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Grand 40th anniversary celebrations of ISKCON gets underway today

Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

Over 100 senior devotees across the globe who had contributed in setting up the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Juhu, in the seventies, have arrived in Mumbai, to participate in a four-day long 40th anniversary celebrations of ISKCON beginning from Saturday.

Besides senior devotees, over 8,000 members from four ISKCON temples - Juhu, Chowpatty, Mira Road and Khargar (Navi Mumbai) will also participate in spiritual and cultural events which will include dramas, discourses, kirtans, etc. The festivity is open to all and the organizers are expecting a footfall of over 20,000 devotees in the four-day celebrations.

Speaking to The Afternoon D & C, ISKCON, Juhu, spokesperson, Parijata Devi Dasi said that the   devotees of different nationalities and races, had left their creature comforts during their younger days and had come to assist A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON, to build a temple in Juhu, which that time was just a place in the wilderness.

Today the magnificent temple complex is one of the most visited in the country and considered a  spiritual oasis in the material world.. Opened in 1978, the complex includes a spacious marble temple, a renovated auditorium, a huge restaurant and a twin-towered seven-story guest house where visitors can stay and participate in the daily spiritual programs of the temple. Most of the senior sanyasins and devotes will be present at this gala function, she added.

The celebration will begin with at 8.30 AM by lighting a traditional lamp at ISKCON auditorium, Juhu on Saturday. Subsequently the celebration will be held at Bhaktivedanta Swami Mission School, Andheri (near Lokhandwala complex) with puja of “Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra rath” in the presence of Maharashtra Minister of State for Women & Child Development Vidya Thakur at 11.30 AM.

Then the procession (accompanied by aartis) will begin at 1:30 pm from Bhaktivedanta school and will proceed via  Lokhandwala Market, J P Road, Indian Oil Colony, New D. N Nagar, JVPD Circle, Mithibai College and Kala Niketan, Juhu and will culminate at the Jamnabai Narsee Ground (JNG), Juhu. The rath will be at JNG till 15 January night to enable devotees to have a darshan.

On Sunday, hot prasad meals will be distributed among over 50,000 under-privileged people across the slums, by the sanyasins from different countries. The meal will comprise hot rice, subji, puri and halava. Similarly  a 'Maha-abhishek' will be offered to  three presiding deities on all three temple altars in Juhu. A special flag will be hoisted on the occasion. A 'Chappan Bhog' (56 food items) will also be offered to Lord Jagannath.

On Sunday evening the books Bombay Is My Office and Chasing Rhinos With The Swami will be released in presence of Union Minister  of State for Human Resource Development Dr. Satyapal Singh, Governor of Nagaland Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya and BJP MP and actress Hema Malini between  7.00 om and 8.15 pm. The religious discoursescourses and cultural events will be held on 15 and 16  January as well  at all-four ISKCON temples in Mumbai.

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