It is my great pleasure to inform you that the first online Nityananda Trayodasi Festival hosted by the Kirtan Ministry was a resounding success. And the Ekadasi Sravana-Kirtana Festival is slowly, but surely becoming a part of devotees’ Ekadasi sadhana.
The story of how the Hare Krishna movement came to Africa is captured with much enthusiasm by Brahmananda Swami, who Srila Prabhupada asked to preach in Africa in early 1971. When Srila Prabhupada visited Nairobi in the same year, he remarked that it was one of the most wonderful places in the world. Srila Prabhupada encouraged preaching directly to the African people and he strongly believed that this was “our real business in Africa.” I am pleased to report that ISKCON Northern Nigeria held a colourful Kirtan Mela in the village of Goningora.
In this edition, our attention is drawn to how leaders and managers in ISKCON are planning to celebrate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Srila Prabhupada. The One Day Padayatra which is a wing of the All India Padayatra Team, is committed to complete 125 One Day Padayatras in 125 villages in honour of Srila Prabhupada where they would also encourage 125 new people in each village to chant the holy name. Equally inspiring is the ISKCON South London’s initiative to undertake 125 hours of sankirtana for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.
Read about how The Living Name by HH Sacinandana Swami continues to inspire devotees at a holy name retreat at Surabhi Kunja, in Godrumdvipa, Mayapur.
Equally memorable was the Ekadasi Sravana-Kirtana festival which takes place twice every month. Do not forget to peruse through the Readers Reviews on Mahatma Prabhu’s Japa retreat. Let us all be helplessly drawn to the holy name. After all, Krsna decrees this very clearly, “Of sacrifices, I am the chanting of the holy name” (Bhagavad Gita, 10:25). I am certain you will feel inspired to join the next one. From the feedback received, these decisive online initiatives by the Kirtan Ministry is giving devotees the opportunity to perform devotional service, acquire a deeper understanding of these festivals and experience spiritual bliss from sankirtana.
Do check out our new section entitled Inspirational Resources which is a storehouse of nectar.
Your feedback is very important to us, so do share your thoughts and comments. This will assist us in improving our service to the holy name and for your pleasure.
Gaura Purnima means “Golden Full Moon,” signifying that Sri Caitanya took birth at the time of full moonrise. This moment marks the rising of the splendid moon above the horizon. This year we celebrate the phenomenal 535th Birth Anniversary of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya is Lord Krishna in His most merciful feature, and on this sacred day devotees all over the world immerse themselves in chanting, dancing and spreading Harinama Sankirtan to invoke His grace. This awakens Prema Bhakti, which represents the unconditional love of God.
I wish all of you a wonderful Gaura Purnima Festival and I pray that Gauranga Mahaprabhu showers His unlimited blessings upon each one of you.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
ISKCON Kirtan Minister
~ Srimad Bhagavatam, 01.01.15.
The scriptures say that if one observes fasting on the auspicious day of Ekadasi then one receives entrance to Visnu's abode. This month there were two Ekadasi festivals - Vijaya Ekadasi on 9 February and Bhaimi Ekadasi on 23 February.
Bhaimi Ekadasi meant it was time again for Kirtan Ministry’s Ekadasi Sravana-Kirtana Festival and the third event in this series. The program was split into two 3-hour sessions, 12 hours apart.
Visvambhar Prabhu from Alachua began the festival with soothing kirtan, followed by an inspirational talk and kirtan by our very own Kirtan Minister, Lokanath Swami. Without a doubt one of the main highlights of this festival was Mahatma Prabhu’s one-hour Japa Retreat. Devotees from about 350 locations globally, sat attentively and enthused, absorbing the guidance on chanting. With Mahatma Prabhu’s constant motivation, the retreat left the participants inspired with a renewed love for chanting the holy names of the Lord. Our regular star, Acyuta Gopi Devi Dasi concluded the first session with her usual invigorating Ekadasi katha and kirtan.
The second half commenced with Visakha Dasi’s insightful presentation of the importance of Ekadasi. We were honoured to witness one of her proud possessions, a set of japa beads which she had personally received from Srila Prabhupada. Jai Nitai Prabhu, Temple President of ISKCON Soho Street, London, enlightened us on the Appearance of Lord Varahadev, coupled with kirtan. The final session was concluded by Gopinatha Prabhu from Finland and Gopi Bhava Devi Dasi from the UK whose entrancing kirtan rendition left the holy names reverberating in the atmosphere.
Ekadasi Sravana-Kirtana Festival : Click Here
~ Dinanukampa Dasi
ISKCON Kaduna Mandir in Nigeria hosted a successful Kirtana Mela between 13 February - 19 February 2021. The purpose of this colourful Kirtana Mela was to spread the holy name in Northern Nigeria.
About twenty-one devotees and three kirtan leaders enthralled the residents with their vibrant chanting of the holy names of the Lord on the streets of Goningora Village. Yadhunath, Devarashi and Tirtha Prabhus together with Her Grace Rajeswari Mataji and Bhakta Gospel and Bhaktin Sudana were part of the group leading kirtan.
Srila Prabhupada encouraged preaching in Africa and he maintained, “This is our real business in Africa.”
Kirtana Mela is set to become a monthly event to attract more devotees to ISKCON and the main aim of this program is to grow in their mission to glorify the holy names of the Lord. It is also envisaged that Kirtana Mela would empower the youth of ISKCON West Africa and encourage team work to expand Srila Prabhupada’s vision of preaching in Africa.
