One of the first of the retreat-style festivals currently so popular in ISKCON, Festival of Inspiration, launched in New Vrindaban in 2000, has always offered something a little unique. “Whereas previous Festival of Inspirations were a high-speed puzzle of eighteen different short presentations you could choose from, we now plan to offer people an immersive experience that they can dive into and experience together,” says ISKCON New Vrindaban temple president Jaya Krsna Das. “We also want to provide them with practical tips they can implement in their day-to-day lives.”
A video by Anton Aleksandrov.
The famous 3-hour parikrama around Vrindavan encompasses walking around thousands of temples, as many samadhis and a multitude of cows, brahmanas, sadhus and sacred places of all kinds. Some Vraja-vasis do it once or even twice a day. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Govardhana Puja – the sweetest day of the year – celebrates the day when Lord Krishna as a young boy lifted Govardhana Hill with just His little finger, to protect the residents of Vrindavana village from Lord Indra’s furious thunderstorm. Devotees around the world pour their hearts into their own offerings for the late October festival, engaging their creativity in Krishna’s service to often astonishing effect.
Reconnection, a 40-minute film written and directed by Siberian devotee couple Shyam Gopal Das and his wife Vijaya Radhika Dasi, has been making a real splash in the film festival world. A cinema verite piece, it tells the story of tech professional Sean Fletcher, a typical victim of our Internet-addicted age. Emotionally and spiritually cut-off, Sean stops in Vrindavan, India on the way to Nepal, and finds that the sacred village breaks him down to his core and helps him reconnect with his own heart and inner values.
It is said that all holy places in India exist in their original forms in Sri Vrindavan Dhama. Indradyumna Swami and his parikrama group visited Badrinath (Badrikasrama) a two-hour drive from Vrindavan town through the countryside. As they approached Badrinath they were surprised to see a small mountain range. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
The Madan Mohan Temple, established by Sanatan Goswami, was the first temple to be erected in Vrindavan on the order of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago. Near the temple is the sacred samadhi of Sanatan Goswami. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Talavan is one of the 12 sacred forests of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India. Even today, it retains much of the beauty it had 5,000 years ago during the appearance of Lord Sri Krsna. Indradyumna Swami and his parikrama party sat and discussed Krsna and Balarama's pastimes in that transcendental abode and relished the sweet chanting of Krsna's holy names for many hours. A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Sivarama Swami’s latest book, the fourth volume of the Krishna In Vrindavana series, is hot off the press. Shri Damodara-janani weaves a captivating tale of the glories of Mother Yashoda. No other person has ever received the unique mercy that Krishna showed His own mother, teaching devotees for all time that the binding force of love for Him is more powerful than even His own supreme will.
A video by Ananta Vridnavan.
Food for Life Vrindavan (http://fflvrindavan.org) is a humanitarian aid organisation officially recognized by the Indian government. For the last ten years, we have worked in the poorest villages in the Vrindavan area (120 Km south of New Delhi).
On May 9, 2009 abhisheka ceremony of Radha-Ramana took place in His temple. It was His appearance day. The Abhisheka lasted for three hours and started from bringing water from the Yamuna. According to the tradition, young pujaris, who are the sons of the chief Goswamis, went to the Yamuna. A video by Vrindavan Experience.
An intimate gathering of enthusiasts met under the tree at Kaliya Ghat in Vrindavan, and offered over 100 000 desires gathered on the interactive sculpture dress called “Mandala of Desires” (Blue Lotus Wish Tree) that was on display at the China Art Museum in Shanghai, from December 2015 to February 21. 2016, as part of the exhibition called “Forms of Devotion”, organized by the Belgian MOSA museum and Teamwork from India, and curated by Sushma K. Bahl and Archana Sapra.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan.
Today we’re marking the life of a great saint in our tradition who lived 500 years ago. He was the son of a Sri Vaishnava brahmana, Venkata Bhatta, and was born in a village near the famous temple town of Sri Rangam.
In 1891, Hindus who were bathing in the sacred river Yamuna witnessed an amazing scene. A ship with a name in an unknown language was approaching.
