Srila Prabhupada has a special place in every devoteeâ€™s heart. Since Kolkata is his birthplace so the city of joy is very dear to all Iskcon members worldwide. And in Kolkata, devotees always try to celebrate Srila Prabhupadaâ€™s Vyasa Puja in a grand way. This year too an elaborate arrangement was made to commemorate Srila Prabhupadaâ€™s appearance day and his unparalleled contribution to the world.
Doing service together in co-operation with other devotees and friends towards a common goal is truly the key to surcharging both the atmosphere and our own souls with spiritual bliss. That was the scene on the days before Janmastami 2014. As people worked together, the air was surcharged with inspiration and creativity for the Lord.
Every student from Year 1 to Year 12 wrote a Vyasa puja offering and selected children read their heartfelt homages to Srila Prabhupada, some of these were in the form of poems and songs. There were bhajans, songs and a dance by different students as well as rememberances of Srila Prabhupada by his disciples. This was followed by an abhisek organised by the ashram boys and a large feast which the students helped prepare.
On Sunday, August 17, 2014, ISKCON Baroda organized a grand observance of the annual festival of Sri Krishna Janmastami. On this day Lord Krishna advented himself five thousand years ago at Mathura, in North India. Estimates of the huge numbers of local residents who came to have "darshan" -- to see - the Deities of Sri Sri Radhashyamsundar, Sri Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadradevi, and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai in the temple here range from one hundred thousand (one lakh) to two hundred thousand (two lakhs).
Bhaktivedanta Manor's serene and peaceful grounds were transformed into a magnificent festival, brought to life with the sound of music, dancing, stage shows, face paintings, stalls selling books, fresh organic produce, jewellery, musical instruments, and CDs. One of the major highlights of the festival held yesterday at Watford, northwest of central London, was the recreation of the beautiful forests of Vrindavan in India where Lord Krishna played when he was growing up.
Devotees along with Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra arrived from Hare Krishna Centre, Medan, a day ahead of the festival at Binjai to make the necessary arrangements. The festival was arranged at the Mariaman (Mother Durga) Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples at the heart of Binjai City. The stage had been prepared; the chariot was going through final adjustments; the devotees, around fifteen to twenty, were eagerly making arrangements for prasadam, bhoga offerings and decorations. So many fruits were placed on the chariot for decoration as well as for distribution.
Indore, the economic capitol and largest city in Madhya Pradesh, is going to become the home of a major ISKCON Sri Sri Radha Govinda temple. On the auspicious day of Baladev Purnima, the full moon day in the Hindu month of Shraavan, observed by Gaudiya Vaishnavas as the appearance day of Lord Balaram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna, a "bhumi puja" - "worship of the earth" ceremony was performed to initiate the construction activity there.
Aug 13 2014 Czech Padayatra 2014
Then, a historical moment occurred - after 10 years, our Czech Padayatra was visited by His Holiness Lokanath Swami, the minister for Padayatra! His holy presence was so transcendental and sweet, that we were immediately transferred directly to the spiritual world! He also participated in two evening programs for public, where he addressed people with a talk and he lead lively kirtan. Altogether, we held 121st Czech Padayatra completed! Again it was such a blissful and unforgettable event!
Highlights: Scores and recent stories of book distribution from around India. Video on "How to distribute a full set of Srila Prabhupada's Books" Srila Prabhupada on distributing sets of Srimad Bhagavatam and Caitanya Caritamirta FAQ's on Book Distribution
Thousands of festival-goers from all over the country pulled a massive 90ft chariot carrying the Deities of Lord Jagannatha (Krishna), his sister Subhadra, and Lord Balarama from the City Centre to Cossington Park, accompanied with music, singing, and dancing. The annual festival organised by ISKCON is the second largest festival of this type in country and has been running for 17 years. For the first time in its history the festival began at the newly acquired Hare Krishna Centre on Granby Street. To start off the procession Sir Peter Soulsby and community leaders smashed coconuts.
