Bringing Krishna Culture Festivals to a City Near You

Philadelphia 2008 Festival

Submitted by madhuha on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 00:02

Philadelphia Ratha Yatra 2008

Date: September 13, 2008 (11 AM - 7 PM)

Ratha Yatra Location: Love Park, Philadelphia PA

Festival of India Location:
Eakin's Oval, Philadelphia Art Museum,
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130-2302


The Parade of Chariots will begin at 12 noon near Love Park in Center City Philadelphia at 15th and JFK Boulevard. It will proceed from there down the Ben Franklin Parkway to Eakin's Oval in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts where the Festival of India will be held. Included in the parade will be a Large Garbha dance Ensemble, lila characters in costume, kirtan chanters and dancers, loving devotees pulling the huge chariot of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, Lady Subhadra and Srila Prabhupada.
The Festival of India will begin at 1 PM at Eakin's Oval in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum. It will include a free vegan and vegetarian feast, devotional and contemporary musical performances, Indian classical dance performances, drama, booths recounting the philosophy of reincarnation, Bhagavad-Gita, Yoga, the Hare Krishna Movement, Indian clothing, Sumptuous Vegetarian Cuisine, cultural gifts, Children's activities, and overall family fun. It will last until 7:00 pm.
• Ecstatic Kirtan and Bhajans by Gauravani Dasa, Vishvambara Dasa, Radha Gopinatha Dasa, Kishor, Jagai.
• Indian classical dance including Bharatnatyam and Oddissi by Vrnda Devi, Komala Kumari and Ganga Sheth
• Eastern Folk/Rock by Mangalananda Dasa
• Mantra Meditation and Yoga
• Inspirational Spiritual Discourses
Please join us for this event and become part of the huge procession accompanying the chariots providing music, tumultuous playing of drums, dancing and transcendental activities.


Thank you,

Your humble Servant

Ramacharan Dasa

New Exhibits for the 2008 Festival Tour

Submitted by madhuha on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 16:43
Tour Diary

Since the end of the 2007 Festival Tour, Phani Bhusan Prabhu, actor, artist and story-teller, has been busy updating the three diaramas he created several years ago: "Bird in the Cage"; "Serve God/Serve Dog"; and the "Fish out of Water" exhibits. These three diaramas, although simple in design, attract many people at every festival to the deep philosophical messages presented in the art.

Seeing the success of these first three diaramas, and the powerful impact they have on so many festival-goers, Phani Prabhu added two more diaramas this year: "The Snake Charmer"; and "Factory Foods".

All five of the diaramas are in first class new condition, with upgraded high quality text panels. Don't miss these simple, yet sublime diaramas, art with a transcendental message! All the text is taken directly from analogies that Srila Prabhupada uses, both in the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is.

This year the new mobile Multi-Media "Changing Bodies/Journey Of The Soul" is up and running. We've already used it in Prabhupada Village (Sandy Ridge, North Carolina) at the Gaura Purnima festival in March; then the first public presentation was at the University of Florida, Gainesville campus. After working out a few more of the little bugs, we took the exhibit to the Ratha-Yatra festivals in Baltimore and Cleveland, where it was warmly received and appreciated by many. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. In Baltimore about 48 Bhagavad-Gitas were purchased by people who went through the exhibit, and in Cleveland, another 20 Gitas were received by people who appreciated the exhibit and wanted to "know more".

In the next few weeks we'll be posting some images of all of the above exhibits. Please check into often to see festival photos, and read about schedule changes, confirmations, and updates.

See you at a festival soon. Hare Krishna!

Changing Bodies Reincarnates

Submitted by madhuha on Sun, 12/23/2007 - 04:18

On May 11, 1977 Srila Prabhupada wrote to Ambarisa Prabhu, "Recently I have received some photographs of the Doll Exhibit which they have prepared in Los Angeles. From the photographs it appears that they have done everything very nicely. This idea of doll exhibitions to demonstrate our philosophy has long been proposed, and my Guru Maharaja was very keen to execute this idea. Therefore I am just trying to give some shape to what my Guru Maharaja wanted."

Today, at museums in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Delhi and elsewhere, these diorama exhibits Srila Prabhupada inspired portray the sublime culture and philosophy he captured in his numerous books. Diorama viewers can quickly understand that they are not temporary bodies but eternal souls, parts and parcels of Lord Sri Krishna. The dioramas present the same message presented by Lord Krishna thousands of years before in the Gita :

"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." Bhagavad-Gita 2-13

Changing Bodies Diorama

Now there is a unique opportunity for you to further fulfill this cherished desire of Srila Prabhupada. But first let me share some of my own experiences with this exhibit.

During my years on the Festival of India I have watched our portable Changing Bodies diorama consistently attract thousands of viewers. Of all our exhibits, it has the most transcendental impact. In fact, it is clearly the most prominent component of the festivals. On seeing the Changing Bodies, people ask about reincarnation and often decide to take home Srila Prabhupada's books.