Prema-sarovara is a lake formed from the tears of Radha and Krsna when They felt intense separation from each other. A video by Ananta Vrindavan, music by Jahnavi Harrison.
A video by Ananta Vrindavan dasa.
On my way to the mall a billboard on the street caught my attention. It said: "Can India be the world's bright spot?" Google informed me that this was a question presented by Prime-Minister Narendra Modi to, basically, the society.
There are devotees of the Lord who circumambulate Govardhana hill two, or even three times, a day. Athough busy with visiting other holy places in Vrajamandala Indradyumna Swami's group of 350 devotees also managed to do parikrama around Giriraja twice during their stay in Vrindavan.
Prema-sarovara is a lake formed from the tears of Radha and Krsna when They felt intense separation from each other. A video of Indradyumna Swami's parikrama party visiting Prema Sarovara, accompanied by Jahnavi Harrison's music.
On this auspicious day of Srila Prabhupad's disappearance Govinda Swami have shared his wonderful memories about last moments with Him.
The festival, which ran from October 9th to 13th at Delhi’s NDMC Convention Centre, is ranked in the top two environmental film festivals in the world. It deals with a vast range of issues including climate change, natural heritage conservation, biodiversity, and renewable energy. This year, the festival received a total of 178 entries from India and around the world.
More than 1300 films were submitted for the Indian Cine Film Festival. "Reconnection", the film about Vrindavan, has won the Jury Special Mention Award, that was presented to us by Indian filmmaking legend G.L. Bhardwaj. Listen to him speaking as he compares "Reconnection" to his own film “Land of Krishna” that won multiple International and National nominations including Presidential award. On the video: Maksim Varfolomeev (Shyam Gopal Das), the director of Reconnection, picking up the award, September 19th 2015. For more info check us on fb.com/ReconnectionFilm
“In Vrindavan” is a new Music Video and Single by the Kirtaniyas featuring children from Food for Life Vrindavan, an all girl’s charity school run on donation basis in Vrindavan, India.
My trip to India brought a few surprises. It’s been some years since I was last there and things are changing fast. The cities are still the same bustling mess of teeming madness, much like anywhere else I suppose, but it’s in the outlying rural areas that I was most shocked.
Srila Prabhupada disciple Surabhir Abhipalayantam Das, who was the design coordinator for ISKCON’s flagship Indian temples in Vrindavana, U.P. and Juhu, Mumbai in the 1970s, has passed away. He left due to liver cancer on July 30th in the sacred land of Vrindavana, surrounded by devotees. All were chanting along to a recording of Srila Prabhupada’s kirtan.
“People go to Vrindavan and their lives change… for the better,” says Shyam Gopal Das (Maksim Varfolomeev), who wrote and directed the 40-minute film Reconnection with his wife Vijaya Radhika Dasi (Olga Avramenko). The film has won an Award of Excellence from the Best Shorts Competition, whose previous winners have gone on to win Oscars and Emmys.
It's a hot season in Vrindavan and almost every day a dust storm comes. Sometimes it turns into a thunderstorm with spectacular lightnings. Short rain brings the heat down some and gives a long-waited relief. A video by Vrindavan Experience.
Recently, devotees of Vrindavan started a petition asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to control the town’s “modernization”, as they think it is neither suitable to the holy place, nor sustainable. According to many in Vrindavan, modernization has reduced this place to a weekend spot for tourists instead of a sacred place of pilgrimage.
Kurma Rupa was born to Mexican parents and grew up in New York. At 21, he was drafted for the Vietnam War. “While I was in the army, I prayed for the first time in my life,” he recalls in the recent short film ‘My Part of the Bargain.’ “I prayed very intensely that, ‘My dear God, if you save me from having to go to war, then I will figure out how to serve you.’”
