Srila Prabhupad arrives in the USA 1965
"Paschatya Desha Tarana Mahotsava"
See Iskcon Boston's celebrations of this event 2004
Boston Harbour and Shore-line 2004
Devotees celebrating at Commonwealth Pier 2004 Srila Prabhupad's Arrival on this day September 17th, 1965.
commemorating Srila Prabhupada's Deliverance of the West:(photo)
(Main article on www.Chakra.org/ )
Today is the day Srila Prabhupada arrived in America. Some say this is the day to commemorate the beginning of the Krishna consciousness movement in the western world.
Here is the English translation to the Bengali song Srila Prabhupada wrote the day after he arrived. It gives us an indication of what kind of a mood Prabhupada was in when he arrived. He understood the full import of his presence in America and what it would mean to so many.
Some of the verses he wrote on board the ship that day are as follows:
My dear Lord Krsna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me.
But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?
Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva [Krsna]. I do not know how they will be able to understand it.
But I know that Your causeless mercy can make everything possible, because
You are the most expert mystic.
How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.
All living entities have come under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion.
I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message…
How will I make them understand this message of Krsna consciousness?
I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen. Therefore I am
seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless
to do so on my own.
Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure, as You like.
O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message. So if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.
Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that
when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts, they will certainly
feel gladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of
O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like.
I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krsna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta.
Signed—the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami,
On board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier,
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Dated 18th September 1965.
After a thirty-five-day sea journey from Calcutta, Srila Prabhupada reached Boston's Commonwealth Pier on September 17, 1965. He took a short walk into the city and then returned to the ship. As he awaited the ship's departure for New York, Srila Prabhupada composed a Bengali poem, entitled "Markine Bhagavat-dharma" ("Teaching Krsna Consciousness in America"). Here are some verses from that poem:
My dear Lord Krsna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now you can do whatever you like with me.
But I guess You have some business here; otherwise, why would You bring me to this terrible place?
Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva [Krsna].
How will I make them understand this message of Krsna consciousness?
I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen.
Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own.
Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure, as you like. O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if you have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like.
Pascatya Desa Tarana Mahotsava
BY NIMAI-NITAI DASA AND PEMANANDA DASA
USA, Aug 31 (VNN) — 38th Annual Celebration of Srila Prabhupada's Arrival in America and Deliverance of the West
Where: Boston, Massachusetts
When: September 13-14, 2003
Special Guests: Her Grace Malati devi dasi and others to be announced
Five thousand years ago, in the course of narrating the Srimad Bhagavatam, Suta Gosvami uttered an unlikely prophecy, "Kirata, Huna, Andhra, Pulinda, Pulkasa, Abhira, Sumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him."
Suta Gosvami predicted that peoples outside of India would someday worship Lord Krishna. Sri Caitanya echoed this prediction, "One day, My names will be chanted in every town and village of the world." Even as late as the mid-20th century, faithful followers of Lord Caitanya were incredulous: Americans, Russians, Chinese, Africans - chant Hare Krishna? How is this possible?'
But in August 1965, a 70-year-old Vaishnava monk left the holy land of Vrindavana, India aboard a cargo ship bound for America. Well-known in India for his scholarship and devotion, His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada had no friends or institutional support awaiting him. What little he had a few books, a bag of cereal and forty rupees was nearly rendered useless as a of two heart attacks he suffered as the Jaladuta plied the Bay of Bengal. Srila Prabhupada persevered, however, dedicated to order of his guru to bring the essential message of the to English-speaking peoples.
After 35 days, at sunrise on September 17, Srila Prabhupada reached Boston. This was indeed a new dawn. Srila Prabhupada brought with him the first rays of the blazing sun of Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement.
The ancient and inscrutable prophecy of the Bhagavatam and the deliverance of the Western world intersected in a humble Sanskrit prayer Srila Prabhupada composed for his beloved Krishna while at Commonwealth Pier: "All living entities have come under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion. I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message."
The Lord fulfills the desires of His pure devotees. With that prayer, Srila Prabhupada accomplished our deliverance. The manifestation of that hallowed deed is unfolding day-by-day. The pure desire of the pure devotee accomplished this deliverance of the West, which is progressively becoming a manifest reality by his mercy.
Every year, a growing number of devotees commemorate this remarkable event by greeting Srila Prabhupada at Commonwealth Pier, meditating on the purport of Markine Bhagavata Dharma, and expressing their gratitude for Srila Prabhupada's many gifts to us: the Holy Name, the Bhakti scriptures, Sri Sri Radha-Gopivallabha (the Deities Srila Prabhupada personally installed in Boston), and the association of devotees.
Last year, with maturing realization of the true nature of what actually occurred on Commonwealth Pier on that prophetic morning, the Boston Temple organized a more elaborate program to celebrate Sri Pascatya-desa Tarana Mahotsava The Great of the Deliverance of the West. Over 200 devotees came Hawaii and Florida, California and Illinois, Connecticut and to thank Srila Prabhupada for his unparalleled . The Festival was a resounding success, and we are to spreading Srila Prabhupada's glories even further each passing year.
We invite you to join us for this year's festive Tarana Mahotsava on September 13 and 14 (please see event schedule below). The celebration will reach its emotional climax on Sunday the 14th at East Boston Piers Park, directly facing Commonwealth Pier across the Boston Harbor. After Srila Prabhupada's arrival by boat from Commonwealth Pier, we will bathe his Deity form with sacred waters from eleven Holy Tirthas: Radha-Kunda, Shyama-Kunda, Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Pushkar (Rajasthan), Manasi Ganga, Apsara Kunda, Govinda Kunda, Naval Kunda, and Alakananda Kunda (Mayapura).
Devotees can directly participate in this rare public abhiseka ceremony. The Boston Temple is making available a limited number of Ekadasha Tirtha Jala Kalashas (consecrated containers of Eleven Holy Waters) for devotees to bathe Srila Prabhupada. You can personally render this intimate service by sponsoring an uttama-kalasha at $501, a maha-kalasha at $251, or a kalasha at $108. As a Tarana Mahotsava sponsor, you will bathe Srila Prabhupada's Deity form with Eleven Holy Waters and take home the consecrated kalasha as an enduring memento.
To see the festival schedule, go to http://www.iskconboston.org/html/events/sp_arrival.html
For more information on the festival, contact Nimai-Nitai dasa, firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on accommodations in the Boston area, contact Bhakta Raj Heda, email@example.com. To participate in the abhiseka ceremony, contact Premananda dasa, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you at Boston Harbor!
Saturday, September 13
2:00 PM Pilgrimage to Commonwealth Pier (transporation from temple provided)
3:00 PM Maha-harinama from Pier to temple
4:30 PM Light refreshments
6:15 PM Video presentation
7:00 PM Arati and kirtan
7:45 PM Prasadam
Sunday, September 14
7:00 AM Greeting Deities & Guru Puja
7:30 AM Class
8:15 AM Breakfast
10:00 AM Depart for East Boston Piers Park
(transit via subway - cost $2.00 per person)
11:15 AM Welcoming ceremony
11:30 AM Discourse
Noon Srila Prabhupada Ekadasha
Tirtha Jal Abhisheka & Worship
of Boston Harbor Tirtha
2:00 PM Depart for Temple
3:00 PM Light refreshments
4:00 PM Sunday Feast Program
4:00 Guru Puja
4:30 Memories of Prabhupada
by his disciples
6:00 Arati & Kirtan 7:00 Prasadam
Text courtesy of http://www.vedabase.com Used with permission.