A celebration to mark the launch of a year of events and festivities to commemorate 50 years of the Hare Krishna movement worldwide was hosted on Saturday 20th June by ISKCON UK.
It marks the start of a year of celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, founded by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada in 1966.
Bhaktivedanta Manor, the UK headquarters of the Hare Krishna movement, hosted the celebrations which featured presentations by Sivarama Swami, Praghosa Das, Kripamoya Das and Devaki Devi Dasi, kirtan by Chakrini Devi Dasi and shared memories and offerings by Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and senior devotees.
Leaving behind his peaceful life serving at the Radha-Damodar Temple in the holy town of Vrindavan in India, Srila Prabhupada journeyed alone on board the Jaladuta before arriving in Boston, USA, in 1965. In doing so, Srila Prabhupada was attempting to fulfill the wish of his spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, to spread the holy names to the West.
Devotees attending the event had the opportunity to hear from Sivarama Swami, who discussed the series of events leading up to Srila Prabhupada's departure.
Sivarama Swami spoke about the series of events leading up to Prabhupada's departure, and Kripamoya Das correlated the events with the history of this in India at the time.
In addition, there was an update on the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (TOVP) project from Praghosa Das, and Devaki Dasi, the UK's National Coordinator for the 50th anniversary celebrations, spoke about the plans for next year.
The event concluded with a beautiful rendition of the poem that Prabhupada wrote on the Jaladuta by Chakrini Devi Dasi.
Speaking at the event, Sivarama Swami said:
"Talking about Prabhupada and hearing about Prabhupada is ecstatic and it's blissful - it is something we should do all the time.
"You cannot over-emphasize the importance of people understanding Prabhupada; it is going to take programs like this to help pass on who Prabhupada was and the sacrifices he made from generation to generation."
Praghosa Das, ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner for the UK, said:
[ bhaktivedanta-manor ] [ kripamoya-das ] [ pragosha-das ] [ sivarama-swami ] [ tovp ] [ uk ]
"It is a great privilege to be launching ISKCON 50 in the UK. With this early event we want to inspire everyone’s hearts and prepare there minds for the great year of celebrations ahead."