My dear Diksa and Siksa disciples,
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Tomorrow on Gaura Purnima, we would be completing Gourabda 533. The following day which is Jagannath Misra’s Feast day would be the first day of Gaurabda 534. This is our Gaudiya Vaisnava New Year. Srila Prabhupada wanted his followers to come to Sridama Mayapur every year for the International Festival leading up to Gaura Purnima.
*The best time and place* is Mayapur on Lord Caitanya’s Appearance Day. That is not only the best for me but for everyone. Mayapur is meant for that. If possible all devotees from all our centres should go for 8 days at that time.
– Srila Prabhupada, Letter to Tamal Krishna, Bhaktivedanta Manor 20 July, 1973
So Srila Prabhupada is saying “If possible” which means it may not be possible for everyone to come every year but some people can come every year.
This year we had a wonderful ISKCON Leadership Sanga, which featured 75 different seminars each repeated 4 times over a period of 7 days. There were more than 800 devotees in attendance. The devotees were very nourished by this spiritual sanga. We were expecting many more devotees but due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, about 200 Chinese devotees could not come because there were travel restrictions in China.
Then we had Sravana Utsava and Kirtan Mela which saw a huge crowd of devotees. Mayapur has been very festive. We then had Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama. This year we had one more party, the South India Party. They brought an Idli machine from South India which can make 1000 Idlis at one time!
After the Parikrama we had Sri Sri Radha Madhava Boat festival and the annual Santipur festival. Like this every year there are so many opportunities to absorb yourself in Krishna Consciousness during the festival. So please try to participate as much as you can in these festivities.
The karmis make various resolutions for their New Year. We can try to incrementally increase our Krishna Consciousness every Gaurabda. So try to think of something which you can do in the coming Gauradba which will increase your Krishna Consciousness and stick with it. You can at least maintain the four regulative principles, chant 16 rounds and help me to fulfil Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. That will please Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada. I look forward to meeting all of you in the upcoming Gaurabda and wish you the best in your progress in Krishna Consciousness.
Your well-wisher always,