The Festival of the Holy Names

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Mar 162007

One week after Gaura-purnima, in Laguna Beach California, this much-anticipated gathering of devotees once again flooded the atmosphere with the ecstasy of hari-nama-sankirtana. This annual phenomenon aptly dubbed ‘The Festival of the Holy Names’ by His Holiness Indradyumna Swami, is the highlight of many devotees yearly activities.

Consisting mainly of hours of happy chanting, this occasion provides an opportunity for devotees from all over Southern California to get together and dive deep into the ocean of the chanting of the holy names.

After kirtana and a lecture by Indradyumna Swami in the temple room, the Deities of Gaura-Nitai are accompanied by hundreds of devotees on hari-nama-sankirtana to the Beach, along the boardwalk and back to the temple. The kirtana then continued thunderously in the temple room until everyone is swept off the material platform, minds and bodies leaping in the grasp of the holy names. The sweet melodies continued until the devotees were about to collapse and then all are treated to a huge feast.

We are working on producing a DVD of the full program but as an appetizer here is a 3 minute video of His Holiness Giriraj Swami with the devotees at the festival.

28 Mb Windows Media Video. icon_arrow.gif

Celebrating the Disappearance of Srila Tamal Krishna Goswami, Saturday,February 17, Ventura, California

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Feb 262007

His Holiness Giriraj Swami Maharaja hosted the auspicious celebration of Srila Tamal Krishna Goswami’s disappearance day and Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s disappearance day, on Saturday, February 17, at the home of Kandarpa Manjari and Krishna Kirtan Prabhus in Ventura.

Other special guest speakers included Amogha-lila dasa, Mahashakti dasa, Nrsimhananda dasa, and Urvasi dasi, as well as Balaram dasa from New Dwaraka and Guna Avatara dasa from Israel.

The festival began with kirtana. Then Guru Maharaja invited the devotees to speak about their realizations and experiences with Tamal Krishna Goswami, affectionately called Srila Gurudeva by disciples. At the end of the offerings, Guru Maharaja addressed the gathering and related some of his experiences with Srila Gurudeva. Then Amogha-lila Prabhu recited the mangala-carana prayers, as the participants observed the puspanjali ceremony. And then Guru Maharaja offered arati to Srila Gurudeva, while Nrsimhananda Prabhu led the singing of guru-puja.

The festival culminated with a sumptuous feast prepared in Srila Gurudeva’s honor, consisting of rice, dal, chapatis, cauliflower pakoras and raisin chutney, an eggplant, tomato, and panir subji, a broccoli, cauliflower, and potato sabji, raita, halava with whipped cream, and juice.

Expect audio recordings of the devotees’ appreciations soon. For now, here are some images from the occasion:

01_Altar_decorated_for_the_.jpg 02_Giri_Govardhana.jpg 03_Srila_Tamal_Krishna_Gosw.jpg 04a_Balaram_Dasa_making_his.jpg 05_Nrsimhananda_Dasa_speaki.jpg 06_Urvasi_Dasi_making_her_o.jpg 07_Revati_Dasi_speaking.jpg 08_Kandarpa_Manjari_dasi_ma.jpg 09_Srila_Gurudevas_pushpan.jpg 09a_Amoghalila_Dasa_recitin.jpg 10_Gurumaharaja_during_the_.jpg 11_Gurumaharaja_during_the_.jpg 12_Some_of_the_devotees_in_.jpg

Photographs and text by Krishna Kirtan prabhu.

Vyasa-puja in Ventura

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Nov 222006

On Friday, November 10, Guru Maharaja and His Holiness Radhanath Swami attended a Vyasa-puja program for Guru Maharaja at the home of Krishna Kirtan Prabhu and Mother Kandarpa Manjari. The devotees had worked very hard to create a spiritual atmosphere, with the Deities and decorations creating a Vrndavana-like mood in the temple room.

The program was small, intimate, and very sweet. After a welcoming and foot-bathing ceremony, Radhanath Swami spoke eloquently about Guru Maharaja’s purity of service to Srila Prabhupada. Thereafter the devotees spoke their heartfelt appreciations of Guru Maharaja, and Guru Maharaja shared his thoughts and realizations with the devotees.

After guru-puja, a sumptuous feast was served to all the devotees. Guru Maharaja and His Holiness Radhanath Swami then opened gifts and enjoyed nectarean personal exchanges with the devotees.

Here are some photographs from the occasion.

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Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day in LA

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Oct 282006

Guru Maharaja and His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaja drove through rush-hour traffic from San Diego to Los Angeles to participate in Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day ceremony at New Dwaraka. They arrived in time to meet with His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, and then the three godbrothers spoke on their realizations of Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance pastimes.

The lectures can be downloaded in one file from here. icon_arrow.gif

After the offering of bhoga, puspanjali, arati, and kirtana, the godbrothers took prasada together, and a feast was served to all the devotees.

In the evening, Guru Maharaja and Radhanath Swami reluctantly left the assembly of  devotees and drove back to the ashram in Carpinteria.

Here are some images from the occasion.

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