For Tomorrow

Our politicians pay lip service to it. Our technology is indifferent to it. Our commerce despises it. Nonetheless, it is the weightiest and most important thing to think about. Spirit. The living force. The soul. Srila Prabhupada wrote that society’s most vexing and painful problems could be redressed by simply realizing who we are: individual, eternal loving beings.

Today, this type of knowledge is rarely found; those who practice this knowledge, rarer still. Can a coherent, stable, unified culture be created out of people of diverse traditions, languages, and religions? Can human beings go beyond their superficial differences and work together in a spirit of cooperation?

For Tomorrow leaves aside these bigger questions, focusing instead on a typical day in the life of 12-year-old Mayapur Gurukula student Purushottama and his school-friends. Through training, introspection, and perseverance, the boys set aside their differences to serve a common transcendent purpose: giving pleasure to the Supreme Person, Sri Krishna.

Puru’s typical day turns out to be not so typical after all, as he gains an experience which will forever alter the lens through which he sees the world.

Video Interviews: What is Kirtan?

Ananta Sri prabhu has compiled a beautiful video from interviews and Kirtans at Radhadesh Mellows 2015. With his permission we have extracted the interviews and play them as jingles on our radio. Here’s the full video. What is Kirtan to you? Please leave your comment below in text form or even better as an audio file and we will add it as jingle to our radio broadcast and mention it in our next podcast episode.

Now Playing: Agnidev Prabhu at Krishna Balaram Mandir

ISKCON Vrindavan’s YouTube channel has published an ecstatic Kirtan by Agnidev Prabhu at Krishna Balaram Mandir uploaded on February 26, 2015 with Kirtan Premi playing harmonium and Gopal playing mridanga. The video is in HD quality, exceptionally good quality if you compare it to other Kirtan videos on YouTube.

If only the audio was the same quality. Unfortunately, Agnideva’s karatalas are way too loud which becomes quite evident if you look at the amplitude in Audacity.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 16.53.42

The intention of this posting is not to criticise Agnidev’s supremely beautiful and devotional Kirtan, but to inspire vrindavan.tv‘s video department to not only focus on high quality video, but also on high quality audio. They need another microphone attached to the audio input which will pic up the overall Kirtan audio, e.g. a hanging microphone on the ceiling or a microphone somewhere not so close to the karatalas 😉

 

 

Never Stop Chanting

Surprisingly, in our modern high-paced high-controlled life style the thing that is out of control is our own mind. Though there is a simple process that can help to bring the mind back under control.

This really amazing 5 minute documentary is about Awakening the Soul, an event lead by BB Govinda Swami, that delivers such an experience.

Sri Pancha Tattva Maha Abhiseka 2014

Panca Tattva Darshan December 15, 2013

Temple of the Vedic PlanetariumIt was in 2001 when I went to Sridham Mayapur last time, which was 3 years before the Panca Tattva deities have been installed in 2004. In 2004 Aindra Prabhu also came to Mayapur for the first time and then went there every year through 2009 to do Kirtan during Gaurapurnima festival.

It was only last year that Martanda Prabhu announced that there will be another 24 Hour Kirtan Mandali in Sridham Mayapur, so it seems that Mahaprabhu liked Aindra Prabhu’s Kirtan so much that his disciples are now bringing the sweet Vrindavan Kirtan to Mayapur, too.

I just came accross this wonderful video footage of the 2014 Pancha Tattva Abhiseka, i.e. 10 years after their installation. The visuals of the deities are really stunning, although I would have preferred an audio track with the original Kirtans conducted during the Abhishek ceremony instead of the modern style Kirtan. You can still see some of the Kirtaniyas in between the Abhiseka.

We humbly request everyone to visit the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium website to make a donation, big or small, to support the ongoing construction of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium. Please sponsor a Golden Brick for the Golden Avatar.

Sri Prahlada Sharing a Lifetime of Kirtan

This video has been filmed live at Manly Community Centre on November 6, 2010. Another great portrait of the Kirtan life style.

What’s really important in Kirtan is that attitude of surrender, of giving your heart, of giving your mind, of giving your soul in that sound vibration to the divine…

But when you just let go and let yourself be, not thinking of tomorrow or yesterday, but just be present hearing the sound, feeling the sound, singing with your heart. That’s where the magic happens.

