“Transcendental Journey: Hare Krishna Celebrates 50 Years,” an historic variety stage production put on by Australian devotees for ISKCON 50, is now available on Youtube and for pre-order on DVD.
The film is a nearly two-hour presentation that cuts together the best bits from the show’s matinee and evening performances at the famous Sydney Opera House on August 20th, 2016.
Professionally shot with ten cameras and edited by technical director Deva Gaura Hari Das, the film seamlessly blends live acts and narrative slideshow segments.
Through music, dance, drama and multimedia, Transcendental Journey tells the story of the Hare Krishna Movement’s cultural roots, Srila Prabhupada’s extraordinary journey to transplant it to the West, and ISKCON’s development over the past fifty years.
A dramatic re-enactment of Srila Prabhupada bording the Jaladuta
The historical roots of Gaudiya Vaishnavism are portrayed through Krishna-lila dramas by Melbourne devotees, Odissi dance by New Govardhana farm’s Natya Shakti Dance troupe, and Vedic chanting by Bhaktivedanta Gurukula students.
Much of the show tells the story of Srila Prabhupada’s incredible achievements. There are moving dramatic re-enactments of Prabhupada’s meeting his guru Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and his voyage to the West on the Jaladuta, including a heartfelt rendition of Prabhupada’s Jaladuta Prayers by local kirtaniya Tribhuvanesvara Das.
Prabhupada’s early days in New York and San Francisco are told with historical video footage of 26 2nd Avenue, slides of Prabhupada’s letters, and live recollections from special guests Mukunda Goswami, Shyamasundara Das, Malati Devi Dasi, and Bhakti Charu Swami.
Meanwhile a colorful Hair-style musical set piece has actors dressed as hippies performing Harinama Sankirtana with Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
The Natya Shakti Dance Troupe perform their stunning Odissi dance for Lord Jagannath
Other performances include the musical group The Gulab Jammin covering Boy George’s Bow Down Mister, and musical duo Mohini Mohan singing the Damodarastakam prayers.
The show’s finale sees Grammy-nominated kirtan band Bhakti Without Borders, led by Madi Das, engage the audience in kirtan and dancing. With chanting by Australia’s own beloved Sri Prahlad Das too, it ends the show on a euphoric high that will make you feel inspired to be a part of Srila Prabhupada’s movement.
The entire show is now available to view for free on Youtube. However the DVD, which producer Damodara Pandit Das says will be released in a month, is certainly worth a purchase: it will include extras such as special interviews with Mukunda Goswami and the production team, and a behind-the-scenes look.
An excellent piece of history to own to remember how 50 years of ISKCON was celebrated, Transcendental Journey is also a great resource for ISKCON devotees.
Madi Das and the Bhakti Without Borders band deliver an uplifting kirtan
“It’s not only entertaining and educational,” says Damodara Pandit. “But because it covers the history of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Prabhupada’s contributions, shows the authenticity of the Hare Krishna Movement and establishes ISKCON as prestigious enough to perform at the Sydney Opera House, it’s a great outreach tool.”
Damodara Pandit also hopes that the highly ambitious project and its success – tickets sold out within three days, and a financial profit was made – will encourage devotees to put on similar Krishna conscious cultural events.
“Put everything you have into it, and Krishna will respond,” he says.
He adds: “We are happy to share our resources, such as scripts, music score, and audio narration so that others can produce their own version of the show with their local artists.”
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To watch Transcendental Journey, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWjDBTPNgq0&feature=youtu.be
To order the DVD with special features, or to request artistic resources for your own show, email: firstname.lastname@example.org[ australia ] [ opera ] [ sydney ]