Jewels in our Backyard by Urmila Devi Dasi, How the Jesuits Expanded Their Mission through Education and Higher Values by Yadunandana Swami, Teaching Sastra so as to be Relevant to Individual Studentsâ€™ Lives by Krishna Kshetra Dasa, Creating New Learning Environments by Using Innovative Methods of Teaching by Raghupati Dasa, Making E-Learning Work: Case Study Based on Bhaktivedanta College by Dinadayal Dasa and more
Since Lord Jagannatha was very merciful toward all living entities, accompanied by His elder brother Balarama and His Beautiful sister Subhadra Devi, TheyÂ overflooded Bantulâ€™s citizens with the waves of transcendental blissÂ on the cityâ€™s 183rdÂ anniversary on a cultures parade. Lord Jagannatha on ratha (chariot) went around Bantul city started from Trirenggo field to Bantul government building square on the 20th July 2014.
Jul 26 2014 ISKCON Boston Hosts Interfaith “Field Trip”
Dr. Catherine Cornille, Chair of the Department of Theology and Professor of Comparative Theology in Boston College, and author of numerous books on inter-religious dialogue, phoned ISKCON Boston with a request: Could she bring a large group of theologians to the temple on a site visit to experience a non-Western religious tradition? The answer was a strong "Yes!" The devotees were also thrilled to know that Prof. Diana L. Eck, a long-time friend of ISKCON and co-director of the conference, would be among the visiting scholars. Dr. Eck is a leading scholar specializing in religious diversity and inter-faith relations, serves as Professor of Comparative Religions at Harvard University, and is author of several texts exploring India and its bhakti traditions.
Jul 23 2014 Thirteenth Padyatra Winds through Slovenia
We just successfuly completed this year's padayatra. It was our thirteenth. It lasted eighteen blissful days: chanting, dancing, feasting, and serving all the time. Full samadhi! We distributed the holy names, prasada cookies, and books. About thirty participated full time, and the highest peak of devotees was fifty-seven. People in general appreciated the padayatra very much.
Nearly 6500 students from 115 schools participated in the 1st round in their respective schools. Students from each school were divided into 2 groups, class 7th to 9th, and class 10th to 12th. In each group the three best students were selected. These students along with their parents were invited to stay in Mayapur and receive the golden opportunity to have darshan of their Lordships Sri Sri RadhaMadhava, Lord Sri Narasimhadeva, Sri Pancha-tattva, and Srila Prabhupada.
As the world commemorated Mandela Day by honouring the former statesman on Friday, 18 July 2014, the devotees and maintenance staff at the Sri Sri Radha Radhanatha Temple in Durban, South Africa offered their contribution in the form of prayer, a conservation program and food distribution.
Jul 20 2014 Detroit Ratha Yatra 2014
On Saturday, the roads near Novi's civic center and public library became a 2Â½-mile parade route for the divinities Lord Jagannath (Krishna), his brother Lord Balabhadra and his sister Devi Subhadra. The celebration in Novi is a scaled-down version of what took place in India at the end of June. Three chariots, each four times as high as the one in Novi, are pulled through the streets with close to a million attendees watching. Each deity gets its own chariot.
Jul 18 2014 Krishna Consciousness in Iceland
I live in hot and humid Houston, Texas, a world away from Iceland, the unique North Atlantic island nation born entirely from thousands of volcanic eruptions. Despite attempts by devotees to preach there over the years, Iceland is one of the last Krishna conscious frontiers in the Western world, with no established temple or preaching center. Earlier this year, however, I discovered that Iceland has not at all been forgotten by Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya.
Jul 15 2014 Ojai Ratha 2014 Hanuman Flag Broughaha
Thank you to all of the wonderful devotees who helped make the Ojai Rathayatra a wonderful event! Despite the searing heat of 96 degrees we had a great turnout and a wonderful response from the community for the free feast at Sarazottie Park at the end.
Local food production was, of course, a major goal for New Vrindabanâ€™s founder Srila Prabhupada, and was emphasized in the community from its inception in 1968 until 1979. But in the 1980s and â€˜90s it began to taper off and then all but disappeared, until a smaller scale of farming was re-introduced in 1998 by the Small Farm Training Center.
