This year, ISKCON Harinam Sankirtan Ministry aspires to expand the festival beyond the borders of ISKCON into the greater society. With the support of devotees worldwide the festival can reach out and bring the holy names to new people.
During the night at around 1:30 AM on July 14th, one of the brahmacaris heard a cracking sound and went to check it. He saw the temple building on fire. Brahmacaries quickly took the Deities out to safety from the burning building.
From June 1st, however, the UK government has begun to ease restrictions slightly. On Monday June 1st and Tuesday June 2nd, a maximum of six devotees on each day rode the boat down the Paddington Basin through Wembley.
The exhilarating experience has been a tradition for ISKCON Ireland for over three decades, and is well known to the Dublin public.
The New York Times Style Magazine’s first digital cover story, published on February 14th, features Hare Krishna devotees from ISKCON’s Radha-Krishna Temple chanting on the streets of London.
At this time of the year, Sarajevo is full of tourists and many are from the Middle East. These tourists love street harinams and stop to chant with devotees and take photos.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
On July 2nd, while driving to Split in Croatia the Harinama Mandir, a European traveling sankirtan party's bus suddenly started to loose the speed and right away stopped. Devotees heroically pullled and pushed the bus to a nearby town, creating quite a site to the passerbyes.
Over the Easter Weekend from Friday April 14th to Sunday April 16th, hundreds of devotees at ISKCON Auckland celebrated the 45th anniversary of their Deities, Sri Sri Radha-Giridhari, with love and great pomp. The celebrations included a massive and stunningly colorful Harinama on Queen Street in the center of Auckland.
Last weekend (March 3-5), 150 devotees from Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Oklahoma City and New Orleans had a joyful and spiritual Japa Retreat (Chanting of Holy Names) with Romapada Swami and Bada Hari Das at Greater Houston area, ISKCON Houston. This Japa Retreat is an annual event and for this year the theme of the Japa Retreat was "Taking Shelter of Holy Name – Saranagati."
World Holy Name Week celebrated the 50th anniversary of ISKCON this year in style, running for closer to two-and-a-half weeks, from July 28th to August 14th. The celebration, organized by Lokanath Swami, Janananda Goswami, and Ekalavya Das, included several key sacred days throughout its run, including the disappearance days of Sri Raghunandana Thakura and Sri Vamsidasa Babaji. Most notably it included the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON in New York on July 28th, and the 50th anniversary of the first public Harinam Sankirtan in the Western World, on August 14th.
Janananda Goswami led a chanting party from 26 Second Avenue to Tompkins Square Park and around the celebrated Hare Krishna tree to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first public chanting of Hare Krishna there by Srila Prabhupada and his first followers on October 9, 1966. Each Sunday after that original harinama, the early devotees would chant there for 3 hours, thus it was the first regular harinama spot in the Western world. October 9, 2016.
Since 1995, Manorama Das and his wife Jaya Sri Radhe Dasi of ISKCON Youth Ministry have taken youth on a Krishna conscious festival tour of North America. But this year, they’re changing things up a bit with an innovative new adventure. They’ve partnered up with Janmastami Das and ISKCON Alachua’s new higher education school the Krishna Institute to offer From Your Heart to the World: A Traveling Kirtan Experience.
Alone and penniless during his first years in America, Srila Prabhupada’s early pastimes were ideal examples of powerful grassroots preaching. Sitting on a park bench in New York City, he revealed to one acquaintance that so many devotees and temples existed – it was simply time that separated them.
The innovative sankirtan outreach project Fortunate People is inviting devotees to post videos of themselves and newcomers chanting the Hare Krishna mantra to its website fortunate-people.com, with an aim to gather 50,000 chants for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. Fortunate People is a UK-based project that allows distributors of Prabhupada’s books to keep in touch with people they’ve met on the street.
A short video by "Fortunate People" about people appreciating London harinama.
Rama Raya Das wraps up an intense Halloween evening kirtan and costumed passersby dance with devotees and later offer lamps to Damodara. Rama Raya then offers his concluding speech.
ISKCON deevotees in London have been going out to do public harinamas every day for decades. The biggest party has traditionally been the Saturday night harinamas. The procession starts in front of the Govinda's Restaurant, then goes around in the theater and party district and the famous Chinatown. On Halloween night, Saturday, October 31st, devotees gave the public something to really lift their spirits!
