The World Holy Name Festival is an annual event celebrated by followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and devotees of Lord Krishna worldwide. This year, devotees worldwide will celebrate the “World Holy Name Festival” from September 17 to September 23, 2023, to honor the arrival of Srila Prabhupada in America on September 17, 1965.The main purpose of the World Holy Name Festival is to promote the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and the glorification of Lord Krishna.
It carries several key significances and glories:
Chanting the Holy Name
The primary focus of World Holy Name Festival is the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu emphasized that the chanting of the holy name is not limited by caste, creed, or social status. It is a practice that can be followed by people from all walks of life, making it inclusive and accessible to everyone.
World Holy Name Festival brings together devotees from all over the world to engage in collective chanting and devotional activities. It strengthens the sense of community among devotees and allows them to share their love and devotion for Lord Krishna.
Outreach and Education
During this festival, ISKCON communities often engage in outreach activities, distributing literature about the philosophy and teachings of Lord Krishna and conducting educational seminars and lectures. It’s a time when people who may be unfamiliar with Krishna consciousness can learn about its principles and practices.
For existing devotees, World Holy Name Festival serves as a time of spiritual renewal and deepening of their relationship with Lord Krishna. It’s an opportunity to recommit to their spiritual practices and intensify their devotion.
The festival helps raise public awareness about the ISKCON and its teachings. Through street chanting, book distribution, and prasadam (sanctified food) distribution, ISKCON communities share their spiritual culture with the public and promote a lifestyle of devotion and compassion.
Unity and Peace
Chanting the holy name is have the power to bring about inner and outer peace. Devotees pray for world peace during World Holy Name Week, emphasizing the idea that by connecting with the Supreme Lord through the holy name, conflicts and disturbances in the world can be mitigated.
Devotees often testify to the transformative power of the holy name in their own lives. They share stories of how regular chanting has brought them inner joy, improved relationships, and a sense of purpose.
Legacy of Srila Prabhupada
World Holy Name Festival also honors the legacy of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, who played a pivotal role in spreading the teachings of Lord Krishna and the chanting of the holy name worldwide.
In essence, World Holy Name Week is a celebration of the profound spiritual and devotional significance of chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. It serves as a time for devotees to come together in unity, reach out to the broader community, and deepen their commitment to the practice of bhakti yoga and devotion to Lord Krishna. Through this festival, the glories of the Holy name are celebrated and shared with the world.
“harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā [Adi 17.21]”
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.”
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