Sixty leaders of ISKCON Temples in North America met in Dallas for four days, to prepare for the upcoming 50th Anniversary of ISKCON in 2016.
“What gets measured gets improved,” says Vaisesika Das, quoting leadership expert Robin S. Sharma. “Just by becoming aware of how many times they’re doing it, and how many times others are doing it, devotees will naturally become encouraged to do it more.” The Kirtan Party program isn’t just interested in increasing the quantity of kirtan parties going out, however.
Krishna Das or KD as his famously called in the Kirtan and Yoga circles and a Grammy-award nominated singer, visited ISKCON's Glory of India project in New Delhi last week while on a visit to the country's capital. The singer recalled his association with Srila Prabhupada when he would go to join the kirtans at Tompkins Square Park in New York in the late 60's.
Moscow’s first ever Kirtan Mela, which ran from Friday January 30th to Sunday February 1st, drew nearly 2,000 devotees from around Russia – and it was a colorfuly uplifting affair on a grand scale. The event was organized by Saraswati Dasi after ISKCON guru Bhakti Bringa Govinda Swami, inspired by a “Mantra Yoga” program he attended in Moscow, expressed the desire to participate in more outreach programs there.
This video is featuring Rasika-nam Das, a well-known Russian kirtaniya. Rasika-nam left his body on February 24th, 2015 in Sarapul, Volga region, Russia. He felt unwell during harinam which he was leading, was taken to a hospital and passed away in a few hours.
Mantra — Sounds into Silence is a feature-length documentary in production that, through the eyes – and ears – of its’ protagonists, explores the new music and social phenomenon of chanting.
Music by Gunagrahi Das, New Vraja Dhama, Hungary, video: Blaiseus.
Rasikanam Das, a young Russian kirtaniya who was well known for his dedication to chanting Krishna’s Holy Names, passed away at the age of 32 due to heart trouble after he felt weak while leading a Harinam in the town of Sarapul, Russia. The details of his extraordinary life and passing have just come into ISKCON News through an interview with his widow Narasimhi Dasi.
One of the catchiest kirtan albums you're likely to hear, "Bhakti Without Borders" is immaculately produced by Dave Stringer, and features creator Madi Das and eleven Vaishnavi singers including legendary kirtaniyas and new arrivals. The best thing about it? 100% of the proceeds go to Food For Life Vrindavan’s Sandipani Muni Schools.
A video by Leigha Speirs-Hutton. http://www.enoughmagazine.org/
In a dimly lit room, a sweet jazzy chord rings off the strings of a guitar, quickly progressing into a swaying rhythm. A drum pulses in followed by a familiar and warm harmonium. Anchoring both rhythm and melody, an electric bass booms and then a deep, soulful voice starts the invocation, “Nama Om Vishnu Padaya.” In this way, Samadhi ignites another evening of electrifying kirtan. To help Samadhi make the bands debut CD click here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/samadhi-s-new-album#/story
ISKCON devotee-run company Radha-Krishna Records made Krishna consciousness accessible to a wider audience with its professionally-produced “Contemporary Krishna Culture Showcase” at the Camden Centre in Central London on May 28th. Around 400 people poured in to see the show, which ran from 7:00 to 10:00pm with an intermission at 8:30.
Over the five days of the fifth annual Holy Name Festival in Ljubljana, from May 28th to June 1st, around 250 devotees from all over Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and other Eastern European countries chanted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. The festival also brought the joy and color of chanting to the general public.
ISKCON and the spiritual leaders and members of the four bona fide Vaishnava Sampradayas are set to unite to chant the Holy Names during the international kirtan festival. The aim of the event is to bring together people from various races, faiths and nationalities to chant the Names of God, a process that is common to all faiths of the world.
Radhika, Madhava's wife tells the human story of an exceptional kirtaniya.
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.
Credits for album trailer: Video production by Sasha Cherkasov. Music by Jahnavi Harrison. Come Chant with Us! www.callandresponsefoundation.org
Music by Gunagrahi Das, Hungary. A video by Blaiseus.
The walls of the temple in Durban, South Africa vibrated to the sounds of the holy name through a six-hour Kirtan Festival.
There were three days of unforgettable kirtans that lasted late into the night, hundreds of guests, participants and volunteers. BB Govinda Swami spoke about the importance of sharing the happiness that we experience, as “love should always be shared – such is its free nature. Love cannot be limited, we just need to become the instrument, through which love will flow further and further…”
A kirtan led by Surya Nandini Dasi.
The eight hour kirtan event brought together top kirtaneers from all over country.
