“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.
“Did some gypsies really save your life?” my driver, Prema-vilas dasa, asked me as the light turned green.
Although little known in the western world, Mount Kailash is one of the most sacred spots on Earth. It is a holy pilgrimage site for people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faiths.
Ter Kadambha is a place where Krishna kept his cows, and where Srila Rupa Goswami performed his bhajan and wrote Upadeshamrita. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
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.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Krishna's Village of Peace at this years Woodstock festival in Poland exceeded the expectations of the organizers. With a steady stream of people passing through ISKCON's site the lines for prasadam got longer and longer, large crowds spilled out of the Mantra Yoga Tent and all other activities were fully packed.
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.
On June 23rd, Indradyumna Swami, kirtan singer Bada Haridas, Sita Charana Dasi from Macedonia and Saci Sundari Dasi from Bulgaria appeared on two prime time television programs in Skopje, Macedonia. One of the programs was in the morning, at breakfast time. The other, TV Macedonia 24, was at lunch time. Both were watched by over one million people.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
The beautiful deity of Gopinath was discovered at Vamsivat in Vrindavan 500 years ago by Madhu Pandit and Paramananda Bhattacarya. Madhu Pandit served Gopinath with great love and devotion for many years. Centuries later Gopinath was moved to Jaipur where He has been worshipped along with Srimati Radharani ever since. The temple is popular with the people of Jaipur, who come together daily to chant Radha Gopinath’s glories. Indradyumna Swami's parikrama party eagerly visits the temple each Kartika. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
The famous 3-hour parikrama around Vrindavan encompasses walking around thousands of temples, as many samadhis and a multitude of cows, brahmanas, sadhus and sacred places of all kinds. Some Vraja-vasis do it once or even twice a day. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Vrinda devi helps Purnamasi plan and orchestrate Radha and Krsna's daily pastimes in Vrindavan. Indradyumna Swami's parikrama party had the good fortune to visit her kunda (pond) and discuss her glories and chant her holy names in that beautiful and sanctified abode. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Govindaji is the beloved deity of Srila Rupa Goswami, who discovered the Lord 500 years ago in Sri Vrindavan dhama. After sometime Govindaji was moved to the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, where He is worshiped with great love and devotion till this very day. Each morning and evening thousands of people visit Govindaji and His consort Srimati Radharani. Indradyumna Swami's parikrama party spent several days in Jaipur and followed in the footsteps of the residents by also taking darsan of the Lord every day. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Parikrama around Govardhan Hill during the month of Kartika in Vrindavan, India is a favorite devotional activity for devotees of Lord Krsna. Chanting softly on their prayer beads a group of 400 devotees relished every step of the 24 kilometer walk. Ananta Vrindavan dasa’s outstanding footage captured the bliss of the pilgrimage.
It is said that all holy places in India exist in their original forms in Sri Vrindavan Dhama. Indradyumna Swami and his parikrama group visited Badrinath (Badrikasrama) a two-hour drive from Vrindavan town through the countryside. As they approached Badrinath they were surprised to see a small mountain range. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
The Madan Mohan Temple, established by Sanatan Goswami, was the first temple to be erected in Vrindavan on the order of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago. Near the temple is the sacred samadhi of Sanatan Goswami. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Talavan is one of the 12 sacred forests of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India. Even today, it retains much of the beauty it had 5,000 years ago during the appearance of Lord Sri Krsna. Indradyumna Swami and his parikrama party sat and discussed Krsna and Balarama's pastimes in that transcendental abode and relished the sweet chanting of Krsna's holy names for many hours. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
While in Kashmir Indradyumna Swami and his group visited various Buddhist monasteries to observe their traditions and share Vaishnava teachings. The monasteries were situated high in the mountains to provide the monks a peaceful and quiet atmosphere for their spiritual practices. Getting to the monasteries was often a challenge due to the dangerous winding mountain roads. Upon arriving at one monastery after a particularly grueling journey, a monk joked saying, “You have just traversed the road to enlightenment!
Devotees in Berlin held their annual Ratha Yatra on July 30th near to Brandenburg Gate, Germany’s most famous landmark. It was an historic occasion which brought tears to the eyes of many devotees, including Sacinandana Swami who has served in the German yatra for over 40 years. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
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.
