The appearance day (birthday) of Srila Prabhupada is a very special occasion for all Hare Krishna devotees. Srila Prabhupada appeared on Nandotsava – the day that Nanda Maharaja had a big festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna (Sri Krsna Janmastami). This year, Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja falls on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 and celebrations will be from 11am-3pm at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple.
This day is known as Vyasa Puja because the spiritual master is a representative of Srila Vyasadeva who is the author of the Srimad Bhagavatam, one of our most important scriptures. Traditionally, Vyasa Puja “offerings” are made by devotees who write and present personal messages to the spiritual master. The Governing Body Commission (GBC) for ISKCON has stated that every devotee in ISKCON should write an offering to Srila Prabhupada on Vyasa Puja.
We would like to encourage all devotees in our community to write a personal letter, in the form of an offering to Srila Prabhupada for this year’s festival and, to further facilitate this process, we will be making a special ISKCON Toronto Vyasa Puja Book for 2018. This book will be presented to Srila Prabhupada on the day of Vyasa Puja. Following the program, the book will be on display for devotees to read all the offerings by devotees of our community. Please note – due to time constraints during the festival, we will not be able to have everyone read out their offerings during the main festivities. However, devotees are welcome to privately do so before or after the festival.
In order to facilitate this whole process, pre-printed pages have been prepared and we are asking devotees to hand write offerings onto these specially-designed pages. The maximum length of the offering is one page per person. PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING ONLINE OFFERINGS THIS YEAR.
The hand-written offerings can be submitted in person at the temple, in the designated drop box, up until 11:00am on September 4th.
We humbly encourage you to please take this opportunity to honour Srila Prabhupada with a personal offering! Hare Krsna!
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple
Guidelines for Your Written Offering:
- Write your offering in the mood of a personal letter to Srila Prabhupada. Write in a style as if you are addressing Srila Prabhupada directly (e.g. “Srila Prabhupada, it is by your mercy that I have come to Krsna consciousness.”)
- The Vyasa Puja offering is meant for glorifying the spiritual master. So offerings need to be made in that mood and not be used as a platform for airing one’s grievances.
- You may wish to read the previous year’s Vyasa Puja offerings made to Srila Prabhupada by various senior devotees around ISKCON. It may give you some ideas of how to express yourself. These can be found here: http://prabhupada.krishna.com/homages
- It is a courtesy to start your offering with Srila Prabhupada’s pranama mantras; we have already printed these onto the official pages. A suggested opening is as follows: “Dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to you on this auspicious occasion of your Vyasa Puja.”
- The main content of the offering should glorify the role that Srila Prabhupada is playing in your life as well as express your indebtedness to him. You may also include reports about your spiritual growth, how you are meeting challenges and how you are carrying out his orders.
- To end the offering it would be nice to show one’s appreciation and desire to please, by some nice phrase such as “Your Humble Servant” or something similar.
- Please note, the temple reserves the right to not publish an offering if it is deemed inappropriate.
Submission Requirements and Deadlines
Hand-written offerings must be submitted no later than 11:00am at ISKCON Toronto on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.