More than six hundred people from local communities and sixty visitors from other states in Malaysia and other countries such as England and India joined this festival to be fully absorbed in devotion for the sweet Lord. After the official declaration ceremony, the program for the evening featured variety of performances including 1 Malaysia dance performance by Ministry of Social Development and special performances on the Past Times of Lord Krishna by ISKCON children and youths.
The crowd gathered at the beginning of the procession continues to be quite large and impressive. There was a group of thousands that accompanied the Rath from the Railway station, through Sayajiganj, in front of the Maharaja Sayajirao University campus, to the Kala Ghoda ("black horse") Circle, near the Sayaji Bagh (public garden, named after locally famous Maharaja (King) Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III - who lived from 1863-1939)
Jul 1 2014 New York City Hari Nam Report
Ramaraya Prabhu has been valiantly singing the Holy Names of Krishna in Union Square Park for the last 2 and half years and has built up a team of steady team of devotees to help, so that we regularly have Hari Nam parties of 25 or more, every single day, without fail on the streets of New York City. When he began this yajna, things were not so easy; already in his mid-fifties, he started this with only a few devotees and had no financial support or even a place to stay. Today they stay in a brand new ISKCON Hari Nam Ashram, just 30 minutes from the center city and boast a team of 18 steady Hari Nam Warriors.
The grand yatra was about half a kilometre long and had many varieties â€“musical bands, special group of mridanga players artistically playing devotional songs, children in Vrindavan attire riding on horse and bullock carts, depiction of Lordâ€™s different incarnations, dozens of ladies carrying lamps, kirtan party in front of each chariots and devotees happily swaying to the tune of Hare Krishna mantra.
Jun 28 2014 Bonfire Kirtanâ€¦ a humble effort
We have been fortunate at Murari â€˜s Kirtan Valley to have the opportunity, through kirtan, to make friendship with many spiritually oriented people from the Nashville area. This unique event, the idea to appeal to our western born countrymen, was, even for our first of many bonfire kirtans, a great success. We were visited by no less than 40 guests throughout the day.
Jun 28 2014 Ecstatic outing with Sri Gaura Nitai
The 400 plus devotees bore an incredulous look on their faces when the deities of were taken into the holy waters of Cauvery, wondering if the deities were really enjoying all the splashing around. But the devotees, once they entered the waters, certainly had a swell time like young enthusiastic kids gone wild.
Jakarnaval themed Miracle Mask archipelago in commemoration of the 487th anniversary of Jakarta City was done on 22 June 2014. The carnival was followed by many departments under Jakartaâ€™s government with their flower decorated car participated in the carnival. The committee also gave chance to the groups of culture to join the carnival. This great chance was taken by the devotees in Jakarta and surrounding to implement the mission of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu in speading the holy name.
Not since the Festival of Colors have we seen anything quite this, well, colorful: on Saturday, the 39th annual Parade of Chariots brought thousands of Hare Krishna devotees â€” and three giant chariots â€” into the streets of Fifth Avenue for a parade that ended with a jamboree in Washington Square Park.
Jun 26 2014 Temple of the Vedic Planetarium: Rising Moon
On the glorious and auspicious hundredth anniversary of the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, this brand new video about the TOVP project, which was so dear to Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur has been released. Many of our prominent leaders in ISKCON have spoken very well to encourage participation from all members of ISKCON society. This video was produced by a young devotee, resident of Sridham Mayapur, as a seva for the new Sri Mayapur Chandradoya Mandir. Congratulations to all the devotees who have dedicated themselves to this glorious project, that will for sure establish Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as the Yuga Avatar for delivering people in Kali Yuga.
Jun 24 2014 We Are Their Good Fortune!
