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ISKCON News | Vaishnava Arts Festival welcomes a variety of speakers and topics

(iskconnews.org) – Springtime in New Vrindaban is like stepping into a colorfully painted landscape, and Mother’s Day weekend will unite its beauty with some of our movement’s most talented artists, musicians, writers, and creators in the second annual Vaishnava Arts Festival, May 12-14th, 2023.

Fittingly, the idea for the event came through the creative collaboration of HG Kalakantha Prabhu and HG Anuradha Dasi. “Coming from a background of Waldorf School’s pedagogy, I’m always looking for ways to weave music, dance, theater, and art into the festival life of Bhakti culture, and serving with Kalakantha Prabhu on this event has been a great boon for me,” Anuradha remarked. 

Kalakantha added, “By encouraging Vaishnava Arts, we hope to inspire devotees to use their talents creatively to serve Krishna. Every devotee needs a devotional hobby to keep joy and balance in their spiritual life, and Srila Prabhupada encouraged us to become proficient in many arts. He said we should be a ‘jack of all trades and a master of one.’” This event also serves as a reunion for Krishna House alums to gather nationwide.

One of the presentation titles this year is “Sing to the Moon: Appreciating Poets and Poetry on the Bhakti Path” by HG Ananda Vrindavan Devi Dasi. “Poetry is woven into the fabric of the Bhakti philosophy and practice. Poetic words help us understand difficult philosophical concepts, sweeten our meditation on divine beauty, and capture heartfelt emotions,” she said. “For me, poetry brings my relationship with Krishna alive. Being poetic is listed as one of the 26 qualities of a devotee.” How we live that more fully will be explored in her workshop.

 

© Nikunja devi dasi

Other topics will extend beyond traditional arts, including practical themes like “The Art of Learning Spiritual Lessons from the Natural World” by HG Prabhupada Priya Devi Dasi. “It’s based on how King Yadu met a young avadhuta brahmana and heard what he had learned from his 24 gurus (most of whom were not human!). We will discuss the power of observation and how Krishna can reveal wisdom through apparently unlikely sources if we sincerely seek it,” said Prabhupada Priya. In this interactive workshop, participants will meditate on natural phenomena, apply their intelligence to derive valuable spiritual lessons, share their insights, and compare them to those of the avadhuta brahmana in the Bhagavatam.

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