Moldova, a small landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine, has a unique culture all it’s own. Indradyumna Swami's festival tour was well received in the capitol, Chisinau, and several other towns and villages. A video by Ananta Vrindavan/
A video by Ananta Vridnavan.
In 1996, several foreign ISKCON devotees who were visiting Mongolia, held kirtan in the streets of the capital, Ulaanbaatar. They were immediately caught and deported. For almost 20 years now the streets of the country have remained silent of the singing of Krishna's holy names. ISKCON's renewed status as a religious organization, however, now allows Indradyumna Swami and his group to sing freely everywhere with prior permission (A video by Ananta Vrindavan).
A video by Ananta Vrindavan of Indradyumna Swami's travelings.
Indradyumna Swami and hist team visited the famous Confucius Institute in Qufu, China, the hometown of Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher and teacher. During their two day stay Maharaja gave a seminar on Krsna consciousness and had ecstatic kirtans with the students. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
"People stopped to stare at the unusual sight: a sannyasi sitting on a bench and a Buddhist monk meditating on the ground next to him. They looked at me as if asking for an explanation, but I had none. I could only sit silently while he offered prayers on my behalf."
Indradyumna Swami and his team's first few da in China were spent getting to know the people and culture of this country. They also held programs with local devotees in Beijing. Their conclusion is that Lord Caitanya’s formula for sharing Krsna consciousness; namely chanting, dancing and feasting, is very suitable for the people here. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
The formula of chanting Hare Krishna and dancing in ecstacy was introduced 500 years ago by Lord Caitanya. In China a team of devotees led by Indradyumna Swami are showing the way by introducing the chanting in public programs. More than any other place I have been the effect here is immediate; people easily throw their arms into the air and chant with abandon. Often they cry with their new found freedom. Such is the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Much of the Mongolian population lives below the poverty line and many families struggle just to get by. It is common, especially in the capital Ulaanbaatar, to see children who have been abandoned. They are typically a product of social upheaval caused by alcoholism, rapid urbanization and poverty. Little is known of the history of most of the 80 children in the orphanage Indradyumna Swami and his group visited in Erdenet. Many were abandoned at birth in hospitals, or left simply on the side of the road. Because of such backgrounds they were especially appreciative of the devotees' visit.
Indradyumna Swami and his parikrama group visiting Mathura.
Several days ago, in Sridham Mayapura, Indradyumna Swami gave sannyasa to his disciple, Uttama Sloka dasa. He became Bhakti Rasayana Sagara Maharaja. Ananta Vrindavan dasa followed the ceremony from start to finish and produced this video.
A video by Indradyumna Swami's team.
Prema-sarovara is a lake formed from the tears of Radha and Krsna when They felt intense separation from each other. A video by Ananta Vrindavan, music by Jahnavi Harrison.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan dasa.
Talavan is one of the12 major forests of Vrindavan. Nestled in the paddy fields of Talavan is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Balarama, who killed the ass-demon Denakasura there. Indradyumna Swamiand his parikrama party enjoyed a wonderful day at Talavan having long kirtans and recounting the numerous pastimes that took place in that transcendental abode.
Prema-sarovara is a lake formed from the tears of Radha and Krsna when They felt intense separation from each other. A video of Indradyumna Swami's parikrama party visiting Prema Sarovara, accompanied by Jahnavi Harrison's music.
Mongolia’s vast steppe is home to one of the world’s last surviving nomadic cultures. Situated between China and Russia, the Mongolian steppe remains mostly intact, and its nomadic way of life has been largely unchanged for generations. Some herding customs alive today pre-date the era of Genghis Khan. Slowly, however, the steppe’s landscape is changing, as more and more of its nomadic population move to urban areas in search of education, employment, and modern conveniences. On ISKCON-devotees 8-hour drive to Erdenet for their first public program in the city, they passed many nomadic people herding their cows, horses and sheep.
Much of the Mongolian population lives below the poverty line and many families struggle just to get by. It is common, especially in the capital Ulaanbaatar, to see children who have been abandoned. They are typically a product of social upheaval caused by alcoholism, rapid urbanization and poverty. Little is known of the history of most of the 80 children in the orphanage Indradyumna Swami and his group visited in Erdenet. Many were abandoned at birth in hospitals, or left simply on the side of the road. (A video by Ananta Vrindavan.)