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.
The Canada Rugby World Cup Team attended the ISKCON Leicester Kirtan Fest this Sunday 27th September. The Canadian Team, who are in the UK for the World Cup tournament, were walking through Leicester’s City Centre, when they heard the sound of kirtan coming from the magnificent temple. Ananda Monet was leading a beautiful kirtan.
Despite its 50-million-strong population and renowned tiger economy – it’s the fifth leading exporter in the world – South Korea has been largely overlooked by ISKCON so far, with just two small preaching centers, and only one difficult-to-understand scientific translation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
“Joy” - KirtanRaga’s first album of live kirtan recordings. Kirtan Raga is an educational project dedicated to sharing knowledge about the philosophy and practice of kirtan. “Joy” is available on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Spotify, and other digital platforms. All profits will be used to fund worldwide promotion of kirtan through website development, publications, events, and educational initiatives.
For the past 7 years, the ISKCON Mandir in Dallas has rung in the new year with an epic community kirtan organized by second-generation devotees.
Bhakti Without Borders, a charity kirtan album featuring mostly second generation ISKCON singers, has been nominated for a Grammy – the biggest music recognition award in the United States. The album has been nominated in the Best New Age Album category, along with four other artists. It’s only the third time a kirtan album has ever been nominated, following Jai Uttal’s “Mondo Rama” in 2004, and Krishna Das’ “Live Ananda” in 2013.
Fortunate People, an organization that keeps in touch with those who receive Srila Prabhupada’s books on the street, has added an inspirational new feature to its Facebook page: videos of first timers chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Fortunate People was launched in May 2013 when Shaktyavesha Avatar Das, a London-based book distributor, saw a possible answer to a major problem in ISKCON book distribution – follow-up.
A Vedic devotional bhakti art slide show featuring animated graphic artwork depicting the transcendental pastimes of The Supreme Personality Of Godhead Bhagavan Sri Krishna and His eternal Consort Srimati Radharani and the Gopis, The Cowherd Maidens of Vrindavana, The video is set to the prayer "Gopinath" from Kalyana-kalpataru composed by Vaisnava Acharya Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and performed by Chakrini Devi Dasi.
Four kirtan albums by ISKCON chanters, most of them second-generation devotees, made the Top 20 Conscious Music Albums of 2015 list on Soul Traveller Radio this January. The list, voted for by listeners worldwide, included new age, electronica, and reggae artists, as well as renowned artists from the broader kirtan community such as Dave Stringer, Krishna Das, MC Yogi, and Deva Premal.
A short video by "Fortunate People" about people appreciating London harinama.
A video by Blaiseus. Music by Gunagrahi Das and the Kirtan for the Soul group (Hungary).
A video by Balarama Nityananda.
Four people are set to represent Bhakti Without Borders, only the third kirtan album ever to be nominated for a Grammy, at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on February 15th. Main artist Madi Das – who duets on the album with eleven Vaishnavi co-vocalists – and producer Dave Stringer will attend as the Grammy nominees.
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.
Harinam Sankirtan or the congregational chanting of the Holy Name, initiated and propagated by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, continues to be carried out throughout the world with great pomp and splendor. However, the Middle Eastern countries, being slightly sensitive towards religious matters and public display of devotion, had never before witnessed a performance of public Harinam.
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.
An inspiring video to invite people to Washington DC to the Chant4Change event on October 8th, 2016.
The 5th annual Sadha Sanga Retreat in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, USA, provided a wonderful opportunity for over 2,000 devotees from around the USA to associate through Krsna katha, kirtan and exceptionally wonderful prasadam.
This year saw the Sadhu Sanga Retreat, the biggest ISKCON kirtan event in North America, continue its remarkable growth while offering up something special for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. It immerses participants in the Holy Name from morning till night, with an ever-expanding list of senior Vaishnavas guiding them in developing a deeper taste. From an attendance of just 400 when it launched in 2011, this year’s event drew an incredible 1,800.
On June 18th, nearly one hundred and sixty yoga teachers attended a Mantra Festival in Buenos Aires in honor of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. The free cultural event was held at the Valle Tierra yoga center in Palermo, a hip alternative neighborhood of Buenos Aires that is particularly receptive to vegetarianism, yoga and kirtan. The venue was decorated with an ISKCON 50 banner featuring Srila Prabhupada.
On a joint initiative themed “Day of Gratitude”, ISKCON-London and the Bhaktivedanta Manor distributeed 5,000 cupcakes to commuters at key locations in central London on July 13th.The grand finale of the month-long celebration will be the Kirtan on the Thames Boat Event on 31st July. This National Signature Event will be a day of chanting, dancing and feasting on a cruise around the famous landmarks of London.
