Beginning this year, organizers at ISKCON’s headquarters in Mayapur, India, are establishing an annual early summer festival dubbed “Festival of Bliss.”
The growing spiritual city is already host to ISKCON’s biggest international event, the world-famous Mayapur Gaura Purnima Festival, which runs for two weeks every spring during February/March.
However leaders say that there can never be too many festivals. “In the spiritual world, festivals are taking place eternally,” says Mayapur Project Manager Bhakti Purusottama Swami. “And holy places such as Mayapur are our gateway to experience a glimpse of those blissful pastimes.”
Festival of Bliss will will run for twelve days every year, on different dates because of the dynamic lunar Vedic calendar. However, each time it will begin on Akshaya-tritiya, the day on which Satya yuga began, and a date considered most auspicious for starting efforts.
This year’s festival will begin on May 15th and end on May 27th, the appearance day of Krishna’s half-man half-lion incarnation Lord Nrsimhadeva.
The time in between these two dates will be jam-packed with festivities, including Chandan Yatra, during which all the deities worshipped at ISKCON Mayapur will be covered with cooling Chandan paste, and the Radha Madhava Boat Festival, during which miniature forms of Sri-Sri-Radha-Madhava will be carried in procession to a nearby lake for a boat ride.
Other highlights include a tour of the Ganga by boat every morning and evening, a day tour to holy places of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, and evening entertainment showcasing culture from different parts of India.
Festival-goers will also visit Jahnudvipa on Janhu Saptami, the holy day on which the great sage Jahnu Muni saw the Ganga personified after undergoing severe penances.
And, of course, the two weeks of festivities will conclude with the grand celebration Lord Nrsimhadeva’s appearance day.
“Festival of Bliss is the perfect opportunity for the many devotees who were not able to get accommodation in Mayapur for the Gaura Purnima Festival,” says Bhakti Purusottama Swami. “It’s also convenient for families, since it falls during schools’ annual summer vacation. But whatever their reason for attending, we feel, and hope, that this new summer festival will give special joy to all the devotees.”
To book your accommodation for Mayapur’s “Festival of Bliss,” please contact MGHB@pamho.net