The 2007 Festival of Inspiration-A Photo Essay

Posted by Bhakta-Chris

Like a dream, a whirlwind of devotion, the 2007 Festival of Inspiration has come and gone, leaving New Vrindaban glowing, tired, and ready for more.

Everywhere one looked, world-class kirtan was resounding, pure devotees (like Jayapataka Swami, Trivikrama Swami, Romapad Swami) were walking and talking nectar, legends like Yadubar Prabhu were presenting their latest cinematic masterpieces of service featuring Srila Prabhupada, and of course, our world-famous prasad, cooked by my brothers-in-arms Gauranga Kishore Prabhu, Balarama Chandra Prabhu, and Sanka Prabhu, was being devoured by the hundreds.
Over the next few days, we will be presenting a series of short photo essays, showing you, the devoted viewer, a behind-the-scenes look at the smiling faces and astounding acts of service and association that makes the FOI one of the most unique Vedic cultural events in the world. So now, sit back and soak it in, and if you weren’t here this year, make your reservations now for the 2008 Festival of Inspiration, live from New Vrindaban.


The week before the FOI means us brahmacaris are worked “to the bone.” There’s much to do, like learning how to drive a tractor in order to grab all the compost off the roads and dump it all into great re-usable piles, spending six hours at a time traversing West Virginia’s highways and super-stores in order to find the right goods, and like Bhakta-Dan and Jagadish Caitanya Prabhu here, engaging in the ancient art of tent-making, in order to comfortably suit our many transcendental vendors.

One of our licensed Iron Chefs, Balarama Chandra (in saffron) is here with Visvarupa (in afro, who along with myself, Bhakta-Chris, is one of the two card-carrying members of ISKCON Harper Woods, Michigan) and master filmmaker Sri Kishore. While busting rhymes and thinking about the deep things, they contemplate the best way to transfer a giant succulent pot of bean subji so that hundreds of waiting and hungry devotees can eat their way one step closer back to Godhead. No doubt the endeavor was successful.

We had the mercy of being able to witness this, one of the pastimes of the spiritual world known as Gulabjamin-loka, of which the author hopes to transfer to upon leaving this body. On Gulabjamin-loka, one can partake of this highly unique prasad at every moment, for indeed, the whole surface of Gulabjamin-loka is made of the most first-class Gulabjamins. As we see here, one of the immense Gulabjamin-loka waterfalls of Gulabjamins appeared very suddenly as we began to transfer the prasad. Luckily, we were there to capture it in more ways than one.

Here is the 2007 Festival of Inspiration Prasad Transfer Most Valuable Player His Grace Vyasasana Prabhu. As we can see from his blissful expression, we need no further proof that unalloyed devotional service brings indeed the most transcendental pleasure.

Here is the 2007 Festival of Inspiration Co-Kitchen Most Valuable Player Sanka Prabhu (sharing the award with Gauranga Kishore). All I can say, in awe and wonder, is “That man is glowing! I say, that man is glowing!”


The truest mercy of the weekend was the divine appearance of Sri-Sri Radha Damodar, whose beauty and radiant divinity is only rivaled by their temporary next door neighbors, our beloved Sri-Sri Radha Vrindaban Chandra. To be able to walk into our beautiful temple and have darshan of Both of Them at the same time was the perfection of life for one and all. Alas, we must wait to see them in person until next year, and until then, we will simply partake of the sweet Gulabjamin of separation until then.

More coming tomorrow! Haribol!

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