Devotees at the New Vrajamandala farm in Brihuega, central Spain will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the installation of their gorgeous presiding Deities, Sri Sri Radha Govinda Chandra from August 23rd to 29th this summer.
Around 200 devotees from Spain and other European countries are expected to gather for the event.
Amongst the visitors will be Sacinandana Swami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, Prahladananda Swami, Sarvatma Das, Vedavyas Das, and Atmarama Das.
They will all participate in a festival that is set to focus strongly on the chanting of Krishna’s names.
It will begin on August 23rd with a reception and kirtan opening as all the devotees arrive and take their accommodations.
The next day, Sacinandana Swami will offer a Holy Name Workshop from 11am to 1pm, during which devotees will learn japa meditation techniques and receive inspiration in chanting the Holy Name.
The theme will continue from 7pm to 8:30pm in the evening with a “Lila Kirtan.” During this absorbing experience, devotees will do dramatic readings of select pastimes of the Lord with musical accompaniment, in between bouts of kirtan.
On August 25th, all the devotees will participate in a mega day-long Harinam in the city of Madrid, lifting the hearts of locals with the chanting of Krishna’s names.
Devotees gather in front of the temple in New Vrajamandala, Spain
“It will be held on the main streets of the capital,” says festival coordinator Deva Sekhara Das. “We will also give out books and prasadam. I hope it will be the same as the last Harinam we had in Madrid with the Pandava Sena youth group and Sacinandana Swami. People will be attracted just by seeing Sacinandana Swami’s big smile!”
On the 26th, a twelve-hour kirtan will be held at New Vrajamandala, lead by kirtan singers such as Amala Kirtan Das, Amala Harinama Das and Nadiya Mani Dasi.
The next day, Sacinandana Swami’s Holy Name Workshop will continue. And on the 28th, the final day of the festival, devotees will celebrate Janmastami, the holy appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna. On this day devotees will also gather to share their memories of 30 years with Sri Sri Radha Govinda Chandra.
A bhajan band perform during an atmospheric night at New Vrajamandala
Their story will likely begin with devotees including Keshava Bharati Goswami and Bhagavan Das searching for a large ISKCON property in Spain. New Vrajamandala was chosen since it was a beautiful farm just one hour’s drive from Spain’s capital city, Madrid. And in 1979, devotees bought the property.
Four years later, in 1983, Bhagavan had the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Chandra made in Jaipur and shipped to Spain, where They were kept in a large box before being installed during the 1983 Janmastami festival.
Thirty years later, devotees in Spain are serious about maintaining gorgeous worship of their Lordships and deepening their own spiritual lives.
New Vrajamandala devotees with a poster for Radha Govinda Chandra's 30th anniversary
“I think the anniversary festival is like having a new opportunity,” Deva Sekharah says. “It is like Krishna telling us, ‘Hey you, I am turning 30 years old and becoming more mature, are you ready to be more mature in your spiritual life?”
The festival will also be a chance to bring devotees together, and to increase unity in ISKCON Spain.
“I think the next 30 years will be very positive,” says Deva Sekharah. “I see big new projects, a more mature attitude, and a renewed focus on what is really important in spiritual life at New Vrajamandala.”
For more information and to book your place at the festival, please visit www.iskcon.es[ spain ] [ vraja-mandala ]