KIRTAN MELA MAYAPUR 2014 - February 28th to March 4th
February 27th: Adhivas ceremony from 7:00pm
Devotees honor the kirtaniyas and their instruments in a short and blissful ceremony as performed by Narottam das Thakur. This adhivas is organized by the Mayapur Chandras, a group of gurukula graduates brahminically trained. They travel around the world teaching traditional kirtans and pujas and regularly lead devotees in ecstatic parikramas around Mayapur.
February 28th to March 4th: Akhanda kirtan with world leading kirtaniyas - 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Nocturnal kirtans as per the assembled devotees desire, up to mangal artik during every day of the mela.
Memories by Satsvarupa goswami:
... Prabhupada stated that all the devotees in the world should come to Mayapur and constantly have kirtan. He was very blissful as he told them of Bhaktivinoda Thakur's statement that he had searched the fourteen worlds but found nothing of value except the chanting of the holy names. Srila Prabhupada said that this was Mayapur's purpose, to come and chant.
"We may have problems in different parts of the world, but they will go away if we simply come together and chant. Lord Caitanya always chanted and we could do it also. We now had a big building in Mayapur, so everyone could come and live there and simply chant."
History of Kirtan Mela Mayapur
Once, in a holy place in the forest of Naimisāranya, great sages headed by the sage Śaunaka assembled to perform a great thousand-year sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord and His devotees.
The great sages are always anxious to do good to the people in general, and as such the sages headed by Śaunaka and others assembled at this holy place of Naimisāranya with a program of performing a great and continuous chain of sacrificial ceremonies. Forgetful men do not know the right path for peace and prosperity. However, the sages know it well, and therefore for the good of all men they are always anxious to perform acts which may bring about peace in the world. They are sincere friends to all living entities, and at the risk of great personal inconvenience they are always engaged in the service of the Lord for the good of all people... ... In this age, the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord is the prescribed method for waking up. The ways and means are most scientifically presented by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and intelligent persons may take advantage of His teachings in order to bring about real peace and prosperity. - SB1.1.4-purport
In the same mood, modern sages, vaisnava followers of Srila Prabhupada gathered in Germany from Aug 30th to Sept. 4th for an akanda kirtan, in hope of bringing real peace and prosperity to the world having pleased the Lord by chanting his Names. Eight hundred to a thousand devotees committed to a minimum of 8 hours a day of chanting, thereby creating an atmosphere that is better felt than described. There were an additional 6000 to 7500 views on Mayapur.TV daily often with over 500 viewers at one time, many using the chat to express both their chanting and their joy. It was an ecstatic experience that kept many awake transcending their respective time zones.
As far as Mayapur kirtan culture, it was HH Tamal Krishna Goswami's strong desire to see it be revived in Mayapur. He took it upon himself starting with kirtans in his room and later moving into the temple room. The first day of the 1st Mayapur Kirtan Mela, February 22nd, was dedicated to his memory. Since his departure devotees have kept the tradition under the banner of Holy Name Abhiseka during the first days of the Mayapur Gaur Purnima Festival. HG Aindra Prabhu would annually travel with his personal kirtan group from Vrindavan to attend. Gopal Prabhu from Vrndavan 24 hour kirtan would personally set up and manage the festival for several years prior to 2012. Holy Name Abhiseka expanded into 4 -12 hour kirtan days initially and now, for 2013 into 5 days and 5 nights of uninterrupted kirtan..
What is Kirtan Mela?
It became our desire that Mayapur, being the center of the Sankirtan movement, its birth place, should host such a mela not merely once but yearly around Gaura Purnima time. Due to your interest and ultimately the well wishes of guru and sadhus, such a mela has been scheduled for Feb 22-25 2012.
What happens at a Kirtan mela?
Special arrangements are made to facilitate the blossoming of our latent attachment to the chanting of the holy name. We are dealing with the most powerful weapon against illusion. This time the mela is taking place in holy Mayapur wherein all spiritual activities are enhanced thousands of times. Expect miracles. Participation is a must for attainment of the desired goal.
- Special setting with the kirtaniyas, not conducive to performance but sharing in the bliss of chanting the holy name
- Special Bhagavatam class focusing on the holy name (8-9am)
- 12 hrs a day prayerful kirtan from Feb. 22-25 2012 (10am to 10pm)
- 24 hr prayerful kirtan on February 25th (to be confirmed)
- Participants are encouraged to chant for 8 hours a day minimum
- Kirtanyas are encouraged to speak a few realized words on the holy name before starting to sing. In this way they are not only expected to lead us in chanting but also in our realizations and spiritual growth.
- Continual serving of prasad to avoid kirtans interruptions.
What does not happen at a kirtan mela?
No other activities are to take place in the kirtan area (i.e. garland making, drawing, sewing, japa … ). Only chanting and dancing from the heart. (Exception made for broadcast and sound crew.) No clapping or cheering as though observing a performance. No flash photography or videography that can distract our already fickle minds!
March 19 1976 - Mayapur three days after Gaura Purnima [from Transcendental Diary 1]:
... Mayapur is again peaceful. Most of the pilgrims have returned home, many of our devotees have left, and work has recommenced on the new building. Prabhupada was sitting quietly in his room, relishing the blissful atmosphere created by the melodic Bengali kirtana floating out from the temple room below. He told us the chanting is the only solace; it is nothing material. He even suggested that five hundred men at a time could come here to Mayapur simply to chant.
Maha Harinam Yajna, Kirtan Mela ki jaya!
Hare Krishna maha mantra, yuga dharma ki jaya!
Param Vijayate Sri Krishna Samkirtanam!