The second annual Diwali celebration at the Bhakti Center in New York City not only drew around 350 festivalgoers including 200 new guests, but was also covered by the CBS News New York television station.
“Kirtan is very popular in the culture right now and is continuing to grow, but a lot of people aren’t clear on the history,” Doyal Gauranga says. “We also want to let people know that there are a lot of different ways to do kirtan, and explain to them how we specifically do kirtan as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, why we do it in that way, and what mantras and bhajans we chant.”
What makes this achievement even more unique is that Divya’s Kitchen is the only vegetarian/vegan restaurant on the list.
On October 4th, a divine form of Sri Caitanya was installed on the altar of the temple at New York's The Bhakti Center. Accompanied by a chorus of voices chanting Vedic mantras and jubilant kirtan, brahmins began the ceremony by establishing the intention in the minds of the community, honoring and seeking the blessings of the seniors present and commencing the rites with the traditional Vedic fire ceremony.
According to many, what makes New York City exciting is the web of microcosms that are so different, still blending harmoniously together. Don't be surprised to find an Eastern monastery in the midst of a tattoo parlor, a funeral home and a gay bar. An observational short film featuring Bhakti Center priest Mike Ceragno, created by Kristina Danka and Violet Benny, produced at the New York Film Academy.