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VPS - Diwali Mahotsava

Keshav Shukla

Vrindavana Preservation Society organized a Dipavali Mahotsava on Saturday, November 23, 2002 at Quincy High School, Quincy, MA. The program consisted of traditional devotional bhajans, arti, a Rama Lila slide presentation, classical Indian dance, a VPS informational presentation, and closed with a vegetarian prasadam feast and friendly socializing.

Four different groups of American and Indian musicians sang the Holy Names accompanied with harmonium, tabla, mradanga, kartal, dolak, bompers, electric keyboard, flute, and guitar. Some of the audience were inspired to join in congregational dancing.

An altar was colorfully decorated with bright Indian textiles and flowers. Deities of Sri Sri Sita Rama, Laxman and Hanuman were glorified with an arti. All guests were invited to offer hand made ghee wick candles.

The Rama Lila slide presentation was conducted by Premananda Das, President of ISKCON-New England. Girls from Neena Gulati’s Triveni School of Dance were introduced by Manish Jain. They performed four dances with the theme of (1) Pushpanjali, (2) Todai Mangalam (3) Lord Krishna’s magical flute and (4) Shudh Nritam. Thirteen young girl students, in beautiful traditional dress, skillfully attracted the appreciation of the audience. The highlight of the program was a costume contest for the children who dressed representing characters from Ramayana. Families enthusiastically supported their children in the creation of the costumes. All participants were awarded with certificates of recognition, framed devotional posters, bhajan CD’s, and stuffed animals.

The festival ended with an opportunity for the spiritually uplifted guests to socialize in the cafeteria while partaking of a delicious vegetarian prasadam feast accompanied with live, pleasant, soft devotional music.

This event was financially sponsored by India Museum and Heritage Society, Providence, RI; Sam’s Variety (Indian food store), N Quincy, MA; New Kashmir (store) and Indian Restaurant, Quincy, MA; Faxon Commons Apartments (Corcoran Management Company), Quincy, MA; and AA Designer (Architectural/Interior decorators), RI.

Keshav Shukla, Secretary of VPS and a native Brajbasi, conducted a presentation on the history, goals and accomplishments of the Vrindavana Preservation Society.

Vrindavana, known as Braj Bhoomi, is an ancient Holy Land in India (Bharat). Vrindavana is worshipable because Sri Sri Radha Krishna (Divine Loving Couple) appeared here over five thousand years ago from Goloka Vrindavana (spiritual world) and enacted Their famous pastimes. Sri Sri Radha Krishna continues to eternally engage in loving activities (Lila) with Their eternal associates in Vrindavana at this very moment.

Each year, millions of devotees of Sri Sri Radha Krishna travel to this Holy Dham. This pilgrimage allows them to personally experience the transcendental potency of an intimate loving reciprocation with Sri Sri Radha Krishna. This mood strongly pervades the region.

Vrindavana is situated on the plains of the Yamuna River, about sixty miles southeast of Delhi (Hastinapur) and covers a circumference of approximately two hundred sixty miles. Its attractions include historic temples, lakes, hills, ponds, ghats (bathing places), hundreds of sacred forests and over sixty five villages. Unfortunately, modernization has deteriorated, polluted, and deforested many of Vrindavana’s pristine sights and distracted peoples' appreciation of traditional Braj culture.

The Vrindavana Preservation Society was registered as a nonprofit organization on August 30th, 1998, on Radhastami (the appearance day of Radharani, Lord Krishna’s Divine Lover). VPS is governed by board of directors who are democratically elected by its’ membership.

A major goal of VPS is to preserve both the natural beauty as well as the ancient culture of Braj. Vrindavana Preservation Society has established active chapters in Vrindavana, India and the Boston, MA, USA area.

The USA chapter successfully raised $27,500.00 in donations in the past two years and transferred the funds to VPS-Vrindavana for Sri Radhavan Trust. In May, 2002, Sri Radhavan Trust purchased four acres of farm land in Braj for the purpose of establishing Sri Radhavan. This land will encompass a Braj Culture Museum and Information Center, plant nursery, park and garden.

The Vrindavana Preservation Society’s Braj Culture & Art Division in America is promoting Braj Culture by presenting musical concerts, dramas of Krishna and Rama Lila, dance performance and traditional ceremonies to the general public. Through these cultural exchanges, our aim is to provide an opportunity for all to understand the "transcendental mood" of Braj.

VPS promoted the opening of a new program for children ages 3 and above for the purpose of instruction in Hindi, Sanskrit, devotional stories, dance, music, drama, bhajans, hatha yoga and meditation. Weekly classes will begin on Sunday, December 15, 2002 and will be held at the Marshal School, Quincy from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. For further information, please contact Rupa Shukla at (617) 471-0129.

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