The third annual Govindadvipa Mellows – a kirtan festival usually held on the island also known as Inis Rath in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland – will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The intimate 90-minute interview gives us association with a variety of devotees, from Srila Prabhupada disciples, to sannyasis and gurus, to young devotees and gurukulis.
Husband and wife team Prema Rupa Madhava Das and Prema Rupini Madhavi Dasi, who previously organized Bhakti Vriksha programs and “Harinama Party Buses” in their hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, launched the retreat when the pandemic halted those activities.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most popular virtual events, drawing at least 1.2 million viewers, engaging multiple generations of devotees and inspiring many others to hold their own major online kirtan events to this day, was the Global Pandemic Kirtan.
“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.
ISKCON Berlin, London, Radhadesh and Zurich are organizing the Spirit of Ratha Yatra, a unique first-time European virtual collaboration festival jointly hosted on Saturday 18th July, 11:00 - 17:00 CEST / 10:00 - 16:00 BST.
Most ISKCON members around the world are now in “lockdown” due to the corona virus pandemic, and struggling to maintain regular association with other devotees. However, due to modern technology, there are various daily live virtual classes, discussions, japa circles that devotees can take advantage of.