Worldwide Janmashtami Celebrations
Janmashtami, the occasion of Lord Krishna’s appearance in Mathura some 5,000 years ago is celebrated with great fervor and pomp by ISKCON devotees all over the world. The following day heralds the Vyasa-puja, or birthday of Srila Prabhupada, a spiritual emissary who brought the worship of Lord Krishna to the Western World in the 1960s and founded ISKCON. The double festival is a chance for devotees to showcase their devotion to their beloved Lord Krishna in creative ways, as well as the chance to let large numbers of people know about Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.
Baroda, Gujarat: Two lakh people attended. A constant stream of people poured into the temple from morning until 2:00am, paying their respects to the Deities.
Juhu, Mumbai: Film personalities such as actor Vivek Oberoi and director Ekta Kapoor visited ISKCON’s Hare Krishna Land property for Janmashtami and had a chance to bathe Deities of Radha and Krishna. On Srila Prabhupada’s 117th Vyasa-puja, 1008 food preparations were offered to the ISKCON founder.
London, UK: 30,000 people flocked to Prabhupada. Bhaktivedanta Manor to celebrate Janmashtami. This year’s festival there was bigger than ever, also commemorating forty years since Beatle George Harrison donated the mock Tudor mansion to Srila Prabhupada
Spanish Fork, Utah, USA: America’s biggest Janmashtami was celebrated here in Mormon country.
Alachua, Florida, USA: Members of ISKCON’s second generation created an entire “Village of Vrindavana,” a glowing recreation of the original Vrindavana surrounded by tiki torches that came alive at night.
In Abranovce, slovakia, devotees took to the streets in a joyful harinama. And in Moscow, Russia, they gathered in a huge tent, with live bands, kirtana, abhisheka and dramas featuring actors in lit-up costumes immersing everyone in thoughts of the Lord. And in hundreds of other ISKCON temples around the world, devotees offered service to Lord Krishna in their own unique and creative ways.
Havi Das Releases an Offering to Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada disciple Havi Das (Ilan Chester) a hugely popular, Grammy-award-winning pop artist and composer in south America has released a new song on Brahma-samhita. “I was reading Brahma-samhita, sitting at the keyboard,” he says. “Then suddenly I combined both of them. I sang, “isvarah paramah Krishnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah.”
Haifa Celebrates Jewish New Year With Harinama
On Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) day the beaches were crowded in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. ISKCON devotees led by Indradyumna swami, adding to the people’s joy, came out with a colorful harinama to sing and dance with them.
The Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha was celebrated on the streets of Dar-es-salaam on July 28 and Mombasa on August 3.
Chanting and Singing in Gladiator Arena
From August 1-11, a group of fifteen international devotees gathered in Pula, Croatia, with the aim to spread the holy name throughout the touristic cities of Istria. The tour was organized by Yamuna Dasi and Tridasha Roy Dasa, a married couple from Croatia.
New Project in New Vrindavan Moundsville, West Virginia, USA: Varsana swami oversees the new Govardhana Hill project in New Vrindaban, West Virginia, featuring Radha-kunda and syama- kunda as central landscape features, Radha-Gopinatha as the resident deity, and Their temple as the prime focus.
Youth Festival in ISKCON Indore Indore, MP: About 700 students, including those of IIT and IIM, attended a youth festival organized by ISKCON Indore on the topic "Oh My India, Oh My God." Refuting each of the challenges and arguments posed by the Bollywood movie "OMG," Caitanya Carana Dasa established the need to accept a genuine guru and how Krishna consciousness is a bona fide science. The main organizer of the program Praneswara Dasa says, "It was a grand success and students have eagerly responded for a follow-up program. Each student received a copy of Srila Prabhupada's isopanishad and Caitanya Carana's Oh My God."
Contributed by Madhava smullen, Radha Sakhi Dasi, Syama Sakhi Dasi and Lilasuha Hansen.