Harinam Sankirtan in Kakuri Kaduna state
~ Devarshi Dasa
“One Day Padayatra” is an extension of the “All India Padayatra” and is a full day activity aimed towards engaging and motivating the congregation devotees, to take a lead in connecting people to the local ISKCON Temple.
Every Sunday, an average of 100 devotees, armed with their sacred weapons, namely, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada’s books, the most merciful maha-mantra and prasada, enter a village, inspiring villagers to chant and dance.
This is when one observes the true essence of Padayatra as a walking pilgrimage. This “Walking Festival” is characterised by spectacular sankirtana, ecstatic devotee enthusiasm, and compassionate sharing of Krsna prasada. There is nothing more wondrous than the transcendental vibration of the holy names resounding throughout the narrow village streets. Many other innovative, inspiring activities contribute to extending the temple congregation through the addition of new devotees. We also freely distribute pamphlets and flyers covering topical humanitarian themes like – Corona ki karuna and to the Pulwama attack soldiers.
In commemoration of Prabhupada’s 125th Birth Anniversary Fest 2021, our ISKCON Ahmedabad Padayatra Sankirtan Team has pledged to:
1. Conduct 125 One Day Padayatras in 125 villages around the city with congregation devotees. 2. Visit 125 villages to glorify Srila Prabhupada’s mission and activities. 3. Encourage a minimum of 125 people to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra for first time in every village visited. 4. Conduct 125 House Programs with the idea of attracting new devotees to ISKCON. 5. Lead 125 hours of continuous kirtana by congregation devotees. 6. Collectively and individually chant 125000 extra rounds for the good health of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. 7. Distribute 125 Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, 2 volumes big books and 125 Srila Prabhupada (Lilamrta) SSR size books.
~ Muralimohan Dasa
On this occasion, ISKCON Kirtan Ministry organized a 6 hour Online Kirtan Event which was elegantly led by prominent kirtan personalities across the globe.
Ojasvi Prabhu along with his better half, Sudevi Vilasini Devi Dasi from Croatia set the mood with the beautiful bhajan, Nitai Pada Kamala with translations and melodious chanting of the maha-mantra. From Golokanath Prabhu’s high-spirited kirtan with the kirtan crew at ISKCON Noida, we entered the Lord’s playground, Vrndavana. The soul-pleasing kirtan by Govinda Maharaja, Akincana Krsna Prabhu and team concluded with a motivational talk directed at newcomers to ISKCON.
We then found ourselves blissfully chanting along with Tarana Caitanya Prabhu and before we realised it, there was Gaura Vani Prabhu who swept us off into a different domain with his soul-searching voice. He offered heartfelt prayers to the acaryas in our parampara and then the bliss of Nitai Pada Kamala once again allowed us to dive even deeper into the meaning of the bhajan. We witnessed his very first extremely special rendition of Nityanandastakam.
The Moscow Temple Crew set a perfect festive mood. No matter how hard one tried, the feet just would not stand still. This mood was contagious, so it was no surprise that Manu Prabhu from the Radhadesh Kirtan Crew led us to undoubtedly, the highlight and biggest surprise of the evening - HH Kadamba Kanana Swami. Maharaja rocked the world for an hour.
A truly befitting conclusion to an amazing festival!
To view the program, click here
~ Govind Charan Dasa
The Living Name Holy Name Retreat
Surabhi Kunja in Godrumdvipa is an ideal venue for a holy name retreat as the island represents kirtanam.
Eighteen devotees started with a short harinama from Mayapur to Taranpur Ghata. We then crossed the Jalangi and headed to Surabhi Kunja. The purpose of the retreat was to dive deep into the holy names through japa, kirtan and reading. We wanted to deepen our relationship with the holy names.
Our source of inspiration for the day was the book, The Living Name by HH Sacinandana Swami
Devotees shared their appreciation on how this retreat helped them to get a better understanding and renewed taste to sincerely chant the holy names. There was an overwhelming request for more such holy name retreats.
~ Mahaprabhu Caitanya Dasa (Mayapur)
Kirtan 125 is one of those initiatives where ISKCON South London is leading the effort with the help and support of the entire ISKCON UK family in undertaking 125 hours of sankirtan in 2021, for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.
The plan is to inaugurate Kirtan 125 on Sunday, 28 March 2021, on the auspicious occasion of Gaura Purnima. The kick off is 1 p.m. UK time.
On the last weekend of every month there will be a 4 hour Kirtan on both Saturday and Sunday online from 1pm to 5pm (1-2-5), with other additional Kirtan events to be announced in due course.
For more information, please see the KIRTAN 125 pages below:
~ Jai Nitai Dasa (Chairman, Trustee Board of ISKCON South London)
To become Fortunate People Ambassador, logon to: https://fp-ambassadors.com/
Vijaya Ekadasi Sravana-Kirtana Festival Click Here
Holy Names-Crest Jewel of the Age of Kali, Time: 8:30 AM EST/ 7 PM IST, Language: English Duration: 60 min
Mayapur Kirtan Mela
Amalaki Ekadasi Sravana-Kirtana Festival Click Here
Gaur Lila - An open invitation to the spiritual world Time :8:00 AM EDT/5:30 PM IST Language: Hindi Duration: 60 min
Kirtan Ministry Gaur Purnima Festival
~ HH Sacinandana Swami Maharaja