Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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A Festival of Devotion Honoring Kadamba Kanana Swami
By Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Jun 03, 2024

In the heart of Vrindavan, amidst the vibrant colors of the Holi festival of India in 2024, devotees from around the globe converged to honor the Tirobhava & Samadhi Festival for Kadamba Kanana Swami. This sacred gathering, rich in devotion and celebration, marked a significant milestone in the ongoing spiritual journey of his seniors, disciples, peers, and admirers.

From the outset, the festival’s preparations demonstrated the community’s unity and dedication. By Saturday, March 23, devotees from all continents had arrived in Vrindavan. The spirit of Holi enlivened the visitors, with colors flying everywhere. The Krishna Balarama temple grounds, a sanctuary amidst the revelry, served as a serene focal point for those seeking solace from the festivities.

The construction of the samadhi monument for Kadamba Kanana Swami, nearing its completion, was a significant element of the preparations. The monument’s intricate details, including engravings and inscriptions, needed final touches, and the door protecting the inner sanctum was yet to be installed. This meticulous care highlighted the homage’s importance. Devotees regularly visited the site to meditate, with late afternoons reserved for melodious bhajans until dusk, creating an atmosphere of remembrance and spiritual introspection.

On Sunday, March 24, a day before Gaura Purnima and the peak of Holi, there was heightened excitement and anticipation for the Samadhi opening ceremony. The influx of devotees transformed the MVT restaurant into a bustling hub, and Pavana Gopa ensured a seamless live stream of events for those unable to attend in person.

Monday, March 25, saw Vrindavan teeming with an estimated six million visitors, all partaking in Holi’s exuberance. Amidst the sea of colors, the Kirtan Tributes emerged as a serene homage to Kadamba Kanana Swami’s memories. Organized by Padmanabha and team, this event featured “a multitude of excellent singers and musicians,” contributing to the vibrant tapestry of bhajans.

The following days were marked by continued devotion and meticulous preparations. On Tuesday, March 26, the final touches on the Samadhi monument included installing a beautiful marble base inlaid with peacock feather designs. The daily evening bhajans, featuring expert kirtaneers, set the stage for the grand inauguration.

The festival’s pinnacle arrived on Wednesday, March 27, with the Samadhi monument’s inauguration. From early morning, the samadhi area was adorned with flower garlands, creating a “beautifully decorated river of flowers” leading to Kadamba Kanana Swami’s samadhi. The program, initiated with bhajans, included poignant speeches by senior Vaisnavas and heartfelt glorifications. At noon, Sadbhuja led the “Je anilo Prema dhana” prayers, marking Kadamba Kanana Swami’s departure a year ago. The inauguration ceremony featured an abhiseka of a golden impression of Kadamba Kanana Swami’s feet, followed by puspanjali and aratik, allowing devotees to engage intimately in the worship.

The subsequent days maintained the festival’s momentum with a series of events. On Thursday, March 28, the bhoga offering featured over 108 dishes meticulously prepared and shared by thousands. The diversity and abundance of the offerings mirrored the diverse backgrounds of the devotees, united in their respect and admiration for Kadamba Kanana Swami.

The celebration continued with excursions to Vrindakund and Ter Kadamba on Friday, March 29, where devotees enjoyed philosophical discourses, bhajans, and local cultural narratives. The festival concluded with a disciples’ meeting on Saturday, March 30, a sanga that emphasized unity and future planning. Presentations on ongoing projects and new initiatives, such as the Kadamba Cafe in New York and the WuSA project in South Africa, highlighted the global impact of Kadamba Kanana Swami’s preaching efforts.

Reflecting on the festival, it’s clear that it was not merely a series of events but a living testament to Kadamba Kanana Swami’s enduring legacy. The meticulous preparation and heartfelt participation underscored the profound respect and love that his disciples and followers hold for him. The festival served as a catalyst for spiritual rejuvenation, community building, and the continuation of Kadamba Kanana Swami’s desire to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s mission.

In closing, the Tirobhava & Samadhi Festival was more than a commemoration; it was an embodiment of Kadamba Kanana Swami’s values and mood. It showcased the global spiritual community’s strength and dedication to preserving and propagating his legacy as a “Prabhupada man.” For more posts, updates, and information on future events, visit the Kadamba Foundation website.

The golden impression of Kadamba Kanana Swami’s feet installed in his samadhi monument.