on Jan. 24, 2009
Devotees in the sacred town of Vrindavana, India, will be celebrating the sixth anniversary of the new temple at Vrinda Kunda this February 9th to 22nd.
The sacred lake’s history goes back a long way – Lord Krishna’s own grandson Vajranabha first installed a Krishna deity beside it five thousand years ago, while the site was excavated by Lord Chaitanya’s disciples in the 1500s. In the 1980s, Vaishnava scholar Baba Madhava Dasa built a small temple there in which he installed a deity of Vrinda-devi, one of Krishna’s most beloved devotees, before turning the temple over to ISKCON in 1989. In 2003, ISKCON constructed a new temple to replace the old, dilapidated one.
During the anniversary celebrations, tours will leave most mornings from ISKCON’s Krishna Balarama Mandir to visit sacred historical spots, returning later for lunch.
“It’s a great opportunity for devotees who are looking for something to do between the opening of the new temple in Aravade, Maharastra on February 6-8 and the Mayapur festival,” says tour guide Dina Bandhu Dasa. “Devotees often like to come and visit Vrindavana before the Mayapur festival, as afterwards it can be uncomfortably hot.”
On Sunday February 22nd, the last day of the event, ladies will carry water pots with colorful cloth and coconuts on their heads in celebration of the annual Kalasha Yatra. The procession will circle the village of Nandagaon, and then head to Vrinda Kunda.
At the sacred lake, stories of Krishna will be told, followed by lessons in churning butter, an aratika ceremony, and finally a delicious feast for all the Vaishnavas. Afterwards, devotees can also participate in feeding sadhus and poor residents of Nandagaon – a service ISKCON’s Food For Life program has been carrying out since 1993.
“Anyone who has taken part in previous years remembers this as an unforgettable experience,” Dina Bandhu says. “So please make you plans now and come join us!”