24 Hour Kirtan Report

by Visvambhar

On August 18th, the first 24 Kirtan festival was held in New Vrndavan.

Hundreds of participants flocked from all corners of the east coast, driving as far as 15 hours, to attend this historical event. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting the holy names, no specific time or place is required, and so this festival was solely for the purpose of glorifying Krsna in the form of His holy names. No other festivities were scheduled, it wasn’t any specific holiday, just the ‘holy’ day of the holy names!

The author leading intensely

The program began at 8:30 am on Saturday 18th with Swasti Vacanam to invoke auspiciousness. And then from 9am the 18th, till 9am the 19th, it was: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, nonstop!!! Sri Sri Radha VrndavanChandra seemed to be dancing in ecstacy as the devotees from New York (Ananta, Acyuta, Akincana Krsna, and Caitanyananda) inaugarated the first shift. Next was the Alachua Crew (Visvambhar, Rasika, Balarama Chandra, Kishor, and Jamuna) causing waves of bliss that took the heart on a roller coaster ride of the holy names. Similarly, DC, represented by GauraVani, shook the very core of our hearts, dispelling all unwanted material desires and allowing the cooling rays of the benediction moon to shine through.


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This set the appropriate mood for special guests Madhava (the famous mrdunga player) and Gopal (who was instrumental in organizing this event) to take us straight to Vrndavan. While Madhava sang the same tune for 2 hours, everyones minds were fixed in deep meditation upon the glorious holy names. Through their eyes, the devotees drank in Their Lordships beautiful forms. Through their ears, they drank the liquid mellows of the holy names. And through their tongues, they tasted the sweetness and became intoxicated on the holy names. In this way, the Lord penetrated the hearts of all the devotees.

The Kirtan party then shifted to Srila Prabhupada’s Golden Palace. It is by His Divine Grace that we were all there doing kirtan together and so for his pleasure, we continued till the morning. The Pandava Sena, headed by Amul and others, kept the waves of the holy names flowing during the painstaking hours of Brahma Muhurta. The devotees buzzed around the kirtan like bumble bees, addicted to the honey essence of the holy names. Many did not leave even to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom!

Ananta leading at the Palace. 2:00 am

When I returned to do my shift at 6am, after a short nap and shower, many devotees had retired to dream about doing kirtan. But those who were still there looked like mad men and women, completely high on the holy names. This is what Prabhupad must of meant when he said, “Chant Hare Krsna and stay high forever!” Finally, Madhava wrapped up the chanting with the same tune he had sung earlier, again bringing us back to the spiritual abode. Madhava had all the devotees chant in unison, and when the mantra was over, he would coax us on saying “Again, with all your heart And we would chant again, and again Madhava would softly repeat “Again”. This meditative chanting continued for some time, and then Madhava pumped one last time on the harmonium and everyone let out a tumultous “Radheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Shyam!!!”


It was painful to stop the kirtan and I heard comments like “next year we should do kirtan for 48 hours!” Others felt that they had been transported to the spiritual world. My personal experience since that 24 hour kirtan in New Vrndavan is that, now, kirtan will never be the same. Anandambudi Vardhanam, Param Vijayate Sri Krsna Sankirtanam!!!

Visvambhar, Gopal (many thanks to his inspiration and organization), Madhava, and Gauravani in post-kirtan reflection

Some of the core group

Meanwhile, exhausted kirtaniyas catch up on rest. . . !

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Reader Comments

Hare Bol! Very exciting to see photos of this event, and hear about the trascendental vibrations that this kirtan created! Hello again to Madhava and Gopal as well. Hare Krsna! Laura Fay (NYC)

Madhava prabhu AND Vishvambhara prabhu AND Gauravani prabhu AND Gopal prabhu, what a line up! it must have been ecstatic…I pray that Pandava Sena UK can host a programme like that one day.

Comment from Ekalavya Prabhu:

I am totally inspired to see the chanting of Hare Krishna coming into full
bloom on the winding mountain peaks of West Virgina, specifically in New
Vrndavana Dhama.

Seeing the photos of so many ISKCON youth coming together to chant brings
goosebumps on my body.

Looks totally intense. I wish I was there!

I’m proud to see ISKCON’s youth growing up and taking pleasure in
organizing, and performing kirtan on a larger scale. All glories to them.
I would be happy to see them taking up more and more leadership roles in
ISKCON by becoming kirtan leaders, kirtan organizers and kirtan relishers.

If you permit me, I would like to offer some opportunity to extend the
harinama adventure beyond the limits of time and space with the announcement
of ISKCON’s World Holy Name Day.

This year it is being celebrated in North America on Sept. 22, and in many
other places on the planet on Sept. 17, in conjuction with Srila
Prabhupada’s arrival in America in 1965.


Dasanudas, Ekalavya Das

Hari Hari !!

As I was reading through this comment my hairs stood on end.
24 hours of meditative congregational chanting- yielding a transcendental blend…

This is what I call a day saturated with madhurya-SWEETNESS;
Hours passing as the atmosphere was being scattered with sheer BLISSFULNESS.

I declare you as namamrita junkies;
Next come prema, so always carry your hankies.

I am greatly inspired to hear of ISKCON youth conduct such an unparalleled activity.
And I personally feel that such an event is praise-worthy and its execution is of earnest gravity.

Hey, after-all, Sri Nimai did instruct us:kirtaniyah sada harih !

Your meager servant,

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