Launch of the First-ever Vaishnava Arts Event at the Festival of Inspiration
If you are feeling stagnant, want to learn a new skill, or just want to have a great time, then this Mother’s Day New Vrindaban has something very special for you!
Announcing the first-ever VAISHNAVA ARTS FESTIVAL (at the Festival of Inspiration) from Friday, May 6th through Sunday, May 8th, 2022.
Art is a crucial part of any culture, and in Vaishnava culture, all art is meant for the pleasure of Krishna. In Vrindaban, Srimati Radharani and her friends knew how to please Krishna through presentations of various arts.
Srila Prabhupada wrote: “Srimati Radharani was fully qualified in those [sixty-four] arts, and therefore, by Her super-excellent transcendental qualities, she could charm Krishna who is the charmer of the three worlds.”
(Letter to Syama Dasi in February, 1970)
For the pleasure of Krishna, devotees of all ages will be hosting workshops where you can learn a whole range of arts including fine art, literary, musical, culinary, and performing arts as well as the art of mediation. And a Mother’s Day special – the Art of Motherhood (and Fatherhood) in Krishna consciousness.
The idea for this unique festival was conceived years ago by Kalakantha das, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and was set to launch in 2020, but the pandemic delayed the plans.
Now, with great pleasure and anticipation, the event is finally ready for all to enjoy.
There will also be two ecstatic presentations about Srila Prabhupada by his direct disciples: “A Shower of Mercy” by Malati dasi and “ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya” by Suresvara das.
We interviewed Kalakantha das to get some insights into this event:
1. Tell us something about your journey in Krishna Consciousness.
Since 1972 when I first bought and read Sri Isopanisad I’ve had the great fortune to serve Srila Prabhupada by working to spread Krishna consciousness. I’ve served as a book distributor, temple president, writer, and an initiating spiritual master.
2. How did the idea of a Vaishnava Arts Festival come to your mind?
Anuradha Mataji and I came up with the idea just before the pandemic struck. The Festival of Inspiration was a Mother’s Day institution in New Vrindaban for many years, attracting thousands of devotees. However, when the Sadhu Sanga Festival in North Carolina began, it was too close time-wise and geographically, so the Festival of Inspiration shut down. The all-day kirtans at the Sadhu Sanga Festival are incredible, yet we missed the intellectual stimulation and interaction of the varied seminars at the Festival of Inspiration. So we came up with the idea of specifically focusing on Vaishnava Arts and decided to put it into motion this year when the Sadhu Sanga Festival is moving to Utah.
3. How can we convince devotees in contemporary times to utilize their talents for the pleasure of Krishna?
By encouraging Vaishnava Arts we hope to inspire devotees to use their talents in creative ways for serving Krishna. Every devotee needs a devotional hobby to keep joy and balance in spiritual life. And Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to become proficient in many arts. He said we should be a ‘jack of all trades and a master of one.’
4. The pandemic has really delayed the launch of such an exciting endeavor. Was there any specific idea behind the introduction of the event on Mother’s Day?
New Vrindaban hosts the Festival of India on Mother’s Day weekend for two reasons:
A) It is a chance to celebrate Motherhood in all its aspects
B) It is a good weekend to celebrate before the summer crowds begin packing New Vrindaban
5. The event consists of huge opportunities for everyone to serve the Lord. What are your expectations regarding the extent of participation?
With the expected modest turnout for this year’s post-pandemic, the revised event will give everyone who comes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal attention and instruction from some of the most qualified teachers in ISKCON.
6. Considering the success of this wonderful event, what are your future plans?
Based on this year’s event we will plan for future festivals accordingly.
And now for the best part – The festival is completely FREE! You just need to book your accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights. Accommodation includes breakfast and lunch for the duration of your stay. In the evening, Govinda’s Restaurant and Govinda’s Express snack bar will both be open for your dining pleasure.
So, please come discover your hidden talents, learn how to use them in the service of Krishna, and BE INSPIRED!
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium