Bringing Krishna Culture Festivals to a City Near You


Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:50

An overview of everyone attending the festival rousing their consciousness into transcendence.



Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:48

Featuring the concessions of Sri Krishna Prasadam.



Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:44

The crowd's learning more about Vedic philosohpy.


Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:41

Side view of the Questions and Answers booth. Fully loaded.



Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:38

A dance much to the delight of the audience.


Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:36

Lord Jagannatha gazing over the crowds en masse.


Submitted by jpdd on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 19:27

The audience absorbed in our stage presentation of Krishna Culture.

On The Road to Chicago

Submitted by mrdas on Thu, 07/26/2007 - 16:25
Tour Diary

Mid-week layover.
A three day repose had us back in FOI HQ, Sandy Ridge’s own Prabhupada Village.

Jagannatha Puri Dhama Prabhu, who has been with FOI since the summer of ’03 was scheduled to be tested for a CDL (commercial driver’s license) on the Thursday we needed to depart in order to be in Chicago. The pressure was on! By the grace of Lord Sri Krsna, Jagannatha Prabhu passed the complex and difficult test without difficulty, other than being admittedly, “very nervous”. Hare Krishna!

Within hours of his receiving that license, he was behind the wheel aiming for Chicago, for the windy city’s Ratha-yatra. Friday evening had the last fifteen miles of the journey lasting better of two hours due to typical traffic. Showers and some prasadam and then back in action. The tents needed to fulfill the required set-up were in place but not stood up or staked down, that would be our morning duty.

As the sun rose on Chicago’s horizon, the threat of thunder showers urged us on to stand, stake, and tie the tents with haste. The new “Who is Prabhupada” exhibit was placed prominently so also the “refurbished” Fish out of water was displayed before the public eye.

Weary but eager, most of the crew assisted in the lovely one cart parade glorifying Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra. The cart was pulled directly into the site to the delight of everyone. The distribution of a “free CD” proved to attract crowds to the international gift shop. Free feasting satisfied the hungry and music drama, etc. captured those seated in the large assembly of spiritual seekers.

Krishna’s mercy held back the reins, in fact the weather was found to be most comfortable. One more visit to the temple for showers and prasadam before the next stop... D.C. Ratha-yatra.

New mid-week report.

Arriving just as the Potomac Temple parking lot cleared after its Sunday feast, allowing FOI the 48’ clearing it requires to secure our trailer. Madhuha Prabhu departed that night after having remained in the cab for most of the day. He had arranged for a servicing of the rental truck, therefore he needed to be in Greensboro, NC by Monday morning. He will rejoin the remaining crew members on July 2nd when the whole party will target the Washington, D.C. Mall site on the morning of the 3rd. Fourth of July is always a fixed date on the FOI calendar, Independence Ratha-yatra and Festival of India.

Alachua Kuli-Mela

Submitted by mrdas on Fri, 07/20/2007 - 01:35
Tour Diary

New Rama Reti (Alachua, Florida)
2007 Kuli Mela

Tuesday evening June 12th, FOI and vehicles, safely situated in New Rama Reti Dhama. The order of the week: to facilitate the KULI MELA (A festival conducted by vaisnava-devotee- youth).

Great numbers of “kulis” reside in the Alachua area and they certainly place their best feet forward in organizing and maintaining a proper program of festivities. (Read on for more)
Radhanatha Jakupko and Govinda Seyer and Saradia Moy spearheaded an efficiently produced package of activities and events in order to engage all festival participants.

Large tents were erected for “camps” on business, spirituality, body&mind, children, and other targeted topics- such as prasadam distributing and kirtan (devotional music). With the permission of the local charter school a full schedule of classes from arts n crafts to yoga, palmistry to Thai massage, and a spectrum of interactive discussions and showcase presentations were conducted in classrooms and cafeteria.

Enthusiasm was evident by the numbers of registered participants who each received a backpack containing a notebook, the Kuli Mela "Back to Godhead" issue, a DVD, and a beautifully designed t-shirt. The registrar greeted all as they entered a string of FOI 10x10’s housing a variety of wares and refreshments. Prasadam was served 3 times daily throughout the event. Certainly no one was wanting.

The evenings focus was shifted to the other end of the road front layout. Closer to the temple, an expansive covered stage was illumined and amplified for a performers paradise and the audiences opportunity to enjoy. The music continued into the night and met with the morning hours.

Thus, the summary of the mela stands, yet for FOI and crew, our duties began on Sunday afternoon in the blazing sunshine. By the Sunday feast, we had wrapped the camp and market place areas. Only the stage and serve out areas remained to be whisked away. SO it was that by 1A.M., the Festival of India truck poised itself for departure. We rested for dawn, packed a bite for the trip and off we went to Prabhupada Village, NC before Chicago… CHECK IT OUT!

New York, New York- The Miracle on 5th Avenue

Submitted by mrdas on Fri, 07/20/2007 - 01:33
Tour Diary

New York, New York- The Miracle on 5th Avenue

Arriving just in time for the Brooklyn temple Sunday Feast serve out, the Festival of India crew camped at the doorstep of the Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Mandir. Throughout the weeklong stay, FOI’s willing helpers assisted in preparations for the Saturday extravaganza- Ratha-yatra on 5th Avenue and Festival of India in Washington Square Park. On Wednesday evening, the Festival of India Players presented dramatic entertainment in the form of “Dhrtarastra Quits Home”- a play based on the thirteenth chapter of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

The Schermerhorn Street temple buzzed with activities related to the free feast for thousands. With the advice and approval of Mother Satya and Ramabhadra prabhus and
the final arrangements conducted by His Holiness Romapada Swami, we were set to go.

The order of the day on Friday was rest, but in the noisy city streets and the heat of late spring, the option was difficult at best. Despite the challenge at midnight the crew and equipment and a few eager helpers found their way to Washington Square Park for the all night marathon and by dawn, nearly all was done. The routine rest from efforts in preparation for more filled the morning hours. Most of the crew members reappeared at Central Park South. The hug fully decorated chariots of their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra seemed to float their way down 5th Avenue on a river of ecstatic kirtan and blissful devotional enthusiasm.

How a metropolitan city street becomes so purified by the glances of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a miracle in itself, but beyond that aspect lay the event in honor of their procession. There is no end to Krsna’s pastimes, so similarly, the parade simply served to attract and deliver innumerable souls into another chapter. The circle of activities in Washington Square Park severed to please everyone. Presentations on Reincarnation including projections and personal opportunities, two q&a booths, science centers, book markets, cooking demos, “MANTRA YOGA” experiences, what to speak of act after of stage entertainment, but the free feast attracted countless numbers. The free feast serving area located just outside the fountain circle had lines extending to the edge of the park. Such a gathering of saintly persons is rarely witnessed, especially in the heart of Manhattan.

It was wonderment beyond imaginings. By nightfall, the park emptied of Festival of India equipment; it was being thoroughly swept as the snake charmer sculpture was hoisted into the back of the FOI truck. The doors closed, the engine roared, and FOI was gone back to Brooklyn for rest and refreshment. The next day, Sunday- a knockout breakfast set the pace for a knockout feast which was preceded by the New Vaikuntha Players’ (NYC’s own devotional drama troupe) depiction of the story of Lord Ramacandra.

We stayed for Ekadasi breakfast on Monday and managed to maneuver our way to South Carolina that day- the day of Lord Hari- we were headed for the 2007 Alachua Mela.