A unique way of inviting people to take part at the London Harinamas by Parasuram Das and Co.
A small yet growing crew of dedicated devotees have been doing Harinama Sankirtana in downtown Vancouver, Canada, for over 200 days in a row now, chanting the Holy Names of God for two hours every week day after work and for three hours on weekends.
In the 16th century, Sri Chaitanya brought about social reform in India by propounding the joyful public chanting of Krishna’s holy names – Harinama Sankirtana -- which inspired love of God and brought about peace. Today, travelling group Harinama Ruci is one of the simplest, most distilled examples of Sri Chaitanya’s message you’re likely to see -- bright, colorful, happy, and always chanting, dancing, and making people smile.
This Christmas, Soho creative agency Mr.President have collaborated with the Radha Krishna Temple to produce a Christmas album like no other: ‘We Wish You a Merry Krishna’.
Harinamananda Das and the World Harinama Party inspires passengers on a New York City subway to chant Hare Krishna. September 20, 2014.
World Holy Name Week (WHNW), first established in 2008, has seen its biggest success so far this year. In 2013, around forty-three different ISKCON centers celebrated the week in some capacity with events designed to share, spread and become absorbed in the Holy Name of God. This year, WHNW organizers have already received reports from over fifty ISKCON centers from every continent in the world.
Although World Cup host Brazil is still reeling from a 7 – 1 loss to Germany on Tuesday July 8th, football fever still grips the country as the World Cup barrels towards the Germany vs Argentina final on Sunday June 13th. In the midst of it all, a large Harinama party of ISKCON devotees has been a hit as they travel to the major cities where World Cup games are being held, as well as to viewing parties in nearby locales.
Sound- Dwarkadhish Das, Melody - George Formby, Lyrics - Mahamantra Das, Idea, vocal and ukulele - Parshuram Das, Video - DJ Achintya.
Today, Ramaraya Das leads parties of twenty-five or more devotees in chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra at Union Square Park in Manhattan, New York City, every day without fail. Hitting the streets from their very own Harinama Ashram, they chant and dance enthusiastically, passing out books by ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada and drawing passersby to join in the fun. But things weren’t always so easy for Ramaraya.
It’s almost noon. The organisers Rasika Siromani Devi Dasi, Rama Vijaya Das and Govinda Charan Das are discussing last minute festival details over breakfast at the registration tables. Just across the street, surrounded by picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, there are around 1400 devotees immersed in chanting the Holy Names.
People at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia enjoying the colorful harinama procession.
Niranjana Swami and the Balinese devotees spent a wonderful day doing kirtan at Tirta Gangga, Bali. A video by Guru Gauranga Das.
“On New Year's Eve central London becomes one big party,” says organizer Parasuram Das, who serves prasadam meals to one thousand needy people daily as director of the Food For All charity. “Millions of people take to the streets, and no cars are allowed. The ground is set for the biggest Harinam ever.”
Devotion is an emotion of the heart; why does it need to be exhibited publically, as in street kirtans?
At least forty-three different ISKCON temples around the world celebrated World Holy Name Week from September 17th to 26th this year, in a variety of creative ways.
From the 1st - 11th of August, a group of fifteen international devotees gathered in Pula, Croatia, with the aim to spread the holy name throughout the touristic cities of Istria. The participant devotees stayed at the Pula temple and visited four major touristic cities in Istria with a harinam party every night.
Thousands of revellers gather to celebrate the Summer solstice at Stonehenge, near Salisbury, on Friday, June 21. ISKCON devotees also participated at the event, singing and dancing.
The London devotees are very enthusiastic about sharing the Holy Name.
From Fiji to Croatia to India, as well as local Hawaiians, the New Navadwip devotees are as multi-racial as the isle's diversity. When such variety hits the streets for chanting the names of God, it's a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
ISKCON centers around the world are gearing up for this year’s World Holy Name Week, to be celebrated from September 13th – 21st.
The nine-day period begins on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Appearance Day. It concludes on the day of Srila Prabhupada's arrival in the USA to coincide with, and commemorate, his delivering the gift of the Hare Krishna mantra to the world.
Australia is currently in the most severe drought in recorded history, with various levels of water restrictions in major cities and a deepening crisis in rural areas. Brisbane's Hare Krishna Community is doing their part for the city's ongoing water shortage, taking to the streets of the city's suburbs to chant and dance to bring rain.