Mayapur, Apr 16 : More than 12000 devotees of ISKCON Mayapur who have come from different parts of India and many from abroad like Nepal, Bangladesh , Singapore , Malaysia today celebrated the 70th Vyas Puja, birth anniversary of JayaPataka Swami Maharaj in a grand manner at the vast open grounds of the ISKCON Mayapur campus in Nadia district of West Bengal.
The festivities began at 10 am this morning when Swamiji reached the venue, next there was Abhishek of his foot and his Padukas were worshipped by the devotees. Senior devotees shared their experience and contributions of JayaPataka Maharaja in establishing ISKCON Mayapur which is today the World Headquarter of ISKCON Worldwide.
The devotees thanked the Lord because after a prolonged illness JayaPataka Swami recovered by undergoing a major operation in which his liver and both kidneys were replaced at Chennai last year, Subroto Das, Media Spokesperson of ISKCON Mayapur said.
Born on April 9, 1949, as John Gordon Erdman in Milwaukee Wisconsin USA, he was a bright student. The Indian philosophy and traditions attracted him and gradually he came in contact with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder Acharya of ISKCON in the mid-1960s during Rath Yatra at San Francisco. The divine preaching of Srila Prabhupada touched him so much that from there he never looked back and vowed to serve his spiritual master. He was instructed by Srila Prabhupada to develop Mayapur, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and build a nice temple of Sri Sri Radha Madhava.
Known for his strong determination, JayaPataka Swami turned the nearly impossible thing into reality by dint of his hard work. He single-handedly took the initiative of bringing Mayapur into the global map of Bhakti movement. Besides developing ISKCON he made immense efforts to develop places at Nabadwip Dham which are spiritually potent for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas.
For his soft heart and contributions, he is revered among all communities, irrespective of caste and religion, in Nabadwip. Today JayaPataka Swami has more than 20000 initiated devotees from every nook and corner of the globe. He has published many books in different languages.
ISKCON Management had made elaborate arrangements to facilitate such a large footfall. A huge pandal has been set up with 12 giant sized LED screens so that devotees from distance can see the proceedings.
To fight the severe humid weather conditions many small booths have been made all around the campus which are serving butter milk and light Prasadam for free. Besides this, a medical team is present to take off the devotees in case of an emergency. (UNI)