Since 1979 we have presented the Changing Bodies Diorama at more than 850 festivals. Now, to better accommodate this highlight exhibit, we are building a trailer and installing a full multi-media program around it. The exhibit is being repaired and repainted, and we've spent hundreds of hours designing accompanying audio and video programs and the hardware to run them. The resulting mobile Multi-Media presentation will impress the philosophy of Bhagavad-Gita far more effectively than ever before.

Krishna willing, the new presentation will be rolled out on March 19th at the University of Florida, the first festival of our 2008 tour. Inspired by Srila Prabhupada's request, Ambarish Prabhu has offered to match all gifts we receive for this project.

That's right; every dollar you donate toward this exciting preaching project will be instantly doubled. Please help Festival Of India fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire to bring a "doll museum" to the many cities on Festival Of India's 2008 Tour. You can either mail in your contribution to Festival Of India; P.O. Box 100; Sandy Ridge, NC 27046; or use our secure online contribution terminal on our Get Involved page to make your tax-deductible gift today. Hare Krishna!

Your gift(s) to Festival of India are always greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance for your participation. Hare Krishna!

Hare Krishna Festival 2008 Schedule

Submitted by madhuha on Sat, 12/01/2007 - 00:54
Tour Diary

Festival Of India 2008 Summer Tour

March 21 Gaura-purnima
April 16, 17 and 18 ***Gainesville, Florida
May 30, 31/June 1 ***Baltimore, Maryland
June 6, 7 and 8 ***Atlanta, Ga – Panihati Cida-dahi Festival
June 14 ***New York City, New York
June 21 Festival Of India is Availble
June 28 ***Detroit. Mi. (Belle Isle)
June 29 Chicago, Illinois
July 4 ***Washington D.C.
July 12 and 13 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
July 19 and 20 ***Toronto, Ontario, Canada
July 27 ***San Francisco, California
August 3 ***Los Angeles, California
August 9 and 10 ***Vancouver, B.C.--Ratha Yatra
August 23 ***Vancouver, B.C.--Sri Krishna Janmastami
August 24 ***Vancouver, B.C. Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja
Labor Day weekend ***Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
September 6 Calgary, Alberta
September 13 ***Philadelphia, Pa.
October 11 Washington D.C.--Sri RAMA Vijayotsava

***CONFIRMED Hare Krishna!

Hare Krishna Youth Ministry / Festival Of India

Submitted by madhuha on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 00:05
Tour Diary

For many years the Hare Krishna Youth Ministry has been complementing the Festivals Of India all over North America. This year the Youth Ministry presented an awesome one and a half hour long musical "Devotion--The Yoga Of Love" in which they used many of their talents including: drama; bhajans; kirtans; musical performance; and beautifully choreographed Bharat Natyam pieces. To see more than 630 photos and read Manu Prabhu's reports from the 2007 summer tour, please go here:

Edmonton- FOI's Far North Destination

Submitted by mrdas on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 20:29
Tour Diary

For the better part of a week the crew experienced the northern city's unique
features most conspicuous of all the daily movements of the sun which set at
about 11Pm and rose again at around 5AM. The temple allowed us rather free
rein of its kitchen so we were sort of ' on our own'

Set up began early -Friday but was still going on Sunday AM because of
numerous additions and rough weather conditions, For example, the night
before the festival at around\d mid-night a strong rain storm charged in
from the west. That fierce energy threw down a couple of free standing
panel displays and sent sculptures flying.

In the Morning the warm if not hot sunshine returned as everything was
replaced and straightened. The temple Kitchen pumped out huge quantities of
fresh feasting preparations, then the parade gathered all the eager devotees
and families for a tour of the area which led them back for the day of days
in Edmonton.

Hundreds lined up for heaping plates of prasadam as sweet Hare Krishna
kirtan soothed the hearts and minds of all who attended. Being seated
comfortably in the ample facility undoubtedly satisfied everybody.
Two plus hours of scheduled stage presentations followed. This included
greeting distinguished guests, dance, tabla and children's performances,
more awards of volumes of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and theatrical productions
by Festival of India's members and the efforts of the local devotees under
the tutelage of HH Bhakti Marga Swami.

All too Quickly, the day came to a close, the wonderfully co operative
devotees and congregation performed the demanding task of dis-assembling
the Festival of India displays and tents and stage , winding of ropes and
pulling of stakes and more- yet in a mere two and a half hours of effort,
the work met with its end.
The doors to the truck closed, gratitude was expressed, a quick clean up, a
sampling of refreshment then off into the sunset drove the Festival of India
crew and equipment.

Next destination- Los Angeles, California's Venice Beach~ the biggest and
boldest set up of the season and this after thirty- six hours of driving
time... How do they do it!

Calgary Number 3

Submitted by mrdas on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 20:28
Tour Diary

Four days of fuel consumption with stops in Winnipeg, Regina and several
other remote outposts certainly delivered a clear view of Canada's vast
agricultural and wilderness bounty.