In 1996, several foreign devotees who were visiting Mongolia, held kirtan in the streets of the capital, Ulaanbaatar. They were immediately caught and deported. For almost 20 years now the streets of the country have remained silent of the singing of Krishna's holy names. ISKCON's renewed status as a religious organization, however, now allows devotees to sing freely everywhere with prior permission. (Video by Ananta Govinda)
Dubbed “The Land of the Eternal Blue Sky,” Mongolia is a large and rather wild country divided between deserts, steppes, and mountains. About fifty-three per cent of the population are Buddhist, and about forty per cent continue to live the traditional nomadic lifestyle.ISKCON devotees first came to Mongolia in the 1990s.
This lyrics of this song was written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in his tiny room on board the commercial ship Jaladuta during his first journey to the United States of America in 1965 at the age of 69. Performed by Indradyumna Swami.
The Polish Festival of India tour led by Indradyumna Swami is now on. This video features some of the highlights of the 2013 tour.
Indradyumna Swami expresses his appreciation for the progress of the TOVP and the hard work of the TOVP Team to fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire to establish the World Headquarters of ISKCON.
An armed man took 17 hostages in a cafe in Sydney's central business district on Monday. Two hostages as well as the gunman died in the incident. Sydnyers are coming to terms with the tragic loss of life during the siege on Tuesday, by adding to a rapidly expanding floral tribute in Martin Place. To help the healing process ISKCON devotees led by Indradyumna Swami have been chanting and doing Harinama nearby.
A video captures a day of Indradyumna Swami's Polish festival tour. www.vivakultura.pl
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.
A beautiful video of the 2013 Vraja Mandala praikrama led by Indradyumna Swami.
Around 1,300 devotees from 41 US states will attend this year’s Sadhu Sanga Retreat from May 23rd to 26th over the Memorial Day Weekend. A unique festival, it creates an immersive space for devotees to experience rejuvenating kirtan from morning till night in the company of many senior Vaishnavas who have a deep taste for the Holy Name.
A video of Inddradyumna Swami's festival tour in Gujarat.
Hare Krishna festival back in the day featuring Sivarama Swami, Indradyunma Swami, Dhrystadyumna Swami and others...
"Madiba, you had a unique ability to rise above all political, ethnic, tribal and religious barriers to help the citizens of this country identify as one people, as South Africans."
The memories of Mandela’s association with ISKCON shall forever remain etched in the history of ISKCON.
A video-journal of Indradyumna Swami's recent Vraja Mandala prakirama.
The Polish Woodstock festival is on between the 31st of July and August 4th. ISKCON devotees led by Indradyumna Swami present a great variety of cultural performances. For live broadcast please visit:
"During the final kirtan, I watched a lady rush to our Restaurant Tent from a nearby apartment building in her pajamas and a long robe, her hair in curlers. For a moment I thought the building might be on fire, but a few minutes later she headed back to her apartment armed with two plates of prasadam." Indradumna Swami`s offering on Srila Prabhupada`s appearance day.
For the third year in a row the troupe of Le Carnaval Spiritual has embarked on a 3 month tour of Australia. The success of previous festival tours has led to widespread enthusiasm for the group of talented devotees to perform at different events around the country. Following the success of last years festivals in Victoria, they were invited to the Parliament of World Religions which was hosted in Melbourne.
During the 1970s, I would get culture shock whenever I went to India. The crowded cities, the heat, the food, the occasional sickness, and the austerities of local travel would painfully remind me that I was a stranger in a foreign land. But as the years passed, my visits became more frequent and I began to feel at home there, especially in places like Vrindavan and Mayapur, where the Lord once performed His transcendental pastimes.
ISKCON Television’s latest release is a guide to deity worship, an inspiring meditation, and an exclusive with one of the Hare Krishna Movement’s most renowned exponents all in one. Here World traveler Indradyumna Swami gives ITV unrestricted access to personal worship of his Salagrama Sila deity at the Odessa Festival in Ukraine. Salagrama Silas are sacred stones that hold the most rare of mystical properties.
After a series of programs in the Republic of Ireland, I drove north with several other devotees to Belfast. On the way I turned to Praghosa Dasa, the local GBC representative, and congratulated him on the Ratha-yatra we had held the previous day in Dublin.
I grew up in the United States in the 1960s and 70s. As with many other young Americans of my generation, my world view was significantly influenced by the music of Bob Marley. His songs about revolution, social change, world peace, and racial equality inspired me.