of large temple complexes in Delhi, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad; Centennial festivals in New York, Belgium, Moscow, Brazil, and many other places; 108 million books to be distributed can we do it? and the Sahasra Tirtha Jala Maha Abhiseka, a bathing ceremony for Srila Prabhupada with water from 1,008 holy places.
Ahead of us is a year of wonderful festivities, spiced with deep remembrances of Srila Prabhupada and happy meetings with old and new friends. Please spread the word and take part in the celebration of the century. At your local temple pick up a copy of the pamphlet "108 Ways to Celebrate Srila Prabhupada's Centennial" and choose the items that appeal to you the most. Whoever you are, wherever your are, please take part in the Centennial celebration. It promises to be spiritually rewarding for everyone. Be part of this attempt to glorify Srila Prabhupada with all our heart and strength.
May his fame spread all over the three worlds.
Global Centennial Minister