Brazil Holds 24-Hr. Kirtan
Posted April 18, 2010
The devotees based in Brazil are taking literally Lord Krsna's instruction to always chant His name. This weekend marked the second 24-hour kirtan festival hosted by the Nova Gokula farm community. Cradled by lush mountains capped with rain-filled clouds, Nova Gokula is a wonderful place to chant and dance any time of the year. But for the 250 devotees in attendance, the constant beat of khol and karatals drowned out the competing sounds of the ferocious thunder accompanying monsoon showers.
This is the second year that the festival’s planner, Vaikuntha Murti das, a saintly disciple of HH Indradyumna Swami, has organized 24-hour kirtana. Vaikuntha Murti prabhu is no stranger to the hard but exhilarating work required to hold a large-scale Hare Krsna festival. In spite of being the person in charge of overseeing everything from arranging the facility to wiping the sweaty brows of the kirtaniyas, Vaikuntha Murti is never without a real smile and a kind word.
It's no wonder that the 24-Hour kirtan had a family-friendly atmosphere. Devotees of all ages and generations chanted in great bliss and danced day and night. In fact, local Brazilian devotees — some seasoned chanters like Krishna Kishore das and Paravyoma das, two of Srila Prabhupada's initiated disciples — dominated the kirtan schedule.
It’s also no surprise that Brazil is home to many lovely and sincere chanters, as the devotees of this country take to kirtan with great enthusiasm. One of the assistant organizers, Bhaktin Aurea, expressed her determination to spend the entire festival chanting the Lord’s holy name. Late into the night I asked if she had taken prasadam. She simply flashed a blissful grin and replied: "I am only eating the Hare Krsna maha-mantra in these twenty-four hours!"
The Nova Gokula community was especially pleased to welcome home one of their own gurukula devotees and a hero of many in the international kirtan circuit: Amala Kirtan das. Although born and raised in Brazil, he captured the hearts of all in attendance with his dynamic Bengali-style melodies. Amala Kirtan prabhu presently lives in Dallas and is active in chanting Hare Krsna there, much to the devotees' delight. Uttama Bhakta das, born and raised in Mayapur and a member of a much-loved family of devotees still living in Mayapur (his father is Sadhana-siddhi das, a mainstay singer of Tulasi puja and a well-known kirtaniya), chanted the sweet Holy Name and took everyone's mind to the Dham.
Vaikuntha Murti prabhu is already busy preparing for next year's 24-hour kirtan festival. On his wish list of chanters is HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja, one of ISKCON's most beloved kirtan leaders. With his firm determination, impeccable managerial skills and his brilliant, friendly smile, there is a strong likelihood that Sri Krsna will fulfill Vaikuntha Murti's magnanimous desire to engage the Brazilian yatra in kirtaniya-sada-hari year after year.