Bringing Krishna Culture Festivals to a City Near You

The Diamondback features "Festival of India"

Submitted by Varshana on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 19:09

Festival of India displays garner enthusiastic student response
Two-day event features fresh Indian cuisine and authentic clothing but focuses on educational Hindui

By Diana Elbasha

Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010


Students seeking a taste of Indian culture weaved through colored tents on Hornbake Plaza for two days this week, but what they received at the Bhagavad Gita Club-sponsored event delved much deeper into spiritual Hinduism than into cultural customs.

Making its second visit to College Park, the Festival of India is an exhibit that tours North America to provide a "resource to the world for exploration and self-realization," according to the festival's website.

Yesterday and Wednesday's events followed the festival's smaller first appearance in the spring, but cooperation between the club and Student Entertainment Events boosted this round's publicity and attendance, said SEE Special Events Director Cassandra Fritz.

"This is a great event to co-sponsor because it's really diverse," Fritz said. "We don't usually do these things."

The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred text containing the teachings of Lord Krishna, whom Hindus believe to be a manifestation of God. Many of the festival's eight tents contained posters addressing spiritual concepts such as karma, reincarnation and meditation as they are explained in the text, with the intention of urging onlookers to explore "the complexities of introspection," a fundamental goal of the university's Bhagavad Gita Club.

A tent called "Spiritual Fashions" sold racks of clothing and accessories stamped with the Hindu syllable "Om," a transcendental sound vibration used in meditation that symbolizes absolute truth, said Danielle Lella, president of the Bhagavad Gita Club.

Around her neck, Lella wore Tulsi beads - also sold at the event - which she said are a symbol of spirituality supposed to fight off bad energy.

"We believe it is possible to be in a peaceful state 24/7," she said. "This necklace says I'm endeavoring in spirituality."

A central tent called "Free Feast" offered large plates of Indian food, including seasoned basmati rice and vegetable curry.

University Hindu chaplain Kiran Sankhla said all food was made fresh and served shortly after it was cooked. She recommended halavah, a dish made of pineapple, raisins and farina, for which she said guests, such as junior government and politics major Dor Zmora, returned seeking seconds and thirds.

"It's really delicious," Zmora said. "I am definitely planning to check everything out after I eat."

Lella said she hoped to educate students on some of their beliefs as well as feed them.

"We hear about karma and reincarnation all the time, but what do they mean?" she said. "I want to show people it is very real."

Lella said she believed the crowds at the event were not due to the food but rather to students' attraction to spirituality.

"[Students] may find that their materialistic way of life is unsatisfying," she said. "They may be really ready to stop dwelling on what's petty. That's what we offer."

One display about vegetarianism featured a large spread of steak next to a list of various toxins and hormones beneath the large, black title: "What's Really in that Piece of Meat."

Jahnavi Sankhla, a university alumna who is still actively involved with the Bhagavad Gita Club, said all of the event's food was made vegan.

Senior psychology major Sevan Jackson, a vegetarian, said he appreciated the gesture.

"[The festival] was a really good opportunity to gain insight into a different culture," Jackson said.

Lella said she was pleased with the event's turnout and described plans to hold a larger festival next semester on McKeldin Mall.

"It [was] awesome and really well set up," Fritz added. "I knew it would be received really well."

elbasha at umdbk dot com

For the original article, please visit this link:…

2010 Hare Krishna Festival of India Schedule--updated October 22, 2010***New Orleans Festival Confirmed***

Submitted by madhuha on Tue, 12/01/2009 - 01:17
Tour Diary

March 29, 30 and 31----------University of Florida, Gainesville-------CONFIRMED
May 10 and 11----------University of Maryland, College Park-------CONFIRMED
May 28----------Alachua, Florida---Ratha-yatra and Visvambar Dasa/Vrinda devi dasi Vivaha Yajna-------CONFIRMED
June 6----------Jacksonville, Florida-------CONFIRMED
June 12----------New York City, New York-------CONFIRMED
June 18, 19 and 20----------Atlanta, Georgia---Panihati Cida-dahi Festival and Ratha Yatra-------CONFIRMED
June 26----------Baltimore, Maryland-------CONFIRMED
July 3 and 4----------Washington D.C.-------CONFIRMED
July 10 and 11----------Montreal, Quebec, Canada-------CONFIRMED
July 17 and 18----------Toronto, Ontario, Canada-------CONFIRMED
July 20----------Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada-------CONFIRMED
July 24----------Calgary, Alberta-------CONFIRMED
August 1----------Los Angeles, California-------CONFIRMED
August 8----------San Francisco, California-------CONFIRMED
August 14 and 15----------Vancouver, B.C.,-Ratha-yatra-------CONFIRMED
August 21----------Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-------CONFIRMED
September 1----------Vancouver, B.C., Canada Sri Krishna Janmastami-------CONFIRMED
September 2----------Vancouver, B.C., Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja-------CONFIRMED
September 4 or 5----------Lancaster, California (Please call 661-722-8256 for details)-------CONFIRMED
September 9-12----------Joshua Tree, Ca.--BhaktiFest-------CONFIRMED
September 18 and 19----------Boston, Massachusetts, Hemp Fest, Freedom Festival-------CONFIRMED
September 22 and 23----------University of Maryland, College Park-------CONFIRMED
September 25----------Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-------CONFIRMED
October 16----------Washington D.C.--Sri RAMA Vijayotsava-------CONFIRMED
November 20----------New Orleans, La.-------CONFIRMED

Please check back soon for changes and confirmations.

See you at a festival soon. Hare Krishna!

Philadelphia Ratha Yatra & Festival of India 2009

Submitted by madhuha on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 23:10
Tour Diary

Submitted by: Ramcharan Dasa


EMAIL: PhillyRathaYatra@GMAIL.COM

Date: September 12th, 2009 (11 AM - 7 PM)

Ratha Yatra Location: Love Park, Philadelphia PA
Festival of India Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Festival Highlights:

* Devotional Bhajans & Kirtan by HG Badahari Prabhu
* Yoga of Comedy by HG Yadunatha Prabhu
* Indian Classical Bharatnatyam Dance by Gopika and Anjali
* Indian Classical Odissi Dance by Shibani Patnaik
* Multi-Media Presentation - Movie - Changing Bodies / Journey of the Soul
* Spiritual music for Children by Kaleidescope
* Workshops in the workshop tents
* Mantra meditation & Kirtan Yoga
* Improvisational comedy
* Interactional Bhagavad Gita
* Inspirational Spiritual Discourse By HG Ravindra Svarupa Maharaj

The Parade of Chariots will begin at 12 noon near Love Park in Center City Philadelphia at 16th and Ben Franklin Parkway. 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.

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.