The Vraja Festivals series presents a collection of footage from traditional Vaishnava-celebrations, featuring songs of celebration (kirtan), circumambulation of holy places (parikrama) and views of saints living in the holy land of Vraja.
The sacred month of Niyama-seva, occuring annually in October-November, is brimming with devotional festivity. In the village of Radha-kunda, the devotees circumambulate the village to the accompaniment of kirtan, stopping at different temples to relish songs authored by the blessed poets of the Gaudiya Vaishnava heritage. Kirtaniyas: Sanatana Das Babaji, Visvambhara Das Babaji. A total of four compilations of songs will be released.
Part 1: Miscellaneous kirtan
1. Jaya Jaya Guru Vancha-kalpataru (SD) •
2. Kirtan at Jagannath Mandir (VD) •
3. Keno Gelam Yamunar Jale? (SD) •
4. Shyama Teri Vamsi (SD) •
5. Yamunar Kinare (SD)
Part 2: In Praise of Gaura
1. Goracanda Piritaho (VDB) •
2. Nitai Guna Mani •
3. Marame Legeche Gaura (SD) •
4. Dadhi Mangal at Raghunatha Das Gosvami's samadhi
Part 3: In Praise of Radharani
Six Hindi songs in praise of Radharani.
Part 4: Padavali-kirtana
1. Hari Hari Viphale Janama (SD) •
2. Bahuta Minati Koruto (SD) •
3. Sri Govinda Gopinatha (SD)
Total running time: 106:02 min
Total downloads: 18453
Recorded: Oct 14th 2005 - Nov 12th 2005
Published: Jun 1st 2006 / Updated: Jul 14th 2006
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Running time: 18:49 min • Singer: Sanatana Das Babaji, Visvambhara Das Babaji
Niyama-seva, occuring annually in October-November, is a one-month period during which followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition embark on pilgrimage, often to the sacred land of Vraja, leading a simple life full of austerity and increased spiritual practices.
In the village of Radha-kunda, parikrama-processions go around the village to the accompaniment of kirtan, with visits to different temples, are a daily event. This video features one such event, with a stop on the way at Varakuli Mandir for an adhivasa-kirtan. Uncut, filmed from a participant's perspective.
Holi, the wonderful festival of colors, is celebrated in the village of Radha-kunda for several weeks, with the devotees going from one temple to the next, singing songs of Radha and Krishna enrapt in the joys of the festival. As the songs reach their pinnacles, color-powder flies in all directions, covering the atmosphere in multi-colored clouds!
This entry also contains the suchaka-song of Rasikananda Prabhu and a parikrama-procession visiting different temples of the village.
Siddha Krishna Das Baba of Govardhana was one of the four famous siddha-babas of Vraja. The festival is celebrated annually at Manasi-ganga, a lake said to have appeared directly from Krishna's thoughts, at Govardhan.
This video features footage of the tirobhava-kirtan songs at a place near Siddha Baba's ashram, including a beautiful rendition of Thakur Mahashaya's Sri Rupa Paschate Ami.
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, also known as Gauranga on account of his golden effulgence, appeared in the land of Nadia, Bengal, to bless the people of this wretched age with the chanting of the divine Names laden with unprecedented amorous love for God, Krishna. His appearance is celebrated annually on the full moon day of the month of Phalgun.
This video contains footage from both the previous day's opening kirtana as well as the festival day's celebrations.
Total running time: 34:46 min
Total downloads: 5088
Recorded: Mar 15th 2005
Published: Apr 27th 2006
Radha-kunda: Tamal Tala and Nitai Gaura temple
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Sri Gauranga Jayanti (2005)
Running time: 34:46 min • Singer: Sanatana Das Babaji
This footage features the memorial festival of Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaja of Radha-kunda in its entirety, featuring a series of songs sung at the morning of the occasion, the parikrama-procession circumambulating the two sacred lakes of the village, and the concluding songs.
