Events

New Vrindaban Festival of Inspiration — Celebrating Vaishnava Arts 2020

Mother’s Day weekend, from May 8 to 10, 2020, marks the return of the once-famous New Vrindaban Festival of Inspiration with the theme: Celebrating Vaishnava Arts. The three-day event will explore the hallmarks of Vaishnava art, theater, music, and speech and how they can enrich our lives, strengthen our communities, and assist us in spreading the wealth of the Krishna consciousness movement.

With devotees in all genres showcasing their talent and skills and presenting workshops, this is sure to be a transformative and inspirational weekend both for your creative and spiritual yearning.

Here are the highlights:

The Dramatic Arts

His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami, known for his dramatic and spiritually enlivening theater performances, will present seminar sessions focusing on Vaishnava theater. Attendees will delve deeper into the nuances of dramatic theater and the place it holds in Vaishnava culture, following in the footsteps of great Vaishnava writers and poets like the Six Goswamis and many of Lord Chaitanya’s other prominent associates.

Lord Chaitanya would request His companions to recite their dramatic works, which were filled with spiritual rasas or emotions, giving solace to the heart and chasing away all lamentation. Because of these plays and poetic offerings, we have many important poetic verses that enrich our devotional lives today.

“I do not know how much nectar the two syllables “Krish-na” have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert.”                                      – From the dramatic writings of Rupa Goswami
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 1.120

The Art of Speech

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, known for his flexible understanding and inspiring realizations of Srila Prabhupada’s books and purports, will present seminars and lectures aimed at uncovering the art of speech.

The art of speech is essential within ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada was such an eloquent speaker that he was able to evoke feelings and inspire actions simply with his words, which were empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Srimad-Bhagavatam elaborates:

“Speech should be composed of selected words, very sweet to hear, and appropriate to the situation. Such speech is called meaningful. It is said, “for one who has unflinching devotional faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is engaged in His service, all good qualities become manifest in his person.” – Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.17

This was especially true with Srila Prabhupada, and following in his footsteps, we can practice and perfect the art of eloquent speech by studying his books, lectures, and conversations, which contain the exemplary context and mood with which to speak as a preacher and as a devotee of Sri Krishna.

The Art of Study

Two special seminar sessions will be offered on studying strategies facilitated by Prabhupada Priya Dasi, Bhakti Academy Director at Krishna House in Gainesville, Florida, and former instructor at the Sri Mayapur International School in India. Prabhupada Priya is widely praised for her ability to preach and teach with practicality.

The study of Srila Prabhupada’s books are being offered worldwide in different ISKCON faculties of learning, from elementary to advanced courses, so it is imperative that devotees are taught efficient tools to assimilate this knowledge and apply it to everyday life.

Visual Art

New Vrindaban’s beautiful Kusum Sarovara lake will become the site of a two-hour session of watercolor painting led by Krishna Bhava Dasi, a long-time resident of New Vrindaban who is expert in various areas of painting. With her guidance, and assisted by other devotees with artistic skill, we are sure that you will begin to understand the full import of Srila Prabhupada’s words when he remarked: “Please go on with this painting work with all enthusiasm. Our Krishna consciousness is so nice. By painting, your love of Krishna will become mature.”

We hope that you will leave this lesson with the ripened fruit of affection for Krishna blooming within your heart.

The Musical Arts

What would an exploration of Vaishnava arts be without music? Kalakantha Prabhu, the head of Krishna House in Gainesville, Ananda Vardhana Prabhu, and many other musicians will enliven you with kirtan and musical performances. This is sure to be a celebration of devotion that will leave you rejuvenated and re-energized.

The Art of Storytelling

The art of storytelling enriches our lives as we tap into our own wellspring of stories.

A workshop entitled “In Search of Story – Exploring our Life’s Journey,” presented by Sankirtana Das, will honor its participants as you share your stories, focusing on creative expression, discussions, writing, and small group interaction.

You will explore and reflect upon some of your life stories; the stories which have shaped you, nourished you and sent you forth on life’s journey. “In Search of Story” will also spark your creativity and expand the remembrance of your past.

The Art of Association

Not only do the arts focus on creativity, but it was originally aimed to inform and unify communities and villages. Through sharing the life lessons and expertise of senior devotees, we aim to unite the community of devotees and derive new ways to serve one another.

With this aim, we will also offer a seminar on sanga, how to build a community founded on strong devotee association. This enlivening seminar will be facilitated by Ananda Vrindavaneswari Dasi from Potomac, Maryland, and Kalakantha Das.

In Krishna Book, commenting on Krishna and Balarama’s stay at gurukula, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that these arts are necessary for human society.

We hope to imbibe and expand Srila Prabhupada’s ideas and vision on Vaishnava art in this year’s Festival of Inspiration, which will act as a springboard for more celebrations like these. These festivals add sweetness and joy to our spiritual practice and bring us closer to spiritual perfection in innovative ways.

We look forward to hosting you and celebrating with you this Mother’s Day Weekend.

We can’t wait to show you all that we have in store for you!