Kurma Rupa Das has lived in Vrindavan, India for many decades. He established Care for Cows, an international network that helps abandoned, sick or injured cows in Vrindavan for more than 25 years. He has been actively working to create awareness, educate, give guidance and support to likeminded charitable organisations worldwide. He passed away on June 28th in Vrindavan, India. A video by Syam Gopal Das and Vijay Radhika Dasi (www.vrindavanexperience.com)
On June 28th, 2015, at 8.45 AM on the auspicious Padmini ekadasi in the greatly auspicious month of Purushottoma, amongst the sacred cows in the holy land of Vrindavan, Mathura, Kurma-rupa Das left his body surrounded by devotees, Vrajavasis, and uplifting Hare Krishna kirtan, with sacred tulasi on his tongue and head and his salagram-sila on his chest.
The Bhakti-sastri and the Bhakti-vaibhava courses are a systematic study of Srila Prabhupada's books. Srila Prabhupada wanted ISKCON devotees to deeply study his books, so that they could become better preachers and teachers, and, very importantly, achieve a clear understanding and application of the beautiful science of devotional service.
Chandan Yatra at Krishna-Balaram temple in Vrindavan. Chandan Yatra is a festival which is being celebrated during the hot season. Temple Deities all over the India are being covered with sandal wood paste known for it's cooling effect. This video brings you both the festival atmosphere and the sneak view of the preparation behind the altar curtain. For more videos visit us at www.VrindavanExperience.com
A video by Bhava Films.
100,000 visitors from all over the world took part in Krishna Balarama Mandir’s week-long 40th anniversary celebrations from March 23rd to 29th in Vrindavana, India. The mood of the festival was both epic and sweet, recalling Srila Prabhupada’s ten-year struggle to establish a temple in the sacred village where Lord Krishna grew up, and his victory upon Krishna Balarama Mandir’s grand opening festival in April 1975.
The Indian government has finally agreed to restore the Yamuna’s ecological flow through several steps demanded by protestors, beginning with bringing the sacred river under the Environment Protection Act within two to three months. The move is a huge victory for the Free Yamuna Campaign of Braj (the land of Lord Krishna’s pastimes), which has been fighting for years now to restore the beleaguered river.
Shunned women attend festivities in Vrindavan, one of two north Indian cities known as the 'cities of widows'.
There seems to be a tension between comfort and aspiration in our lives. We seek to explore, to grow, to achieve, yet we also desire security, safety and certainty. It’s clear, however, that we often have to sacrifice one to get the other.
"After a lifetime of jobs, family, responsibilities and social interaction, they live as lone mendicants in this holy land, probably with a vow to never leave."
Though we act as spiritual doctors, we are undoubtedly patients as well. After a month of sharing spirituality with others, now comes an opportunity to do some soul-searching and reflect on whether I’m walking the talk.
At least one hundred Prabhupada disciples, including several who helped build Krishna Balarama Mandir, are expected to attend the epic five-day celebration of the Vrindavan temple’s 40th anniversary from March 24th to 28th 2015. They’ll be recalling the even grander original opening festival from April 16th to 27th, 1975, attended by 1,000 devotees.
In 1968, Prabhupada was issuing instructions about the community: “The Ashram may be named as "ISKCON-Nagari or New Vrindaban.”
Filmed by Filip Cargonja and Kuva Zakheim. Edited by Hladini Hilary Zakheim.
Nineteen ISKCON devotees were injured when a Vrindavan bound bus rammed against a tree after one of its tyres punctured near Maghera village falling under Vrindavan police station today "While eleven devotees were rushed to district hospital, eight were taken to Paras Mani Hospital. Nobody is in critical position," Dy SP Anil Yadav said.
ECO-Vrindaban (ECOV), the self-sufficiency wing of ISKCON’s New Vrindaban community in West Virginia, USA, is on the lookout for a general manager to oversee its steadily expanding operations. Today ECOV has a herd of 48 cows, oxen, and calves, in contrast to the 300 it started with at its inception. This may at first seem like a step back, but it’s actually an intentional move towards a far more sustainable model.
“As you can see, the Festival of Colors in Moundsville today was a complete success!” This was the declaration made by Sarafina Brooks, a reporter from the local TV Channel, WTOV 9 who appeared on TV Sat. Sept. 13, 2014 covered from head to toe in green powdered chalk.
Vrindavan, Indian, Kartika 2013.
