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Vyasa Puja

 

There are many ways to approach Krsna in order to serve Him. However, it becomes difficult unless one receives the benedictions of the spiritual master or guru. Many scriptures decree that it is impossible to make spiritual progress without the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore, one must develop a trusting bond with the spiritual master and serve him in order to be successful in progressing towards Krsna bhakti.


In order to celebrate the appearance day of the spiritual master, vyāsa pujā is celebrated. The term vyasa puja is used because the spiritual master is considered the representative of Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of Krsna. Vyasa Puja is celebrated by offering puspanjali to the spiritual master. The puspanjali consists of reading verses that glorify the spiritual master whose Vyasa Puja is being celebrated, Gaudiya Vaisnava lineage of disciples, as well as verses that glorify Lord Caitanya and Lord Krsna, who are also part of the lineage. After completion of each verse, devotees honor their spiritual master with flowers (puspa) in the mood of a humble offering (anjali). The puspanjali ends with a kirtana of the Guru Vandana.

 

In the Vyasa Puja celebration, disciples of the spiritual master will give offerings in the forms of letters, spiritual gifts from holy pilgrimage sites, or renewing spiritual vows. Disciples will also assemble to recollect moments of their spiritual master and discuss his glories.

 

In ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada Vyasa Puja is celebrated, as His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami is the Founder and Acarya of ISKCON. His Vyasa Puja takes place on the ninth day of the first half of the month Bhadra (Hrsikesa). This day is the day after Krsna Janmastami.

 

UPDATED: August 31, 2010