Register here: https://newvrindaban.com/festival-of-inspiration-2020-registration/

Kirtan London Spring Day Retreat 2020

On 25th April 2020, we have our highly anticipated Day Retreat at the Bhaktivedanta Manor in the Hertfordshire countryside, with special guests from our global Kirtan community.

We will begin with a tour of the beautiful temple and gardens, followed by a wisdom workshop, an invigorating yoga session plus exploring wisdom from the Vedas, and lots more! A delicious vegan lunch will be served, too.

And as always, no Kirtan London event is complete without lots of kirtan, with Radhika Dasa and friends.

WHEN: Saturday 25th April 2020, 10am – 6.00pm

WHERE: Bhaktivedanta Manor, WD25 8EZ

COST: £35 early bird price (until 15th March 2020, £45 thereafter)

REGISTRATION AND TICKET LINK: bit.ly/springdayretreat

*includes lunch and pick up from Stanmore Station at 9:30am, if needed

Hope to see you there!

With love,

Kirtan London Day Retreat Team

New Vrindaban Bhakti Sastri Nectar of Instruction 2020

What does Bhakti Sastri mean?
The term bhakti means “devotion” or “love”, and the term sastri refers to a person who is conversant with ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge and wisdom, known as sastra in the Sanskrit language. The title Bhakti Sastri is traditionally offered to accomplished students of the theology and philosophy of the Vedas. According to the Bhagavad-gita, texts that teach how to develop bhakti, love of God, the Supreme Soul Krishna, are the best.

Systematically study Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, and Sri Isopanisad – 4 of the most important bhakti-texts.

Nectar of Instruction
Date: Saturday / Sunday, April 25 – 26
Time: Saturday 9:30am – 1:30pm; 3pm – 6:30pm.
Sunday 9:30am- 2pm.

Facilitator: His Grace Adi Purusha Das

Adi Purusha Das is a disciple of His Holiness Gopal Krsna Goswami. He joined in 1990 in West Ukraine. He distributed books and then joined the Ukrainian BBT. He served for 10 years as a translator, translating the Caitanya-caritamrita, parts of the Srimad Bhagavatam and other books.
In 1993 he studied Bhakti-sastri with Purnacandra Das and with Bhanu Swami in 1998. Since 1999 he has been living in Vrindavan, India where he studies and teaches sastra.

Registration details to be provided soon. Cost of course that includes accommodations, prasadam, course materials is $108 per person.

More information: festivals@newvrindaban.com

New Vrindaban The Living Name Retreat 2020

The Living Name Retreat 2020 with HH Sacinandana Swami
New Vrindaban, West Virginia
Easter Weekend • April 9th-12th

THE LIVING NAME RETREAT—3
Going deeper and achieving full absorption

In this new retreat, Sacinandana Swami will teach the science of full absorption into the Holy Names and re-establishing your personal relationship with this most accessible form of the Lord. The wisdom that Sacinandana Swami will be imparting has been churned from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, sacred scriptures, and the experiences of exalted teachers.

Although the subject is elevated, it will be taught in an easily accessible way so that also first-comers to these retreats will be able to immerse themselves fully. All are welcome!

Register soon since the available spaces are quickly getting booked.
Register— https://newvrindaban.com/living-name-retreat-2020/

ISKCON Harrisburg Ram Navami 2020

The birthday celebration of Lord Ramachandra. This festival honors Lord Ramachandra and the Ramayana, which tells the story of this much-loved incarnation of Krishna.

New Vrindaban Rama Navami 2020

Rama Navami (Thursday, April 2) Appearance Anniversary of Lord Rama

Rama Navami, the anniversary of Lord Rama’s descent into this world, is celebrated in great excitement and splendor. Lord Rama, the renowned incarnation of God held in great awe by Hindus and people worldwide, exemplified the perfect human being. His tales in the Ramayana are not mythical fiction but have been accounted by the sage Valmiki Muni thousands of years ago, who witnessed Lord Rama’s brave and wondrous deeds. Till today, the story of the Ramayana touches people from all walks of life and inspires them to live an exemplary life like that of Lord Rama. Devotees observe the day by narrating and glorifying Lord Rama’s pastimes and chanting his holy names. The community is invited to bring offerings of flowers, garlands, fruit, and food preparations from 3–6pm, after which a wonderful feast will be served.

VIHE Bhakti-sadacara Course 2020

When we come to Krishna Consciousness, everything is new and exciting even though we do not understand many things yet. Gradually, we start having many questions about different aspects of Bhakti Yoga. The Bhakti-sadacara course is especially designed to give systematic knowledge to new devotees and to train devotees who did not have a chance to get such systematic training before.

The course covers different aspects of the path of devotion and provides not only knowledge but aims to cultivate Vaisnava qualities and instil devotional values. Whether you came to Krishna Consciousness just recently or have been practising for some time already, this course will be of great benefit for you due to its practical and informative nature. Besides that, it will help you get ready for the Bhakti-sastri and other courses.