Colombia is joining the ISKCON 50 celebrations, which are taking place all around the world. Among many other events, devotees wil holdl a large-scale public festival and a kirtan workshop.
The capital city of the United States will host two major events over the next month celebrating in style and en masse the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON and the power of chanting God’s names to change the world. On September 13, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Capital Hilton Hotel three hundred people will gather for a formal ISKCON 50 Gala Evening. Picking up right where the Gala ends—with kirtan—on Saturday October 8th, the celebration will move just a mile away to the foot of Washington’s famed Lincoln Memorial.
Chant4Change: Lincoln Memorial on October 8th, 2016 - “Raise Your Voice.”
Already ISKCON communities in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Alachua, Maine and New York are mobilizing large contingents of devotees to attend what promises to be an historic event this October 8th – Chant 4 Change.Kirtan chanter and organizer Gaura Vani is imploring all devotees from throughout the U.S. and beyond to come en masse and make a powerful statement on a public stage. That statement is that there’s only one way to heal the racism, sexism and terrorism that is currently plaguing the globe – and that is chanting God’s names.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC 10/08/2016.
Kirtan Academy aims to educate individuals in the practice of Kirtan, alongside a Bhakti-Yoga lifestyle. Kirtan Academy trains students in skillful singing and playing of instruments (Mrdanga, Harmonium, Karatals) in the mood of glorifying the Supreme, it will help them develop favorable attitudes for leading or taking part in kirtans. More information: www.kirtanacademy.co.uk
A video by: www.HoofprintMedia.com
In June 2016, devotees were invited to share Kirtan on the Tedx Platform that was being held at Durham University,
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.
Legendary kirtaniya Agnideva Dasa’s first new album in many years, to be released in January 2017, will be entitled “Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna.” It will sound like “an intimate kirtan with friends,” producers say. Named after one of its tracks – a bhajan Srila Prabhupada wrote aboard the Jaladuta on his way to America – it will be a heartfelt offering to the ISKCON Founder at the end of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary year.
A video by ENOUGH MAGAZINE (www.enoughmagazine.org).
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.
A video and music by Dr. Sahadeva Dasa.
To kick off the World Holy Name Week, ISKCON of Houston, Texas, USA, has announced the launch of Kirtan Fest 2017 this upcoming Labor Day weekend (Sat-Mon Sept. 2nd - 4th) at ISKCON’s fabulous new state-of-the-art Houston, Texas temple. This inaugural festival will kick off what will be an exciting, on-going flagship event every year.
This short film was made in Russia in October 2015, by a small team of filmmakers who are passionate about sharing the culture of bhakti yoga with the world. It was shot on location in Moscow and Sochi, and profiles Jahnavi Harrison, who grew up with bhakti yoga and serves in the capacity of a kirtan (devotional call and response chanting) leader.
Producer: Shaktyavesha Avatara dasa
Director of Photography: Raghunatha Prana dasa
2nd Camera: Hari Mohini dasi
Additional Camera: Nityananda Rama dasa
Postproduction: Tamal Krishna Dasa
Transport: Alexey Pigurenko
“Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna” is an Agnideva tour de force, delivered with inimitable grace and unassailable expertise. A tribute to the great acharyas and Srila Prabhupada, he honors them by working sensitively and cooperatively with mainly second-generation devotees who also show considerable talent and enthusiasm.
The drama was all over within 48 hours. Police visits; learning that they’d broken into five other houses the same night; clearing up the mess and discovering much they’d left behind, and a few things lost. I thought about what treasures can never be lost – though the externals of a situation may be shocking or distressing.
The Mayapuris were one of the original second generation ISKCON groups to bring Gaudiya Vaishnava kirtan to the forefront of the burgeoning mainstream kirtan scene. Since their debut, others have continued to forge the path, with Madi Das and his Bhakti Without Borders charity album winning a Grammy nomination. Inspired by Madi’s achievement, the Mayapuris hope that with their second album, they can bring kirtan further into the mainstream, to places it hasn’t been before.
EnChant is Kirtan Vancouver’s “bread and butter,” a kirtan, short talk, and prasadam at a yoga studio every second Saturday that attracts an impressive fifty to seventy people of all ages each time – some from different yoga paths, but many completely new to Eastern spirituality. Once advertised through Facebook, meetup.com, and physical posters, EnChant is now the most well-known kirtan event in the city, and is spread just by positive word-of-mouth.
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."