Lead kirtaniyas from left to right: Prana Kishor Das Babaji, Anath Bandhu Das Babaji, Hare Krishna Das Babaji, Sanatana Das Babaji
Total running time: 188:16 min
Total downloads: 15970
Recorded: Dec 12th 2005
Published: Apr 20th 2006
Radha-kunda: Brajananda Ghera
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Running time: 56:22 min • Singer: Hare Krishna Das Babaji
Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaja's festival, occuring annually in December at Brajananda Ghera, Radha-kunda, is one of the best attended occasions of the season. Kirtaniyas from both Govardhan and Radha-kunda gather to the grand opening kirtan of the festival two days before the event. The adhivasa-kirtana is uncut, the event is featured in its entirety.
Front row kirtaniyas from left to right: Harimohan Dasji, Prana Kishor Das Babaji, Anath Bandhu Das Babaji, Hare Krishna Das Babaji, Sanatana Das Babaji, Gopal Das Babaji.
Total running time: 132:18 min
Total downloads: 8870
Recorded: Dec 10th 2005
Published: Apr 13th 2006
Radha-kunda: Brajananda Ghera
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1. Gurvastakam, Jayare Jayare Gaura
Running time: 69:52 min • Singer: Hare Krishna Das Babaji
Kirtan, or singing of the Hare Krishna mantra, is a common occurence in many of the temples in the village of Radha-kunda such as Shyamasundara Mandir. Expert singers and players (kirtaniyas), such as Sanatana Das Baba who leads this kirtan, are invited over to sing for the pleasure of the deity.
Today's kirtan is followed by arati, a ceremonial worship in which incense, lamps, water and other such items are offered to the deity of the temple. The occasion is concluded with a circumambulation of the temple, again to the accompaniment of songs.
Total running time: 36:00 min
Total downloads: 4025
Recorded: Mar 28th 2005
Published: May 31st 2005
Radha-kunda: Shyamasundara temple
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Kirtan at Shyamasundar Mandir
Running time: 36:00 min • Singer: Sanatana Das Babaji
Madrasi Sri Krishna Das Babaji was very fond of the prayers of Vilapa-kusumanjali. In memory of his disappearance day, there is an annual festival held at the Gaura-dhama Colony at Radha-kunda, at which Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaja speaks on the text.
This entry features footage from the lectures, from the kirtan before and after the program, and from the distribution of a feast of sanctified food (prasad) to the assembly of devotees.
Maghi Purnima – the full-moon day of the month of Magh – is a popular day for pilgrimage, as flocks of pilgrims journey to the sacred Mount Govardhana for a twenty-two kilometer circumambulation (parikrama).
On this day, the devotees at Radha-kunda arrange a sankirtan-procession around the hill, stopping at Govinda-kunda to sing songs of Madhavendra Puri's discovery of the deity of Gopal.
Shiva Chaturdasi, otherwise known as Shiva Ratri – The Night of Shiva – is a popular festival across the Hindu-landscape. Gaudiya Vaishnavas worship Shiva as the greatest among Vishnu's worshipers, seeking his blessings for their path of devotion.
On Shiva Ratri, the devotees at Radha-kunda circumambulate the village to the accompaniment of songs, visiting the main temples of Shiva in the area.
Advaita Acharya was the leader of the Vaishnavas of Nadia predating the advent of Sri Chaitanya. With his fervent worship, he invoked the presence of this avatar of Krishna's. He was known as an avatar of Vishnu himself. The footage from the celebration of his appearance day is divided into two parts:
• 1. Janma-lila-kirtana - Songs describing the birth and life of Advaita Prabhu.
• 2. Adhivasa-kirtana - Songs in the evening in preparation for the next days' festivities.
Adhivasa-kirtana refers to songs generally sung a few days before the beginning of a Gaudiya festival. The songs are narrations of Sri Chaitanya and his companions engaged in various festivities. The course of the adhivasa, with the giving of sandalwood pulp and flower garlands, follows the course of the song narrative.
This entry has footage from three adhivasa-kirtans:
• 1. In preparation for Jiva Goswami's festival at Radha-Damodara temple.