Once on a morning walk in St James' Park in London (1972/3) after passing a hippy sleeping on a park bench, Srila Prabhupada said "By good fortune they can all come to Krsna Consciousness" Wishing to understand further what His Divine Grace meant by 'good fortune' I said: "Srila Prabhupada, we understand from your books and teachings that nothing happens by chance, can you please explain what you mean by 'good fortune' After walking on for about a minute, all of a sudden Srila Prabhupada stopped, turned and looked me directly in the face, and stated firmly: "We are their good fortune"
Navsari, one of the oldest cities of Gujarat, has an inspiring history of over 2000 years. According to the Greek historical writings, a celebrated Egyptian astronomer and geographer named Ptolemy mentioned Navsari's port in his book written about 150 A.D. The geographic location he showed as Narispa, is in fact the Navsari of today.
On Sunday 15 June, London's most famous landmarks were brought to life in a dazzling display of sound, music and colour, as thousands of devotees from across the country came to the streets of London's West End to celebrate the 46th annual Rathayatra festival. Three beautifully decorated Rathayatra chariots carrying Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva and Lady Subhadra, deities from ISKCON London's Soho Street temple, began their journey in Hyde Park and were pulled by hand to greet a huge gathering of devotees, visitors and tourists in the city's iconic Trafalgar Square.
More than 1100 of us arrived here by buses, cars and vans to join Sri Gaura Nitai on an ecstatic picnic. Young and old joined in the Panihatti Festival celebrations. There was a grand abhisekam of the deities and nonstop kirtan.
Jun 17 2014 I am going to get run over by Lord Jagannath!
When the idea of going to the NY Ratha Yatra was brought up in an email by a devotee from my local temple it was met with the realization that I really had no expectation of ever being able to attend it. It appeared to be a logistically impossible endeavor as all sorts of various factors seemed to get in the way of going. Just getting to the temple in the morning to catch the bus was a problem considering the fact that my husband and I have only one working car at the moment.
Snana yatra is a special bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannatha which takes place on the day of the full moon during the Jyestha month, normally coinciding with the month of June. It commemorates the appearance day of Lord Jagannatha. It is recorded in the Skanda Purana that when King Indradyumna installed Lord Jagannatha, he commissioned this bathing ceremony. The Snana Yathra bathing ceremony was celebrated with great enthusiasm at ISKCON Malaysia â€˜s headquarters, Sri Jagannatha Mandir, Taman Yarl, Kuala Lumpur on 13 June 2014
Jun 16 2014 Daytona Ratha-yatra: 2014
The 6th annual Daytona Beach Ratha-yatra festival on May 24, 2014 began with an opening ceremony at the Holiday Inn. Dedicated devotees led a kirtan for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and Their Lordships Jagannath, Baladeva, and Subhadra Devi. The kirtan was followed by speeches from Tammohara Prabhu, the GBC for Alachua, Florida, as well as the Vice-mayor of Daytona Beach, Patrick Henry, in appreciation of the significance of the Ratha-yatra festival and the devotees who take part in it.
Thousands of people lined the streets of the West End to attend London's "Festival of Chariots". The vibrant procession featured three huge, brightly coloured wooden carts being pulled by hand along the route from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square.
The ceremony was enhanced by a few stunning presentations including a slide show of their high school years in pictures; an amazing debut solo performance by Nandarani Dasi on the sitar; and a multi-media presentation consisting of a song composed and sung by Gourangi Gandharvika, Ananga Gopi and Shevaanni, accompanied by Shevaanni on guitar. All this was perfectly synchronised with their own custom-made video which left everyone with tears in their eyes.
Jun 7 2014 Sadhu Sanga Retreat of 2014 - A Report
During the last Memorial Day Weekend, a spiritual hurricane of international proportions washed Boone, North Carolina with transcendental waves of ecstasy, flooding its rooms and halls with spiritual sound and waterlogging its residents in pools of Vaishnava association. In its wake, this transcendental storm, left thousands of souls stranded in the material world, bereft and yearning for a repeat of those wonderful three days of flash flooding, straight from the spiritual sky.
Srutidharma Das, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple said: The Com.unity choir are a fantastic example of diversity in practice and a true testament of the power of music to unite people - it is very fitting that they have chosen to perform the music of George Harrison, which united the world through his messages of love and faith.