An internet person, Sean Fletcher tries to run from a broken relationship by taking a trip to Himalayas, but finds himself stuck in a small Indian town, Vrindavan, that turns out to be an unusual place. A movie by Vrindavan Experience is coming soon.
A rare colered film from 1971: ISKCON-founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada takes a ritual bath in the holy river Yamuna at Vrindavana's Keshi Ghat.
During the winter of 2012 to 2013, as the pilgrimage season quietened down and a blanket of snow fell across the rural West Virgnia community, professional devotee foremen, carpenters and electricians flung themselves into five months of hard work to transform the guest facilities.
On the weekend of Friday June 6th to Sunday June 8th, around 500 yoga practioners from Tuscany and beyond attended a yoga festival with a difference: the third annual Bhakti Festival at Villa Vrindavana, Italy. The festival was established in 2012 by ISKCON Villa Vrindavana and Yogendra, leader of the Samadhi yoga school in Florence
Today, 24 and 12 hour kirtan festivals seem to be spreading all over the world like wildfire. Devotees are gathering to immerse themselves in the Holy Name every year with events like Kirtan Mela in Mayapur, Germany and Australia; in the UK; Italy, Belgium, and several places in the US. But back when the New Vrindaban 24 Hour Kirtan began in West Virginia, it was one of only a small handful of early trendsetters.
Food for Life Vrindavan (http://fflvrindavan.org) is a humanitarian aid organisation officially recognized by the Indian government. For the last ten years, they have worked in the poorest villages in the Vrindavan area, south of Delhi. A video by Robyn Symon.
A musical charity program to help underprivileged girls in Vrindavan.
The proceeds from a unique new kirtan album, “Kirtan Shakti,” will all go towards educating underprivileged young women at the Sandipani Muni girls’ school in Vrindavana, India -- Lord Krishna’s birthplace.
“Aha! I’ve got a name for our festival!” Citralekha Dasi called to ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Das from her office across the hall. And she told him what it was. He grinned. “It’s perfect." The first annual Festival of Inspiration, held in 2001, quickly lived up to its name. It put New Vrindaban, which had recently rejoined ISKCON, back on the map as an important place of pilgrimage for North American devotees.
The Vaishnava tradition is famous for its festivals. And within ISKCON, the New Vrindaban community in West Virginia has become one of the most renowned places to celebrate. As New Vrindaban finds a fresh start and rebuilds itself, festivals have been found to be one of the best ways to inspire and bring together devotees, as well as to develop a mutually appreciative relationship with the local public.
A beautiful video of the 2013 Vraja Mandala praikrama led by Indradyumna Swami.
A video by www.lavamatra.ru.
On Friday July 11th, the second floor of the Museum of Spiritual Art (MOSA) in Villa Vrindavana, Italy will be completed and receive an internal opening ceremony attended by devotees. The museum is the second branch of MOSA in ISKCON, modeled after the original in Radhadesh, Belgium. It is located in the most historic part of Villa Vrindavana’s Villa, dating back to the 16th century.
One elderly American lady and two younger ladies wandered into the lobby of Sri Sri Radha Vrindabanchandra temple the afternoon of Thurs. March 13, 2014. “Rhis is my mother, Sally Aggarwal!" a younger one says. "She sponsored Srila Prabhupada on the Jaladuta from India in 1965!” she proudly declared.
The boards of ISKCON New Vrindaban and ECO-Vrindaban, the two landholding entities in New Vrindaban, voted on February 20th and February 23rd, respectively, to sign leases for the Utica Shale, a deep natural gas formation. In 2010, both boards signed similar leases for the Marcellus Shale. As with that decision, this one was fraught with controversy.
When New Vrindaban, ISKCON’s first rural community, was first established in 1968, it became, for many years, a shining example of the best that ISKCON had to offer. After a series of well-documented legal transgressions and spiritual deviations in the 1980s, however, many devotees left. Now New Vrindaban is in the midst of a major transformation.
