Kartik festival in Vrindavan

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Brajbihari Das,
Member, Vrindavan Management Council,
ISKCON, Vrindavan.

Deep Daan
This year, the auspicious month of Kartik begins from 4thOctober 2009. During this month every evening at 7 PM after sandhya aroti, thousands of devotees visiting from all over the world offer deep (lamps) to Their Lordships and to the Yasoda Damodara diorama. ISKCON sanyasis/senior devotees lead the Damodarastakam and kirtan continues for more than 2 hrs.


Vraja Mandala Parikrama
For one whole month, devotees walk an average of 12 km.everyday , to various places of Sri Krishna’s pastimes and spend the night at those destinations. As they arrive, senior devotees discuss the pastimes. For those who cannot stay overnight, there is a shuttle service from the temple leaving every morning and returning in the evening.
Krishna Balaram Mandir Parikrama
This is organized by the Temple Management for those devotees, who cannot walk so far and who want to visit those places selectively. Groups of devotees leave in the morning after mangal arati in a bus and return around 2 in the afternoon.This parikrama is led by HG Deena Bandhu Prabhu.

Govardhana Puja/Go puja(18th oct)
. In the morning on the same day as Govardhan Puja, Go Puja is celebrated at the Bhaktivedanta Swami Goshala. Around 7:45 AM, Their Lordships Sri Sri Krishna Balarama are accompanied by devotees with kirtan to the goshala. All the devotees feed the cows with green grass and gor laddus. After a special lecture, the cows, bulls and calves are worshiped. Their Lordships return to the Temple while devotees honor special breakfast arranged at the goshala. Devotees construct the Govardhana Hill in the temple courtyard with varieties of cooked rice, halava, fruits, sweets and so many other eatables. At 12.00 noon Aroti is offered to Goverdhan Hill and prasadam is distributed.

Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance day(22nd oct)

This is a central part of the Kartik festivities. Founder Acharya of ISKCON and Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami took samadhi in Vrndavana on this day. Yearly, we observe a two-day program in his honor.
The day before his disappearance, devotees take Srila Prabhupada’s Deity in procession with ecstatic kirtan to each of the Six Goswami temples of Vrndavana. Temple, Srila Prabhupada’s House and His divine Samadhi are gorgeously decorated. The Krishna Balarama Land Pandal is also nicely decorated and devotees assemble in large numbers in the morning to honor His Divine Grace with individual glorifications by disciples of His Divine Grace, and other senior devotees, time permitting. In the festival kitchen, devotees prepare various delicious bhoga for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada. In the noon, disciples and senior devotees offer Maha Abhishek to Srila Prabhupada’s Deity. After the abhishek, bhoga is offered. At 1PM maha aroti and Pushpa Puja take place in the Samadhi Mandir. About 12000 devotees honor prasadam at afternoon in Fogla Ashram.
In the evening, from around 6 PM, senior devotees start assembling in Srila Prabhupada’s darshan room for kirtan. At 7:20 PM, the time at which His Divine Grace left his body, aroti is performed.

Service opportunities/Sponsorship
Kartik is a special month for devotees.Devotees from all over the world arrive in Vrindavan during kartik. On average, daily we feed 1000 devotees for Breakfast and 1200 devotees for lunch. On the first day of Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day festival we feed 8000 devotees and the day of Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance we feed about 13000 devotees.
We wish to extend our service to the vaisnavas visiting vrindavan by providing free prasadam as they are visiting Srila Prabhupada’s home.

The approximate prasadam expenses per day are as follows:

Daily Breakfast Rs.15,000
Daily Lunch Rs.30,000
Contributions from devotees are welcome for prasadam service as well as for other services during kartik. For details please refer to the following link http://www.iskconvrindavan.com/sponsorship/kartik-festival/

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