The first Gaura Purnima Festival at ISKCON Mayapur was celebrated on Srila Prabhupada’s order in 1972. Though not widely attended by International devotees, it set the standard for an annual festival that has since become the backbone of annual Vaishnava sanga and celebrations in Mayapur and Vrindaban attracting hundreds of thousands of devotees. This year is the 50th Anniversary of this important festival.
1972 also is an important year because three other important events took place in Mayapur:
- 50th Anniversary of Chota Radha Madhava’s arrival
- 50th Anniversary of Prabhupada placing Ananta Sesha in the TOVP foundation pit
- 50th Anniversary of Jananivas as Head Pujari in Mayapur
Additionally, it is the 100th Anniversary of Srila Prabhupada receiving the order to preach in the West from Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in 1922. We have created a special year-long campaign around this event called the Paschatya Desha Tarine Centennial.
All the above five events will be celebrated at one grand festival in Mayapur from March 2-5 and devotees are invited to come and participate or watch live on MayapurTV. Find out more about the Radha Madhava Golden Jubilee Festival and also sponsor an Abhisheka, Radha Madhava Brick or Prabhupada Medallion to offer your seva and also support TOVP construction.
Below are some relevant quotes from Srila Prabhupada about the importance of the Gaura Purnima Festival in Sridham Mayapur:
I especially wanted to stay in India for this Mayapur celebration. Such festivals should be held very grandly. So I think you should plan that we shall definitely be coming to Mayapur and hold a grand festival there for Lord Caitanya’s Appearance Day celebration.
Letter to Jayapataka Maharaja – January 21, 1972
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 centers should go for 8 days at that time.
Letter to Tamala Krishna Goswami – July 20, 1973
I am very anxious to know whether we are going to have our Mayapur function (Gaur Purnima)? I want very much to hold this function this year with all of my students and I ask you to kindly serve me by making this possible. It is a very important day and it will be a great service to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. So please arrange for this program.
Letter to Jayapataka Maharaja – January 5, 1972
The members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness should go to India during the birthday ceremony of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Mayapur and perform sankirtana congregationally. This will attract the attention of all the important personalities in India, just as the beauty, bodily luster and sankirtana performance by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu attracted the attention of Maharaja Prataparudra.
Caitanya Caritamrta – Madhya 11.96
View the collection of photos from the First Gaura Purnima Festival.
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