“Every year, there’s some new challenge that comes up while organizing Toronto Rathayatra, and we joke that Lord Jagannath always throws us a curveball,” says Rukmini Dasi, co-chair of the Rathayatra Committee. Little did they know, however, that 2020 would bring the ultimate curveball – a global pandemic that required people to social distance from each other and saw all gatherings and public festivities banned.
Despite cancelation due to the Coronavirus, the show still had to go on with many performances, highlights and activities being broadcast online or on TV instead. The devotees were no exception. Organisers of ‘GlastHomeBury’ made a special request for the Hare Krishnas to take part.
The first annual UP Devotional Arts & Film Festival, which took place on March 8th at Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi Auditorium in Mayapur, focused on screening music videos by devotee artists from around the world.
ISKCON devotees in Bolivia threw a Christmas party with a twist when they held Bhakti Yoga Fest on December 22nd.
The festival began in 2010, when second generation devotees Govinda Syer, Gaura Shakti Allin and Govinda Cordua decided to create an immersive experience for Alachua community members who couldn’t make it to kirtan events around the country.
“Forty-six festivals, one after another,” I thought. “And with Woodstock in the middle. No wonder I’m exhausted.” But there was no time to dwell on the tiredness of my body. Hundreds of excited people were already taking their seats on the benches in front of our stage.
Krishna Days, a new Facebook page launched this Gaura Purnima (March 2019), keeps followers up-to-date and informed on all Vaishnava sacred days.
Previously, Rathayatra in Dallas was a small scale affair, with ISKCON Dallas devotees pulling Lord Jagannath’s chariot through their local neighborhood. But last Spring saw them partner with the Dallas Arts District to put on “Festival of Joy,” a major cultural event for the entire Dallas area.
Around 550 devotees from all over Eastern Europe and beyond gathered for the Vaishnava Winter Festival in Lithuania this year, warming their hearts with a steady diet of nectarean seminars, ecstatic kirtans and delicious prasadam.
The epic show of dance, theater, martial arts and live music has been touring Poland for 29 years to great success, and came to the U.S. for the first time last year under the name “Discover India.”
Now, in time for the upcoming Janmasthami and Srila Prabhupada Vyasa Puja festivals, ISKCON Communications Ministry offers centers around the globe the opportunity to entertain and inspire their congregation by screening the hour-long ‘The Joy of Devotion’ film. Now, the film also available in Spanish.
Prince Mangusutho Buthelezi (leader of the Inkhata Freedom Party and Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation) visited the festival on Saturday, 31 March. Prince Buthelezi who will turn 90 years old in August this year is currently the most senior statesman in the government cabinet.
As an official Dallas Arts District event, Festival of Joy will be advertised on all Arts District websites, email lists, newsletters and Facebook pages. The Festival is also partnering with Fun Asia radio, which reaches 200,000 people, as well as with a number of local yoga centers and businesses.
A video by Indradyumna Swami Official.
Sixty devotees, from 14 different countries around the world, performed almost daily in many of the prestigious universities on the east coast of the United States. Professors, students, and various dignitaries gave resounding applause devotees' performances which were centered around the pastimes of the Lord recounted in the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Ramayana. Other performances included bhajans, the Sankhya dance company from Mumbai, a talk on the wisdom of Bhagavad Gita and more. Everything was presented in a professional, and most important, devotional way. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Coming to the U.S. for the first time, Indradyumna Swami’s ‘Discover India’ tour began with a resounding success, performing to a receptive audience of over 500 people at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center in New York on September 10th. The epic show of dance, theater, martial arts and live music has been touring Poland for 28 years under the name Festival of India, putting on forty events every summer and drawing audiences of three to five thousand people each night.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
The festival program along the Baltic Sea in Poland is a step into Vrindavan, the spiritual world. Three hundred devotees put on 48 festivals in 2 months in various towns and villages along the coast. Tens of thousands of people enjoy the cultural programs. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
On Indradyumna Swami's festival tour along the Baltic Sea coast in Poland each summer devotees try to give people an experience of the spiritual world. Through the stage show, the many tents, exhibits and the vegetarian restaurant people come to understand how joyful spiritual life can actually be.
For many people summertime means vacation time, but for Krishna’s devotees it’s an opportunity to go out and share with the public the wonderful world of Krishna-consciousness through chanting the holy names, dancing in ecstasy and holding festivals. On the Baltic Sea coast in Poland Indradyuma Swami and his enthousiastic group go on harinam daily, rain or shine, throughout July and August. The blissful result is that each evening thousands of people flock to the festivals.
For the 15th anniversary of the disappearance from the this world of Tribhuvanatha Das, at the end of November 2016, devotees premiered at Bhaktivedanta Manor a special 30 minute movie featuring footage of historic and pioneering preaching activities around the world and especially in Africa, and audio remembrances of Tribhuvanatha and his preaching efforts. They also spoke and shared memories at the program.
ISKCON Youth Ministry's Mexico bus tour between December 9, 2016 and January 3, 2017, will be an extraordinary adventure presenting Krishna culture festivals in towns, auditoriums and yoga studios, and visiting pyramids, jungle waterfalls and tropical beaches. "It's a life changing experience," says Manorama dasa, one of the organizers. "The young people who travel with us get a taste for the pioneering spirit of adventure, spreading Krishna consciousness, and will make devotee friends for life."
No Glastonbury is complete without a visit to the Hare Krishna tent.
Running from July 13th to 16th this year, Krishna’s Village is an ISKCON success story, one of the biggest outreach efforts in the world. It’s been part of Woodstock since the music festival’s inception 22 years ago in 1994, when organizer and renowned philanthropist Jurek Owsiak saw a similar vision in traveling preacher Indradyumna Swami.
The Polish Woodstock meant many things for different people. For Lord Krsna’s devotees it was a chance to share our good fortune through massive prasadam distribution, Ratha Yatra, good association and most important, the loud chanting of Krsna’s holy names along with our audience in the Mantra Yoga Tent.
As attendance at Woodstock Poland swells to over 700,000 people devotees go into action with Ratha Yatra, massive prasadam distribution, kirtan and discussions. Auspiciousness prevails everywhere.
Three hundred devotees have joined Indradyumna Swami's tour this year. They spend two days in each town focusing on harinam during the day and a festival in the evening. The response of the people is overwhelming, as this video by Ananta Vrindavan dasa reveals.
It was July 1972. For one of the first events in his Hare Krishna Festivals UK program, organizer Tribhuvanath Das – then in his early twenties – had Srila Prabhupada himself as the VIP guest. Speaking to 500 people packed into Glasgow’s Woodside Hall in Scotland, Prabhupada delivered an incisive non-sectarian lecture. All bonafide religions, he said, teach us how to love and serve God, no matter what name they call Him by.
The fifth day of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission focused on celebrating the 50th anniversary of ISKCON.