The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

ISKCON New York Gets Its Own TV Show

By: on Feb. 21, 2009

The weekly Tuesday programs at ISKCON’s first ever center on New York’s 26 2nd Avenue have been opened up to a potential audience of up to three million people, via a public access TV station.



“A while back I was distributing books on the street when someone suggested
that I look into Manhattan Neighborhood Network(MNN), the public access TV
station for the borough of Manhattan,” says Muralidhara-priya Dasa, a student
from 26 2nd Ave’s ‘East Village Ashram.’ “They said the network
would give me my own TV show and the equipment to film it.”

Excited
at the outreach prospects, Muralidhara-priya researched MNN’s requirements, and
found that all he had to do was reside in Manhattan and take their free
training courses. He recalls: “I thought – ‘A free training course, free
professional filming equipment, and a free weekly TV series? Wow, this is too
good to be true.’ But sure enough, as soon as I completed the course and
applied for a TV series, I received one!”


The
resulting show, a professionally filmed and edited version of 26 2nd
Avenue’s Tuesday programs, is dubbed Post-Modern
Vedanta
. “It sounds hip and people can tell it’s going to have an eastern
flavor,” Muralidhyara-priya explains. “We used the word post-modern because we
adapted our style of preaching from a Christian book called Preaching to a Postmodern World: A Guide to
Reaching Twenty-first Century Listeners
, by Graham Johnston. It discusses people’s state of
consciousness in the post-modern era, and how to reach them through it.”


The
pilot episode of Post-Modern Vedanta aired
on Sunday February 15 on channels 57 of Time Warner Cable, 84 of RCN cable, and
35 of Verizon FIOS, with a re-run due on Wednesday the 25th at
4pm. In the show’s intro, congregation member and actress Laura Fay looks like
a typical harassed New Yorker trying to catch the subway, until you realize she’s
rushing to get to 26 2nd Ave on time. The episode features ISKCON
second-generation devotee Gaura Vani Dasa playing music with members of his As
Kindred Spirits
kirtan band, and explaining the meaning of kirtan.


“Being a pilot, there were some technical difficulties,
particularly with sound quality, but these have been resolved,” says
Muralidhara-priya. “Any further suggestions for improvements are greatly
welcomed.”


26
2nd Avenue devotees will now be filming their Tuesday program every
week, with a new 58-minute episode of Post-Modern
Vedanta
– 40 minutes
of spiritual discussion and 18 minutes of kirtan music – airing every
week from mid March. The broadcast time is yet to be set, but episodes can be
watched live at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s website, www.mnn.org.


All
episodes will also be archived for online viewing at http://post-modernvedanta.blip.tv,
where the pilot and second episode, featuring 26 2nd Ave temple
president Yajna Purusa Dasa – are already available. The upcoming third episode will feature a
special guest – travelling preacher Indradyumna Swami.


Muralidhara Priya hopes the
show will attract more people to attend programs at 26 2nd Ave. “We
hope to see the results within the next few months, especially once we’ve
started advertising it in our newspaper Spirit
Matters,
” he says. “We also plan to start looking for an audience beyond
Manhattan once the first season is done in four months time -- cable
television networks in New York’s four other boroughs are waiting!”

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