• 2. At Sitanath temple and at Vyasa Ghera at Radha-kunda.
Pandit Sri Advaita Das Babaji was the teacher of many respected saints, a resident of Govardhan. His annual festival is celebrated at both Govardhan and at Radha-kunda. This footage, shot at the Radha-kunda festival, is divided into three parts:
• 1. Tirobhava-kirtana - Songs describing Radha and Krishna, followed by a song about the life of Sri Advaita Das Babaji.
• 2. Parikrama - Circumambulation of the sacred lakes of Radha-Kunda and Shyama-kunda. This parikrama is filmed uninterrupted from a participant's perspective.
• 3. Concluding kirtana - Songs after the parikrama that conclude the celebration.
Siddha Madhusudana Das Baba was one of the four famous siddha-babas of Vraja. The festival is celebrated annually at Surya-kunda, the scenic Lake of the Sun-god, where great numbers of devotees gather from all over the land of Vraja to commemorate his departure to the world of Radha and Krishna.
This video includes footage of the tirobhava-kirtan songs at the ashram and the lila-kirtan songs at the temple of Surya-deva along with other festivities.
Sri Priyacharan Das Babaji was a respected mahatma, saint and teacher of Gaudiya Vaishnavism who lived on the banks of lake Manasi Ganga at the town of Govardhan. The footage from his festival is divided into three parts:
• Adhivasa-kirtana - The opening songs of the festival.
• Tirobhava-kirtana - Songs describing Radha and Krishna, followed by a song about the life of Sri Priyacharan Das Babaji.
• Parikrama - Circumambulation of the sacred lake of Manasi Ganga that is told to have appeared from the thoughts of Krishna himself.
Total running time: 156:04 min
Total downloads: 12371
Recorded: Feb 13th 2005
Published: May 27th 2005 / Updated: May 5th 2006
Govardhana: Chakaleshvara, Priyacharana Das Babaji's ashram / Manasi-ganga
Vasanta Panchami, literally "the fifth day of the spring", marks the beginning of the spring time in Vraja. In temples, the deities no longer wear their winter clothes. The occasion also coincides with the celebration of Sarasvati-puja, or the worship of the goddess of learning.
This video shows the sankirtan-procession visiting a number of temples in the village of Radha-kunda.
Siddha Krishna Das Baba of Ranabari was one of the four famous siddha-babas of Vraja. Pleased with the villagers of Ranabari, the story goes, he blessed them to never suffer of famine or disease. The villagers organize the festival on a yearly basis and participate with great enthusiasm.
This video includes footage of both the tirobhava-kirtan songs and the sankirtan-procession through the village.
The appearance days of the Lord's avatars are always filled with great festivities, and the advent of Sri Nityananda Prabhu – the eccentric saint who was taken as nondifferent from Krishna's brother, Baladeva – is no exception.
Footage from the festival is divided into two parts:
• Janma-lila-kirtana - Songs describing the birth and life of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Songs led by Sanatana Das Baba and Anath Bandhu Das Baba.
• Parikrama - Circumambulation of the sacred ponds of Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda, visits to surrounding temples.
The day of a great saint's passing away to the world beyond frequently becomes an annual celebration. The second entry in our Festival series presents the tirobhava-mahotsava, or disappearance celebration, of the late Sri Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaja of Radha-kunda. Footage from the festival is divided into three parts:
• 1. Adhivasa-kirtana - A gathering taking place in the evening two days before the festival, an opening to the celebration.
• 2. Tirobhava-kirtana - A gathering on the morning of the festival day where songs describing the life-story of the saint are sung.
• 3. Parikrama - Circumambulation of the sacred ponds of Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda, carrying a picture of the saint on a palanquin.
Holi, a festival celebrated annually in India in early springtime, is undoubtedly among the more colorful celebrations in the world.
This compilation, the first in our Vraja Festivals series, brings you to five temples at the sacred village of Radha-kunda, where the festival is celebrated with colorful powders and songs describing the sports of Radha and Krishna for several weeks.