The appearance day of Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON is celebrated as Vyasa Puja. Srila Prabhupada was born in 1896 on the day of Nandotsava (the next day of Janmashtami). Srila Prabhupad’s Appearance Day is a very special day for all ISKCON devotees as they joyfully glorify their eternal savior Srila Prabhupada on His appearance day.
Why is it called Vyasa Puja?
Vyasa-puja is an annual offering of special honor—puja—to the spiritual teacher, who represents Krishna Himself as well as Krishna’s incarnation Vyasadeva, the editor of the Vedas. Krishna recommends everyone seeking God to first seek out God’s representative and respectfully accept his guidance. Srila Prabhupada is the 32nd acharya in this disciplic succession and his disciples observe his appearance day ceremony as Vyasa Puja.
On this day, a host of activities are engaged in by the devotees, who become absorbed in thinking about the Lord’s mercy in the manifestation of His pure devotee. Devotees fast till noon. Vyasa Puja offerings are made by the devotees, who write and present very personal messages to Srila Prabhupada. Guru Puja arotika is offered with an array of sumptuous foodstuffs, an abhisheka (bathing) ceremony of SrilaPrabhupada’s murti form, and the offering of flower petals (pushpanjali).
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