This year's Festival of the Holy Name, held over Thanksgiving weekend (November 24-25, 2023) in Alachua, Florida, was another spiritual success, welcoming hundreds of devotees to the two-day kirtan event.
I write a journal daily (well, almost daily), and sometimes, when I can’t think of anything to write, I just type “Thank you, Krishna …” and let my fingers move on the keyboard. I thank Krishna for whatever good things have happened in my life. I thank him for whatever good ideas I have got for my writing because writing is my main service and I can’t write without ideas. And I thank him for whatever good service I was able to do, being grateful that whatever needed to go right for doing that service did in fact turn out right and the many things that could have gone wrong didn’t go wrong.
Celebrating the 46th Disappearance Day of Srila Prabhupada was a jubilant and spiritually uplifting affair for thousands of devotees gathered at the revered samadhi in remembrance of the remarkable life and teachings of the founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
Diwali celebrations have been happening worldwide, and for ISKCON devotees, these festivities can often create strong connections with their local communities and even inspire creative service opportunities. We looked at four examples, from Bloomington to Brooklyn and Utah to the UK. Diwali, or the "Festival of Lights," is a five-day celebration widely recognized as the Hindu New Year. It is traditionally marked by the illumination of candles or other lights in homes, temples, and public spaces, accompanied by the offering of lavish food preparations to the Lord. In the West, Diwali is increasingly serving as a point of connection and interest for spiritual seekers, an "entry point" to learn about the philosophy and sacred texts behind the stories it celebrates. Here's a look at four examples:
Nestled in the serene heart of Mississippi, the New Talavana community has embarked on an ambitious endeavor to construct a grand new temple, marking a significant milestone in their spiritual journey. This dynamic community, part of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), is well-known for its vibrant culture, devotion to cow protection, and emphasis on sustainable living. On October 6-8th, 2023, New Talavana celebrated its 17th Annual Cow Festival, a fun, welcoming outreach to the larger Mississippi community that serves as a fundraiser for their cow protection programs. New Talavana cares for fifty cows on their expansive 1,200 acre property.
The 22nd Annual Diwali in London (DiL) celebrations brought hundreds of people to Trafalgar Square for the annual “Festival of Lights” on Sunday, October 29th. ISKCON’s Bhaktivedanta Manor was this year’s hosting organization for the joyful event, which is a partnership between the DiL Committee and London’s Mayor representing diverse organizations and religious traditions across the city.
Chaitanya Charan Das, "The Spiritual Scientist," is one of ISKCON's premiere teachers and prolific authors. He graciously agreed to share his two-part reflections on the Damodarashtakam with ISKCON News to help devotees enter this month of spiritual auspiciousness more fully. Here is Part II.