Today, as they did four decades ago, devotees at ISKCON New Vrindaban are embarking on a labor of love. They’re restoring the Palace of Gold, home to Srila Prabhupada. Devotees began building the Palace with their own hands back in 1973 as a simple residence for Srila Prabhupada, who enjoyed the peace and spiritual atmosphere of New Vrindaban during his visits.
Journey to the place of Lord Krishna's pastimes and follow the personal journey of self discovery of one visitor to this sacred place. A video by Barnaby Booth.
New Vrindaban, established in 1968 by ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada as his society’s first rural community, is continuing its transition into an exciting new phase. After a series of difficult pioneering attempts in the early years, the community struggled for decades with a dedicated skeleton crew. But since spring 2011, a renewed effort has been made to revitalize New Vrindaban.
The Palace of Gold was constructed during the ‘70s and opened in 1979. Time and weather have taken their toll over the last 35 years and Srila Prabhupada’s “Samadhi in the West” is in need of major renovation work.
A video-journal of Indradyumna Swami's recent Vraja Mandala prakirama.
On the auspicious day of Srila Prabhupad's disappearance BB Govinda Swami remembers his wonderful memories about his last moments with Prabhupada in Vrindavan, 1977. (The video has been recorded in Vrindavan, on November 7th, 2013.)
A video by Syam Gopal and Vijay Radhika. Music by BB Govinda Swami.
In 2013, a new Sacred Art Museum opened in Villa Vrindavana, Tuscany, Italy.
On September 11th, a group of 21 individuals from the United Kingdom started to trek Stok Kangri, the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of northwest India. Out of the 21 trekkers, 12 made it to base camp at 5,100 meters and 8 made it to the summit on September 17th.
On September 11th, a group of 21 individuals from the UK started to trek Stok Kangri, the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas. The trekkers are all volunteers, and the purpose of their undertaking is to help raise awareness and funds for the Food for Life Vrindavan Society.
New Vrindaban, home of Srila Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, will host its second annual Festival of Colors on Saturday, September 14, 2013 (11 am to 7 pm). The Festival of Colors is an exuberant event, full of excitement and many bright colors.
Music by Hanumen.
Srila Prabhupada’s vision for New Vrindaban includes four main topics, one of which is holy pilgrimage. New Vrindaban is, of course, an ongoing and very important place of holy pilgrimage for many devotees and guests from all over the world.
This January, ISKCON Italy was made a member of the Florence Council for Religious Dialogue, an official government entity. This is a major development for ISKCON, which has been working with non-government interfaith groups since 2005 and has held many interfaith conferences and events at the Villa Vrindavana community.
The first phase of the Villa Vrindavana museum which just opened, fills five large rooms with twenty grand sized paintings of India’s classic literature, the Mahabharata. The paintings reveal in vibrant colors the drama, emotion, intrigue, and divine purposes of the Mahabharata and its epic battle between the forces of good and evil.
The footage for the video was taken from the "Glimpses of Vraja", a series of short videos on the holy land - Sri Vrindavan Dham, used with the kind permission of the producer. You're warmly welcome to visit www.vrindavanexperience.com.
Produced by B.B. Govinda Swami
Director of photography and camera: Maxim Duzer
Edited by Denis Alibašić
Color edit by Simon Gosnik
Recorded in Polestar Studio by Radhamohan das in March 2013
Music arranged and composed by Radhamohan das and Dhyan
Lyrics by Dhyan
Two sentences of the lyrics were taken from Sri Vraja Dhama Mahimamrita (The Nectarean Glories of Vraja-dhama) by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami.
Srila Prabhupada's Palace of Gold, his samadhi in the West (in West Virginia, USA), attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Palace was recently elected by CNN travel as one of the eight religious wonders to see in U.S.
Recently, ISKCON Vrindavan has established IVTV (ISKCON Vrindavan Television) to broadcast worldwide via satellite television. The inauguration of the IVTV control room took place last month.
ISKCON New Vrindaban, ISKCON's first farm community is looking for devotees to help fulfill Srila Prabhupada's instruction and to serve the many devotees and pilgrims visiting.
By devotee filmmakers Syam Gopal and Vijaya Radhika.
An animation by Big Animation.
