Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in Boston

By Vanamali Pandit Dasa - 21.8 2015

ISKCON Boston invites everyone to attend what promises to be an unforgettable event. Srila Prabhupada’s 50th Anniversary Arrival Festival will take place on Saturday, September 19th through Sunday, September 20th in Boston, Massachusetts. An array of prestigious guests and entertainment will be provided throughout the weekend, free of charge to all who take part in commemorating this most auspicious day.

Several esteemed ISKCON sannyasis will be joining the celebration. They include: HH Jayadvaita Swami, HH Niranjana Swami, HH Radhanath Swami, HH Giriraj Swami, HH Bhaktimarga Swami, HH Romapada Swami, HH Trivikrama Swami, HH Janananda Gowami, HH Candramauli Swami, HH Danavir Goswami and HH Bhakti Prabhupada-Vrata Damodara Swami. Check out this link to see a full list of confirmed festival guests.

Many prominent government officials have also been invited to attend, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, as well as the Chief Minister of West Bengal state, Mamata Bannerjee and Sovan Chatterjee, Mayor of Kolkata, West Bengal. The celebration of Srila Prabhupada’s 50th arrival anniversary has received letters of appreciation from both, His Excellency Pranab Mukherjee, President of India and His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.

The first day of festivities in Boston will begin with a three-hour boat ride that departs from Commonwealth Pier, the very place where Srila Prabhupada disembarked in 1965. Commemorating Srila Prabhuapda’s bold journey across the Atlantic aboard the steamship Jaladuta, those attending the boat festival can expect kirtan, engaging talks and a scenic view of Boston Harbor, similar to what Srila Prabhupada saw when he arrived fifty years ago.

After the boat docks at Commonwealth Pier there will be lunch at Boston Common with non-stop kirtan to surcharge the atmosphere with the transcendental vibration of Lord Krishna’s holy names. After lunch a sankirtan procession, carrying Srila Prabhupada on a palanquin, will make its way to historic Faneuil Hall where a special two-hour program will include talks from internationally renowned guests and dignitaries. Saturday’s festivities will conclude with more harinam at Boston Common, followed by dinner prasadam.

Sunday will be an exciting continuation of the festival. After breakfast at Boston Common and a talk about Srila Prabhupada and the origins of Ratha Yatra in America, Boston’s Ratha Yatra festival will take place at Boston Common. Lunch prasadam will be served on site, and afterwards an impressive lineup of entertainment will be provided, including traditional Indian dance, a magic show and a drama performance. The festival will conclude with a final talk followed by an ecstatic kirtan.

ISKCON Boston has spared little expense in its attempt to reflect the appreciation and deep spiritual affection all devotees feel towards Srila Prabhupada. If not for His Divine Grace, countless souls would never have received the chance to be exposed to Krishna consciousness. Because this event requires no fee from participants, ISKCON Boston humbly requests that all who feel the desire to do so, donate toward this event to help offset some of the expenses. Although the devotees of ISKCON Boston have collected most of the laxmi needed to put on this festival, a balance of more than $12,000 remains. For information on how you can donate please go to this link.

If you plan on attending this once in a lifetime event you can register here. The first 800 devotees to register will be able to attend the boat festival at Commonwealth Pier and the first 600 registrants will be eligible to attend the Faneuil Hall program. (Please Note: The program at Faneuil Hall is restricted to attendees aged 12 and older. We encouraged parents of children younger than 12 to make alternate arrangements for childcare during that time.)

Srila Prabhupada in London Airport