Before I get onto the New Vrindaban experience, here’s an interesting letter from Srila Prabhupada I found and just sent to Pradyumna. I thought that since he is working so closely with the UN on ecclesiastical matters he would find it particularly interesting:

Letter to: Syamasundara  –  Seattle 10 October, 1968“I am also trying to get one secretarial office in the Church Center of the United Nations, with a view to confer with the heads of the United Nations, both political and ecclesiastical, to propagate our Krishna Consciousness.” 

 * * *

Ok, so the weekend in NV. Brilliant! They held a 24 hrs. kirtanmela. It was really excellent.  

Here’s a couple of shots of Gopal and Madhava, and Karnamrta:

gopal-and-madhava.JPGresize-of-karnamrta-leads.JPG

The energy, enthusiasm and expertise of the devotees was wonderful to behold. The kirtans were intense, with no drop off through the whole 24 hrs. period. They began on Saturday morning with Jayapataka Swami smashing a coconut and went right through to Sunday morning, non-stop with full enthusiasm. What really sustained it was a whole busload of youth from Alachua with Manu, Visvambhar, Bada Hari and others. With Madhava from Switzerland they performed for hours and hours; Karnamrta and Achyuta Priya (I think that’s her name) were also really good. Radhanatha Swami, Sivarama Swami and Nirajan Maharaja led ecstatic sessions and the result was one of the best festivals I have been to. Kripamoya’s daughter Jahnava on violin:

kripamoyas-daughter-jahnava.JPG

If you were in Vrindavan India circa 1974-75 you might remember ‘Radhakunda Richard’:

radhakund-richard.JPG 

Manu and crew were actually kicking off the annual summer festival. They do amazing service, some two dozen Rathayatras all over N. America within two months. They travel 17,000 miles under austere conditions, sleeping on a bouncing bus as they travel from one city to another to deliver the mercy of Lord Jagannatha. They set up the Festival of India and the ratha carts, sing and dance in the parades, do the main stage programs for several hours, break down the exhibits and paraphernalia and load it up at the end, and then drive overnight to the next place. Its full on and they do an excellent job.

I won’t say too much more here. Apparently there are clips on YouTube, if you type in New Vrindaban festival and you can go to www.iskconnews.com as well.

To be truthful I wasn’t in a lot of the kirtans. I spent most of my time sitting outside the door at a small table with my books, but I sold about 30 so I was happy with that. I felt like the man selling bananas while attending Rathayatra that Srila Prabhupada sometimes described.

 And as always at festivals you meet so many devotees you haven’t seen for a long time. I had a good time with reunions with Tranakarta, Mahamuni, Visvareta and Madhava Ghosh and others.

Monday morning Madhava Ghosh prabhu was kind enough to drive me to Pittsburgh for my flight to Dallas.

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