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ISKCON Tirupati’s Mega Youth Festival
By Khusboo Basan, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Апр 22, 2023

Youth from around South India, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala gathered for three days to mark the celebration of “Parivartan,” a mega youth festival organized by ISKCON Tirupati. 

“It was a massive festival for three days with boarding facility provided by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), hosted in Mahati Auditorium in Tirupati with more than 2,000 youth participating,” said Revati Raman Das, GBC Chairman and President at ISKCON Tirupati. 

We interviewed Kirti Gopal Das, the youth leader at ISKCON leader who shared his thoughts about the historic event.

1. What is the inspiration behind giving this Mega Youth Festival the name Parivartan”?

“Our Team, the ISKCON India Youth Council South Wing, aimed to attract as many enthusiastic young people as possible to participate in this festival – to have a revolution in South India youth outreach. People are interested in bringing about change in the world around them. Parivartan means transformation, so our focus was on transforming the world. That transformation of the world begins by transforming oneself.”

2. How do you feel about the success of this massive youth event?

It was a grand success. The response of the audience was unforgettable. They were thrilled by 2,000 like-minded boys’ combined enthusiasm for a spiritual experience. We not only from appreciation from participants but also from the leaders of South India. I live locally here, and when I interacted with the townspeople, they remembered the vibes even a month later. It was a grand event conducted by the joint efforts of IIYC South Wing team combined with the local ISKCON Tirupati team of devotees, especially HG Revati Raman Prabhu, GBC Chairman, President at ISKCON Tirupati, who shared the same vision – expansion of Youth Outreach in South India.

Thousands of youth gathered in Mahati Auditorium in Tirupati

3. What were the most striking features of the festival?

  1. Participation by the youth in the morning program beginning with Mangal Arati in the massive Mahati Auditorium Hall.
  2. Sessions presented by senior preachers.
  3. Performances of dramas and debates by the teams from South India.
  4. Massive Harinaam Sankirtan performed in the main streets of Tirupati Dham (over 2,500 devotees participating for more than three hrs in the evening). It was a massive hit. 
  5. Prasadam, cooked by the Hyderabad team, headed by HG Suvarna Gaur Hari Das from ICC Bangalore and HG Vishnu Prasad Das from ISKCON Hyderabad. They planned two months in advance, and it was relished to full capacity by all.
  6. Two thousand youths taking an oath to refrain from drugs and alcohol and to inspire at least one more person in the coming year to do the same was attractive to everyone.
  7. Tirumala Balaji Darshan, with 2,000 devotees along with the kirtans, was most memorable.
  8. Two thousand youths dressed in traditional dhoti and kurta throughout the 3-full day event were a highlight.
  9. The combined enthusiasm of 2,000 youths itself was a great feature of this event.

4. What challenges did you face?

  1.  Streamlining the management of the basic facilities, like allotting the rooms and giving prasadam on time, was a big challenge within the limited time and was a little tough. Somehow, we managed with the least possible difficulties.
  2.  IIYC South Wing team, with the local team, worked very hard for almost three months before the event to get the youths registered, scheduling the whole event, inviting the guests, receiving and offering needs for them during their visit, transporting all the participants for darshan on time, as the group is very large – communication to all of them, were all challenges. Because we had an exemplary hierarchy of preachers, facilitators, and caretakers above the participants, it was not impossible for us to reach out.

5. What are your plans and expectations of getting more participation?

We are launching training for those aspiring to render this Youth Preaching service in South India. They all will add large numbers to the current youth, and the numbers will multiply organically in the consequent years.

6. Do you want to add or mention anything else for everyone to know?

We heartily thank Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam(TTD) Chairman, Executive Officer, and the whole team under them, who provided Darshan of Balaji for such a massive number, arranged accommodation for the participants, and a beautiful centralized AC hall they provided for conducting the event. Furthermore, we heartily thank the local ISKCON Tirupati team, who have an excellent relationship with the local TTD, for making this event a grand success. 

We especially thank HG Revati Raman Prabhu, who shared the same vision as IIYC and offered immense encouragement and support to all the devotees below him.

For more information about the activities of ISKCON Tirupati, visit their website at https://www.iskcontirupati.org

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