Phoenix Celebrates Gita-Jayanti
Posted January 5, 2011
Krsna Svarup das leads a shastra class
Now that we have tackled the long neglected maintenance issues of our little mandir on the desert, we are expanding our preaching endeavors for Srila Prabhupada. Prasadam and book distribution are increasing, as well as our classes in music, sastra and yoga conducted by resident and visiting gurus. We also have a burgeoning Sunday school program of three age groups and a vital ISKCON youth group. In response, the congregation is growing and Sri Sri Radha-Madhava Hari are ever more radiant.
The last couple of months have been particularly rewarding. Krishna Swarup prabhu, on loan from New Raman Reti, has been conducting classes in Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. This last week, he gave a comprehensive seminar on the Teachings of Queen Kunti. We will miss his brahminical demeanor and mellifluous baritone in leading bhajans.
H.H. Ganapati Swami speaks on the Gita.
Additionally, His Holiness Ganapati Maharaj presented a nectarean lecture series on the essence of Srimad Bhagavad-gita in celebration of Gita Jayanti. Individual devotees were asked to play the parts of Sri Krsna, Arjuna and Sanjaya as part of the presentation. We are grateful for his saintly association and encouragement.
Our festival culminated last night with the Vedic Theatre Ensemble’s (VTE) performance of the “Dice Match” from the Mahabharata. The audience was mesmerized to be only inches away as the Pandavas and Kauravas struggled with the limits of virtue and ksatriya code.
A Note about the VTE — This troupe was begun in 2006 and is composed of temple devotees and congregation members who perform regularly for Vaishnava festivals in the Phoenix area. Depending upon the venue, we perform live, miked or lip synched using the voices of the current performers as a compromise. We are blessed with a convenient performance space adjacent to the temple room and a supportive management and congregation.
VTE re-enacts the famous Dice Match from the Mahabharata.
Thus far we have developed texts, soundtracks, props and costumes for all the major holidays and continue to add repertoire from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya-Caritamrta, Ramayana and the Mahabharata. As per Srila Prabhupada’s desire, we strive to keep our texts philosophically pure and use our voices, gestures, dance and music with taste to maintain the dignity and gravity of the divine personalities whom we portray.
If you are passing through Phoenix and want to assist in our blissful and dynamic preaching endeavors, please contact us. We are a loving family that likes to keep drama on the stage, where it belongs.
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