ISKCON Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh, India) has recently purchased a 87.5 acres of land near Vrindavan, on which a new campus for the Bhaktivedanta Gurukula International School (BGIS), as well as a new goshalla will be built.
Breaking traditions or advocating them?
Vrindavan, India: Two international artist explain what inspired them to paint their mural in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan. While the holy name of 'Sri Radhe' might be painted on every tree and wall here, it hasn't been painted in such a modern and vibrant way before. Is this an iconoclastic shake up of the status-quo in religious expression or is it in fact in line with scriptural rules advocating age-old traditions?
New Vrindaban looking for devotees to help with the day-to-day operations as well as with implementation of Srila Prabhupada's instructions through the Master Plan.
by Syam Gopal and Vijaya Radhika.
It’s the hot season in Vrindavan and almost every day a dust storm comes. Sometimes it turns into a thunderstorm with spectacular lightnings. Short rain brings the heat down some and provides long-awaited relief. A stunning video by Syam Gopal and Vijaya Radhika.
The schedule of Festival of Inspiration in New Vrindaban, USA, May 6, 7 & 8th, 2011 has been announced. Among many other topics there will be discussions on the different aspect of family life, devotional practice, there will be music lessons, kirtana and drama performance.
Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School at Vrindavana, India invites applications for High School and Post-graduate Teachers in following disciplines: English, Sanskrit, Physics, Chemistry, Life Science, Mathematics and Social Studies
On the auspicious occasion of Gita Jayanti, the advent day of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, students from all grades put up an all day long celebration program. Arrays of colorful placards depicting the shlokas of Bhagavad Gita, the thematic displays of Bhagavad Gita teachings, high-spirited book distribution and the exuberant kirtans made it an event that gurukulis will always cherish.
Bhaktivedanta International School (BGIS) in Vrindavan, India, is now accepting applications from prospective students for admission into standards II-IX and standard XI for the academic year 2011-2012
ISKCON New Vrindavan has begun a search for candidates interested in applying for leadership positions in the United States. New Vrindavan, ISKCON’s old community and largest pilgrimage site in North America, is entering a new phase in operations and has opportunities for career services.
In a shocking and saddening turn of events, world-famous kirtaniya and beloved Krishna devotee Aindra Dasa was found to have passed away on the morning of Saturday, July 17 in Vrindavana. Initial reports suggest that Aindra may have passed away due to an accidental gas leak in his room.
Experience the best of nature and spiritualism in New Vrindaban.
New Vrindaban Community will host the tenth annual Festival of Inspiration on May 7 – 9.
The Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School located in the beautiful holy land of Sri Vrindavan Dham; the birthplace of Lord Krishna is the shining epitome of academic excellence and deep devotion.
Due to a forceful winter, there is a lot of "getting ready" needed before the opening of New Vrindaban's Pilgrimage Season, which kicks off with Festival of Inspiration (May 7,8,9th).
Taking advantage of the Vrindavan Kumbha Mela currently underway, Krishna Balaram Mandir organized a Sadhu Sammelan on the topic of the 500th anniversary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Sannyas. As leaders of various groups arrived, they garlanded a deity of Srila Prabhupada placed at one end of the courtyard, and they were then garlanded in return by new temple president Pancha Gauda Dasa.
This photo essay entitled 'Spring of Love' attempts to capture the festive celebration of Holi around the sacred Vrindavana area in India. Images by Pavel Tomanec (Paramdhamananda Dasa).
The high school students of Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School in Vrindavan were in ecstasy when the Krishna Balarama Temple management asked them to decorate the swing for the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radheshyamasundar on the first day of Jhulan Yatra. The four day swing festival culminated on Balarama Purnima, Lord Balarama's Appearance Day.
The Amar Ujala, a daily Indian newspaper ranked 34th in the world in circulation, has selected ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School in Vrindavan (BGIS) as the top school in the Mathura district and the second best school in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
Subhangi Devi Dasi lives in Vrindavan, India. Recently she was awoken early in the morning to witness a site none of us would even dream could be happening. Krishna’s cows are being violently kidnapped in the night. It is believed the cows are killed and sold for their flesh and leather products.