Artists

Lead vocal and harmonium: Sri Prahlada
Bass: Shankara (Ashley Turner)
Acoustic guitar: Sveta
Mrdanga: Vamsidhari
Backing vocals and karatala cymbals: Erin
Engineer – Wes Johnson
Assistant Engineer – Giancarlo Pesce
Filming, editing, production: Vraja Dham

Special thanks to Mukta of Manly Yoga, Vara of ISKCON Sydney, and Maadreya, for facilitating the making of this film in many different ways.

If you know any other Kirtan portrait videos, please leave a comment.

New Vrindavan 24 Hour Kirtan 2013 Recordings

If you’ve tuned in since last Saturday you might have noticed that we’ve been playing new recordings from this year’s 24 hour kirtan in New Vrindavan where over 650 devotees attended.

New Vrindavan 24 Hour Kirtan 2013

According to ISKCON NEWS one guest remarked:

For me, this 24 hour kirtan was the most powerful one to date. I felt that the devotees have become more mature and are taking the chanting more seriously. I felt a deep heart connection. The chanting at this kirtan rose to a new level.

My personal favorite is this ecstatic tune by Ananta Govinda Prabhu accompanied by Madhava Prabhu and another devotee on mridanga.

If you know someone from the audio department who has the original recordings, please leave a message, because what we have is “only” extracted from the YouTube videos.

Kirtan Singer Shyamdas leaves this world

This morning the kirtan community lost one of its great guiding lights, Shyamdas, whose heart continually overflowed with passionate love of Radhe Shyam.

Shyamdas travelled to India in 1972 to meet Neem Karoli Baba, and then continued to explore the devotional Bhakti lineages of India under the tutelage of His Holiness Goswami Shri Prathameshji, his guru in the Pushti Marg: the Path of Grace. Shyamdas has lived in Vraj, the sacred lands of Shri Radha Krishna, for most of his life and has written and translated many books on devotional subjects.

Radhanath Swami with Shyamdas at Bhaktifest 2012, USA
Radhanath Swami with Shyamdas at Bhaktifest 2012, USA

After 35 years traveling sacred India and studying with saints and teachers, he has developed fluency in Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, and Brajabhasha. Shyamdas has skillfully and insightfully translated many sacred texts into English. Shyamdas lead kirtan and satsang, devotional singing and discussions on Bhakti Yoga, in India and America.

Here’s a short tribute to Shyamdas followed by a letter from John Bush about his last days.

Shyamdas / Last Days

If you have not heard before, Shyamdas – kirtan singer, sanskrit scholar, devotee, father, friend – died early this morning.

I was with him at a friend’s dinner party last evening in a remote part of North Goa. We were laughing and joking with Shyamdas just prior to his leaving on a motorcycle with his lovely partner Ally. He seemed very happy.

Five minutes later four of us left in a taxi and came upon the accident scene. Having lost control and thrown off the cycle, Shyamdas and Ally were conscious but in acute shock and undetermined injuries. I tried comforting them in the middle of the mayhem, but there is no way to prepare for this.

Our friend Sophia, who had emergency medical training, was extraordinary in her attempts to stabilize them. They were rushed by car to the closest hospital – 45 minutes away. Upon arrival, because of internal injuries, it was too late to save Shyamdas.

Ally will apparently be ok physically after she mends from multiple injuries, but she is hurting and of course devastated by the sudden loss of her lover and constant companion. She needs support and caring.

Shyamdas was very happy in his last days here in North Goa. We had a lovely sunset kirtan on the beach the day before, and his singing was sweet, heartfelt and inspired. After sharing four meals with him in these last two days, watching him with others, speaking with him at length, I can say he was happy, at peace, in love and closer to God.

Arrangements are being made for cremation, apparently in Brindavan, and many close to him are now arriving. We will have a big kirtan tonight with satsang and friends.

I will remember Shyam Das with love and a respect for what his four decades of life in spiritual India gave to many.

To those who knew him so much better than I did, I offer you my deepest sympathies for your loss.

The Mayapuris – The Kirtan Experience

YouTube is like a big ocean of Kirtan related videos that just have to be discovered – or something like that 😉

Here’s a really nice high quality compilation of The Mayapuris performing their legendary Bengali style Mridanga drum playing and singing, first standing than sitting.

Blended into the kirtan performance, Visvambhar, Krishna Kishor and Balaram Tirtha are speaking about their understanding and realizations of Kirtan.