The first mega kirtan festival at Jagannatha Puri (Odisha, India) entitled as “Chant for Change” attracted more than 10,000 people on the idyllic and historic sea beach at Jagannatha Puri. Held very near to the Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s beachside statue at Swargadwar, the festival had the crowds chanting, dancing and drowning in the nectar of harinam sankirtana.
The event was held on July 17th a day before the first Navakalebar Ratha Yatra festival to offer a prayer to Their Lordships to bestow Their mercy to fill everyone's hearts with feelings of gratitude and selfless service, individually and globally.
The stage for the event was a beautiful Pandal erected on the sands of the Oceanside beach against the backdrop of the beautiful Deities of Jagannatha, Baladev and Subhadra. There was an accompanying LED screen displaying appropriate themes corresponding the kirtana.
The event began at 4.30 pm with melodious kirtana led by Swaroop Damodar Das from the Middle East. He mesmerized the audience with some intense ragas and the “Harer nam eva kevalam” song.
As the crowd reached its peak by 6 pm, Lokanatha Swami began a tumultuous kirtan, which attracted thousands of people to flood the arena chanting the holy names. He was followed by Kamalgopal Das from Mayapur whose powerful booming voice shook the ambience with joy. Lokanatha Swami ended the kirtan with another hour of explosive harinam sankirtana.
The program concluded with a beautiful Odissi dance performance on Dasahavataar (Krishna’s ten incarnations) performed by local artists.
Khichadi prasadam was distributed continuously during the entire festival.
On the request of local ISKCON leader Bhaktipurushottama Swami, the Puri Beach “Chant for Change” is now declared as an annual event, which will be held a day before the Jagannatha Rath Yatra day on the evening of Gundicha Marjanam to commemorate the glory of harinam sankirtana which cleanses the mirror of our hearts.
The next “Chant for Change” program in Jagannatha Puri will be held at the same venue on July 5th, 2016.[ bhakti-purusottama-swami ] [ chant4change ] [ jagannatha ] [ lokanatha-swami ] [ puri ]