DATES: Jan 17 – Apr 8, 2020 (2.5 months)

REQUIREMENTS: There are no initial requirements for attending the course; however, it is advised that one chant a minimum of 4 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra daily. Devotees from all over the world are welcome!

COURSE CONTENT AND TEACHERS:
• Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita (H.G. Nagapatni Devi Dasi)
• The essence of Bhagavad-gita (H.G. Madhusudana Visnu Dasa)
• Overview of Nava-vidha Bhakti – nine types of devotional service (H.G. Aruna Carana Dasa)
• Vaisnava etiquette (H.G. Nagapatni Devi Dasi)
• The lives of Vaisnava acaryas & observation of tithis (celebrations)
• Our daily prayers – their meaning & purpose (H.G. Lavanga Lata Devi Dasi)
• The science of the soul (H.G. Nava Kisora Govinda Dasa)
• Science of Self-Realization (H.G. Syama Kunda Dasa)
• Tadiya Sevas – different categories of devotional service (H.G. Mukunda Datta Dasa)
• Brahminical qualities & lifestyle (H.G. Madhurya Gaurangi Devi Dasi)
• Karatalas (H.G. Madhurya Gaurangi Devi Dasi)
• Mrdanga (teacher to be announced)
• Ayurvedic self-healing (H.G. Vrajendra Nandana Dasa)
• Vaisnava Diet (H.G. Vrajendra Nandana Dasa)
• Regulative principles of freedom (H.G. Lavanga Lata Devi Dasi)

ADMISSIONS:
Fill the form to apply for the VIHE Bhakti-sadacara Course
https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/1hmNXXeBlI_WWsqRcT458KwHof57Dk_t8lGUoxNs1oBA/edit?fbclid=IwAR2KngN_udm9HrQjUgvRCrXEQPIcg2y7OfEqIzTC5JRRGJJmqfeoh4EPQ1w

ABOUT CONTRIBUTIONS:
The contribution towards the course is Rs. 8,500. Please note that contributions cover the study materials and administrative expenses connected with conducting the course. Accommodation and travels are not included. Lunch prasada is served at the VIHE by the mercy of well-wishers whenever classes are held. Classes are free of cost.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
VIHE c/o ISKCON Goshala,
Parikrama Marg,
Raman Reti, Vrindavan,
Mathura Dist., 281121,
U.P., India
Phone: +91 81 26 100 355 (Sakti Svarupini Devi Dasi)
Phone: +91 99 45 707 477 (Vrajendra Nandana Dasa)
For admissions: courses@vihe.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vihe.vrindavan

VIHE Bhakti-Vaibhava Course Part 1 2019/2020

Srila Prabhupada envisioned four levels of study of his books—Bhakti-sastri, Bhakti-vaibhava, Bhakti-vedanta and Bhakti-sarvabhauma. The VIHE is endeavouring to establish these degrees and thus provide an opportunity for higher studies in Krsna conscious philosophy to interested devotees. The first-ever Bhakti-vaibhava Course was started in 2002. Bhakti-vaibhava covers the study of the first six cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Course Content:
The course is divided into four semesters of four months each.

Part One: Canto 1 & 2
Part Two: Canto 3
Part Three: Canto 4
Part Four: Canto 5 & 6

Besides the verse by verse study of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the course includes seminars on related subjects and books, such as:
• The Invocation to Srimad-Bhagavatam
• The Ten Topics of Srimad-Bhagavatam
• Sad-darsana — the Six Vedic Philosophies
• Dasa-mula by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
• Vedic Cosmology
• Sanskrit pronunciation and meters

Schedule:
Bhakti-vaibhava Canto 1 & 2: December 11, 2019 – April 8, 2020
Teachers: H.H. Bhakti Dhira Damodar Swami, H.G. Sarvabhauma Dasa, H.G. Adi Purusa Dasa, H.G. Nityananda Dasa, H.G. Aruna Carana Dasa, H.G. Prasanta Devi Dasi.

Bhakti-vaibhava Canto 3: July – November, 2020
Teachers: To be announced.

Requirements:
Bhakti-sastri degree, good sadhana, brahminical tendencies, good knowledge of Srimad-Bhagavatam, proficiency in English and good service attitude. You must also have two recommendations from senior devotees in good standing who know you well.

For any information please write to courses@vihe.org

Admission:
Fill the form to apply for the VIHE Bhakti-vaibhava Course: https://forms.gle/jk1yB3fhDa9EiZYy7

Contribution:
The contribution towards the course is Rs. 12,500 per semester. Please note that contributions cover the study materials and administrative expenses connected with conducting the course. Accommodation and travel are not included. Lunch prasadam is served at the VIHE by the mercy of well-wishers whenever classes are held. Classes are free of cost.

Contact Information:
VIHE c/o ISKCON Goshala,
Parikrama Marg,
Raman Reti, Vrindavan,
Mathura Dist., 281121,
U.P., India

Phone: +91 81 26 100 355 (Sakti Svarupini Devi Dasi)
Phone: +91 99 45 707 477 (Vrajendra Nandana Dasa)
For admissions: courses@vihe.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vihe.vrindavan