Srila Prabhupada said: “Krsna says, svakarmana: ‘Whatever talent you have got, you can serve Me and be perfect.’ That is the program. So our this movement is based on practical activity. Whatever talent you have got, whatever little strength you have got, education you have got? You haven’t got to learn anything. Whatever you have got, in whatever position you are, you can serve Krsna.”
So, here in Iskcon Vrindavan, the whole community comes together on festivals and other important days, to offer their talent as a loving service to the Divine Couple. Dancers, singers, dramatist, musicians, painters, and so forth all portray their art for the pleasure of the Lord, and that’s what Srila Prabhupada explains is perfection for the artist.
We present cultural programs for devotees almost every couple of months. In July, where we had a grand Jhulana-yatra, wherein our Odissi dancers gave beautiful dance offerings in the courtyard. This was definitely a delight for the eyes for one and all who witnessed it.
A month later there was a concert on Radhashtami. The magic on stage was collectively created by a group of devotee artists, including professional Kathak dancers, singers etc. A mesmerizing dance drama called “Sri Radha Pranay Mahima” helped everyone swim in the mellows of nectar and sweetness of Sri Radha. But that was not the end of it. In Kartika we yet again had a grand Kartika Vandanam, organised by Mahadevi Mataji (ACBSP), who has been doing yearly vandanams since the past 17 years, and the cultural department, with the Gurukulis singing with their band, Krsna-Balarama children performing Damodara-lila, His Grace Deena Bandhu prabhu as the favourite anchor of the past 17 years, and our Temple President His Grace Pancagauda prabhu, drumming up with the Vraj Vadhus in Sankirtan, making a perfect end to the celebration for the festivities.
These programs not only instill faith and devotion in our hearts but also brings the whole community together, be it the devotees helping with the stage setup or monitoring the technicalities such as sound and light, or the artists on stage. Of course, the amalgamation of everyone’s efforts, creating the magic of devotion and thrill in the hearts of the audience.
There is a very profound saying in our Vaisnava culture: “If you dance for Krsna, then you need not dance for maya.” The whole implication is to engage your talent in Krsna’s service and try to please Krsna. You will then need not suffer by endeavoring to please the world but will find the way to eternal bliss and ecstasy through the magnificent mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
–H.G. Naam Chintamani Devi Dasi
(HOD Cultural Department)