On Thursday the Festival of India Truck and van pulled in to a truck stop
center in the city of Calgary and by pre-dawn Friday we entered to area of
Millennium Park. That day was spent erecting a horseshoe shaped layout of
exhibit and concessional tents centered around a generous seating area
facing the wide stage platform.
Mighty winds blew through the site in the course of the evening but by
morning only a few signs needed attention before the panel displays emerged
from their racks.

The Hare Krishna Youth Ministry members filled the crowd around the carts
then almost immediately reappeared on stage to round out the gala days'

Again the festival of India crew led the assembled volunteers in repacking
the trailer for the next event Edmonton for which we departed that very

Bidding farewell to Calgary and the bus tour youth, we motored due north to
a new city for FOI- Edmonton, Alberta

Center Island Extravaganza

Submitted by mrdas on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 20:27
Tour Diary

Arriving in Toronto, we pulled up beside the solid stone church built in
1896 (the year of Srila Prabhupada's appearance) there we camped for a
couple of days before departing for center Island with a rental pick up
truck to assist in conveying each item of FOI equipment across the impasse of
the bridge that separates the passenger ferry landing from the open areas of
the island.
Three days of intense labor had us ' ahead of schedule'

Saturday morning most of the crew joined the parade marching / dancing/
chanting down Younge street in flawlessly sunny conditions.

Shortly thereafter, on the island the entertainment began as
extraordinarily long lines pointed in the direction of the cooked - on -
site Free Feast. Then rain began to fall. Not to dampen the spirits of the
eager crow who simply moved beneath the tent tops and the trees. Soon the
rain subsided though the air had become cool.

Still, Lord Jagannatha's radiant smiles benefited everyone. Dances were
danced, Kirtan were played, and other musical performances and dramatic
presentations captivated all. With more of the same on Sunday preceded by a
fire sacrifice and vows, the whole week end seemed as quick as a lightening
flash. The impact, however, can not be estimated in sense of time.

"A reverse of the set up procedures had every piece of equipment back over
the bridge in the pick- up then to the FOI truck and secured.
By mid-day Monday we began the long haul / a transcontinental Canadian

The next festival was in Calgary, Alberta but 2100 miles of roads separated
us from our service.

French Canada FOI

Submitted by mrdas on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 20:27
Tour Diary

Thursday, travel filled every hour of the day until we reached Montreal’s Sri
Sri Radha Manohara temple.
Next morning after a simple breakfast, we headed for Jean-Mance Parc to set up
a beautiful circle of canopies complete with signs in French. Again the
weather supplied no major trouble so by night fall everything had been

Ratha Yatra day began cool but soon gorgeous sunshine blessed the city and
it’s most exalted resident- the Lord of the Universe Lord Jagannatha
enjoyed the company of His devotees to His full satisfaction as did anyone
who witnessed His mood of pleasure.

After the parade that drew in hundreds of enthusiasts reached the park,
Music, Dance, Theater and Feasting filled the lives of the most fortunate
souls. This continued into the evening and recommenced the next day around
noon then again into the chill evening. We found ourselves playing happily
with apparently limitless energy supplied by Krishna. The festival seemed
to never end.

We retuned late to the temple for refreshing rest and woke to the sound of
pouring rain washing the roadways and clearing the air. By evening we were
on our way to Toronto.

Independence Day Parade

Submitted by mrdas on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 20:26
Tour Diary

Washington, DC In dependence Day Parade and Festival of India:

The typically hot and humid summer climate was especially mild and agreeable
this yea in the DC area.
The set up was smooth and efficient; the festival attracted a steady flow
by the thousands to enter the transcendental atmosphere. Long lines at the
Free Feast and at the Delicious Snacks booths were clear indications of

So many books were being distributed not only at the exhibit tents such as
Changing Bodies and Bhagavad-Gita but also by individual book distributors.
One such devotee reported that she had been working the crowd in various
places but when she located herself near the Fish Out of Water, people
continually approached her to inquire about the deeper meaning of the
sculpture, so she was able to distribute dozens of books through those
There was a bit of Deja vu' in the course of the event when the police and
park officials advised everyone to evacuate the scene. Tornado warnings were
in effect!

Last year FOI had been hard hit by the destructive forces of nature in the
form of hurricane level winds: therefore, working quickly, the displays were
dismantled and ropes were tightened. The strong wind and hard rains swept
through the area but by the grace of Krishna no damage resulted.

Festival of India crew members remained on site in anticipation of
difficulty but because of that determination the sound system and the
chanting of the Maha Mantra was the first sound to greet the ears of the
returning throng.
Lovely chanting continued to enrapture everyone as the Youth Ministry
members danced to their hearts' content.

The take down extended into the dark night time hours but the road lay
before us.
So, by dawn, we were departing the DC area in preparation for the Canadian
leg of the tour.