There aren't any videos posted as of this morning from the epic NYE & New Year's Day kirtanas at New Dwarka Dham. In the interim , this one of Amala Kirtan Das taken in Alachua earlier this year will have to suffice. He is an incredible devotee . I managed to participate in 7 hours of the New Year's day kirtana yesterday. What a transcendental experience. Seeing the faces of everyone there transformed by chanting & devotion , little boys & girls sitting calmly in the front row , so sublime. If Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is an eight step process to Samadhi , Bhakti Yoga is the elevator, the fast track to bliss . Hari Hari !
Damodar Astaka , as sung here by Shabda Hari Das, is a beautiful prayer that is sung everyday during the month of Karthika ( Oct - Nov ) . It is accompanied by the lighting & offering lamps to the Lord. These 8 verses describe the unique pastimes of Lord Damodara.
Thanks to Eddie S. once again for the email regarding this Sunday's benefit organized by his friend Shyam Das for Vrindavan Food for Life ( www.fflvrindavan.org ), a charity that runs a school for impoverished children in Vrindavan ( the town is home to many temples dedicated to Radha & Krishna ). The benefit will be held as a "bhajan boat ride " on the Circle Line. It will feature 3 hours of kirtan led by bhaktas Karnamrita , Gaura Vani , Jahnavi , Sri Kirtan & Arundhati. This is with the support from Sri Dharma Mitra , the Broome St. Temple , Bija Yoga & the Bhakti Center. Haribol !
Via Hare Krishna Recife is a clip from 2010 of the 24 Hour Kirtana led by Amala Kirtan Prabhu in Campina Grande , Brasil. It is serendipity that my spiritual master , Maharaja , has been the ISKCON GBC of South America since 1972. He has an especially strong connection to the Brazilian devotees , many of whom he has known since the 1970s ; and now their children & grandchildren. Bhakti & kirtan are truly ecstatic & joyful , but as this clip illustrates , the Brazilians make it even more so , " tudo joia, beleza " . Hari Hari !
This week's soulful & transcendent bhajan is from Subala Prabhu of Iskcon Lisbon recorded during Kartik 2010. Thank you to the India Times ( www.indiatimes.com ) for featuring my post on TYMI Los Angeles 2011. Hari Hari !
Via Nityanandarama 108 is this bhajan as written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura , sung during the 4 AM Magala Aarti. " The night has come to an end & the light of dawn is entering. O jiva soul , arise & give up your sleep . Chant the holy names of Lord Hari, who is the giver of liberation .."
Srila Prabhupada's festival was celebrated this weekend at the Los Angeles dham. It was quite an emotional experience yesterday as his original disciples & devotees such as H.H. Hridayananda Das Goswami spoke of their experiences with him & his legacy of bringing bhakti yoga & the sankirtan movement to the world , fulfilling his guru's instructions. I was especially moved by Shyamasundar Das' anecdotes & his description of his guru as "my pirate king " , filling him with a sense of wonder & adventure. The word "impossible " was not in Srila Prabhupada's vocabulary. And it was definitely a leap of faith for Shyamasundar Das when he was tasked with heading to London with 3 other devotees to meet the Beatles. They did meet George Harrison , and as they say , the rest is history. Listening to these stories yesterday , they validated my belief that true gurus & teachers exist. That they still do inspire love , devotion & surrender. Jaya !
The Broome Street Temple in SoHo NYC is celebrating Ram Navami this coming Sat. PM from 5:30 to 10:30 with Vishnu Sahasranama & Rama Taraka Homas followed by kirtan. This vdo shows Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits singing the Maha Mantra at the temple.Was able to practice at a great led class at AYNY last Sat. AM as well. And thanks to Marie Ann from Toronto for the suggestions regarding Indian & Thai food . Your comments & support are much appreciated.