Cultural extravaganza in London for ISKCON’s 50th

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ISKCON-London celebrated the 47th Anniversary of the installation of their Deities Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara and the 50th anniversary of ISKCON on Sunday, 29th November with a cultural extravaganza that included music, dance, drama, kirtan and a sumptuous prasadam feast.

ISKCON-London’sTemple President, Jai Nitai dasa, initiated the magical mood of the event with a recitation of powerful Sanskrit prayers. This was followed by a unique dance presentation by the internationally acclaimed Samadhi Dance Company, a Netherlands-based contemporary dance group.

They performed the premiere of ‘Pavan’ a dance-drama dedicated to Srila Prabhupada. The performance described how the movement was founded in 1966 by Srila Prabhupada to revive God consciousness by the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. Later, the group performed ‘Atma’, a stunning portrayal of the Mahabharata based on the album ‘Inevitable Time’ by Ananda Monet.

This was followed by the singing of ‘Yadi Prabhupada na hoite’ by young Hare Krishna devotees to express their appreciation and gratitude to Srila Prabhupada.

Sruti Dharma Das, President of Bhaktivedanta Manor ISKCON temple joined Jai Nitai Das to present ISKCON UK’s achievements in the last 50 years. They highlighted the important principle of cooperation as mentioned by Srila Prabhupada,“Your love for me will be shown in how you cooperate together after I have gone”.

Shreya Lakhani, one of the event attendees, said, “The event was thoroughly entertaining and one to remember for years to come to celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s achievements and the legacy that he leaves behind. It was particularly inspiring to hear about the future plans and see the spirit of togetherness”.

A light-hearted live drama on the journey of ISKCON through different centuries then followed, directed by Syamananda dasa, one of the bramacharis at the London centre. It portrayed the importance of questioning the deeper meaning of life and approaching learned people for answers. This was followed by Guru Puja – an offering of respects to Srila Prabhupada – and kirtan.

A special children’s area featured play dough, colouring, face painting and henna.

Devaki devi dasi, ISKCON50 Coordinator for London, summarises,“This year has been a wonderful year for ISKCON in London and worldwide. In London, it has been inspiring to see many ISKCON members involved with organising or participating in many activities, events and festivals in honour of the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON. As a result, many community members have felt inspired and honoured to be part of the ISKCON family, feeling a stronger connection with the movement. We have also had many new people taking an interest in finding out more about the practices of Krishna Consciousness and we have facilitated various initiatives such as Open Days and Sunday Feast programmes for them. We have also received significant media attention than ever before. All in all it has been a successful year and now moving on to the 51st year of ISKCON, we hope to build on our successes and keep growing.”