“I was sleeping,” Subhangi Devi Dasi says. “At 2.00 am I hear cows crying, people screaming and yelling. I run out to my balcony and see a truck backing away and cows franticly running in all directions down the lanes, all crying. I have never seen that in Vrindavan.”
A two-week festival celebrating the sixth anniversary of ISKCON’s temple at Vrinda Kunda, a sacred lake in Vrindavana, India, culminated in a grand finale this February 22. ISKCON built the current temple in 2003 to replace the old, dilapidated one that Vaishnava scholar Baba Madhava Dasa constructed in the 1980s for Vrinda-devi, one of Krishna’s most beloved servants.
During the 1970s, I would get culture shock whenever I went to India. The crowded cities, the heat, the food, the occasional sickness, and the austerities of local travel would painfully remind me that I was a stranger in a foreign land. But as the years passed, my visits became more frequent and I began to feel at home there, especially in places like Vrindavan and Mayapur, where the Lord once performed His transcendental pastimes.
Pilgrims travel thousands of miles across the world to cast their eyes over the beautiful deities at ISKCON’s Krishna-Balarama Mandir in Vrindavana, India. But now they can visit Krishna’s birthplace without leaving their homes.
VRINDAVANA, INDIA – October 10 saw special celebrations in the holy village for Dusshera, the popular Hindu holiday celebrating Lord Rama’s victory over the demon Ravana. Devotees relished the once-a-year sight of Sri Sri Radha-Ramanji, presiding deity of the famous Radha-Ramana temple, triumphantly riding by on a large silver elephant.
Vrindavana, India -- Devotees at ISKCON’s Krishna Balarama temple organized a special evening event this August 24th, so that leading citizens of Vrindavana could offer their homage to Srila Prabhupada. The Vyasa Puja, or birthday celebrations honoring ISKCON’s founder are traditionally held in the morning. But residents of the holy town welcomed this extra service, as they are busy with their own Nandotsava Celebrations on the morning after Janmastami.
MATHURA: Conservation efforts in this Hindu holy town - said to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna - have received a big boost, with a court banning mining operations in the area. When pilgrims visit some of the shrines associated with Krishna-Radha lore, they will not fail to notice structural changes to restore, rejuvenate and conserve the ecology of the area.
VRINDAVAN: Noted for its numerous temples, the holy land of Vrindavan in Mathura district, where Lord Krishna spent his childhood, has seen a huge increase in pilgrims and tourists in recent years. However, over-flowing drains, strewn garbage and crowded, littered streets is what greets the thousands of pilgrims who visit this historic place every year.
As sacred tour guide Dina Bandhu Dasa approached Varsana, the legendary home of Lord Krishna’s consort Radharani, dusk was falling; but the festivities were only beginning.
Dina Bandhu is one of the privileged few westerners who know about the annual Phul Bangalas – flower palaces – and Kavi Sanmelans – poetry recitals – demonstrated at Varsana and Nandagram, the village of Krishna’s adoptive father Nanda Maharaja.
February 5th, 2008 – Ananda-Lila “Lila” Salter passed away in the holy village of Vrindavan at 2:15 this morning. Her family, friends and well-wishers sat at her bedside, while heartfelt chanting of Krishna’s names filled the air. The Australian Hare Krishna devotee, at only 17, had been fighting for her life after 28 year-old Saurav Singh shot her with a pistol early on Saturday morning.
This year, Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School of Vrindavan, India, celebrated Gita Jayanti in a unique and as one guest observed, “Most novel!” way. Three weeks before the day, the students and staff hand wrote each of the 700 verses of the Bhagavad-Gita onto colourful pieces of fabric. Each square was then sown together to make a beautiful quilt measuring 12 X 20 feet!
Hundreds of devotees walk around Vrindavan every day on a special path called a parikrama marg. The walk itself is called parikrama, “sacred walk” or “sacred journey.” Circumambulating the town of Vrindavan on this path is a way to respect and honor this holy place.
The children at the ISKCON school in Vrindavana, India make a visual offering for World Holy Name day celebrated on September 17th.