Chakra Announcements

Boston devotees plan Commemoration of Prabhupada's Arrival

by Nimai-Nitai das and Premananda das
ISKCON Boston

Posted August 3, 2003

In August 1965, a 70-year-old Vaishnava monk left Vrindavana aboard a cargo ship bound for America. Well-known for his scholarship and devotion, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had no friends or institutional support. Arriving with a few books, a bag of dry cereal and forty rupees, and having suffered two heart attacks at sea aboard the Jaladuta, Srila Prabhupada persevered, dedicated to his guru's order to bring the essential message of the Vedas to English-speaking peoples.

After 35 days, at sunrise on September 17, Srila Prabhupada reached Boston. This was indeed a new dawn. Srila Prabhupada brought with him the first rays of the blazing sun of Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement. Srila Prabhupada offered a humble Bengali prayer to his beloved Krishna while at Commonwealth Pier: "All living entities have come under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion. I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message."

Every year, devotees commemorate this remarkable event at Commonwealth Pier, meditating on the purport of Markine Bhagavata Dharma, and expressing their gratitude for Srila Prabhupada's many gifts to us: the Holy Name, the bhakti scriptures, Sri Sri Radha-Gopivallabha, and the association of devotees.

Last year, with maturing realization of what occurred on Commonwealth Pier on that fateful morning, the Boston Temple organized an elaborate program to celebrate Sri Pascatya-desa Tarana Mahotsava -- the great Festival of the Deliverance of the West. Over 200 devotees came from Hawaii, Florida, California, Illinois, Connecticut and Massachusetts; the Festival was a resounding success.

We invite you to join us for this year's festive Tarana Mahotsava on September 13 and 14. One of the special guests will be Malati dasi prabhu, an early disciple of Srila Prabhupada. The celebration concludes on Sunday the 14th at East Boston Piers Park, directly facing Commonwealth Pier across the Boston Harbor. After Srila Prabhupada's arrival by boat, we will bathe his murti form with sacred waters from eleven holy tirthas: Radha-Kunda, Shyama-Kunda, Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Pushkar (Rajasthan), Manasi Ganga, Apsara Kunda, Govinda Kunda, Naval Kunda, and Alakananda Kunda (Mayapura).

Devotees can directly participate in this public abhiseka ceremony. The Boston Temple is making available several ekadasha tirtha jala-kalashas (consecrated containers of holy waters) for devotees to bathe Srila Prabhupada. You can personally render this service by sponsoring an uttama-kalasha at $501, a maha-kalasha at $251, or a kalasha at $108. As a Tarana Mahotsava sponsor, you will bathe Srila Prabhupada's form with eleven holy waters and take home the consecrated kalasha as an enduring memento.

For more information on the festival, contact Nimai-Nitai das, sevasrama@comcast.com. For information on accommodations, contact Bhakta Raj Heda, raj_heda@us.ibm.com. To participate in sponsoring the abhiseka ceremony, contact Premananda dasa, premananda@juno.com.