I noticed some interesting billboards while out and about the other day. Although the month of Karttik means hundreds and hundreds of events, most of these are not given any special publicity. Although billboards or hoardings are overall an unsightly blemish on the Vrindavan landscape, there are always a few special informative ones that I like to take note of.
I did this once before, in 2011. You can compare.
This program unfortunately finished yesterday. Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, who is the Shankaracharya from Jagannath Puri, was here for a week speaking on the Bhagavata Veda-stuti each evening and on Gita, chapter 5, at Akhandananda Saraswati’s ashram in Moti Jheel. On the left side you can see a picture of Karpatriji Maharaj, who was a noted sannyasi speaker on the Bhagavatam and also the founder of a political party, Ramarajya. Apparently this still exists as they had a meeting while the Shankaracharya was here.
OCT. 4-6 Gyanananda’s yearly Sharat Purnima festival
Gyanananda Swami, titled “Gita Manishi” for his devotion to the Gita, has his big annual festival at Sharat Purnima, Oct. 4-6. Krishna Kripa Ashram on the Parikrama Marg. Gyanananda
Oct. 4-12 Hit Ashram Satsanga Bhumi
This is the annual festival commemorating Swami Hitdasji Maharaj (Biography). Notice that this Radha Vallabhi ashram is having a Gaudiya give lectures on Rasa Panchadhyaya, Gauradasji Maharaj. Oct. 4-6, mornings 9-12.
Oct 8-11 Hit Ashram :: Ashta Yama Seva Mahotsav
This is going to be a discussion and samaj singing of lilas following the ashta-yama lilas of Radha and Krishna according to the Radha-vallabhi tradition. This program is being organized by the principal speaker Sri Hit Ambarish Ji and has both morning and evening programs.
Oct. 8-14 Parsauli :: Ramesh Bhai Ojha
Ramesh Ojha is one of the most popular Bhagavata speakers in India, from Gujarat. I don’t think he has a base anywhere in Braj. This program is being held at Govardhan, Parasaull village, at Surdas’s samadhi. Nice venue, as the ashram is fairly natural still. The program is part of Maluk Peethadhish Rajendra Das’s year-long celebration of his guru’s 100th appearance day.
OCT. 11-17, 22-28 Kelimal Rasotsava
Jsr Madhukar is well known in Vrindavan for his numerous recordings and performances. This program is a really attractive one. Haridas Swami wrote Kelimal, which contains 100 songs. So it is not often that the entire 100 songs are performed all the way through. So Madhukarji will do twice, Oct 11-17 and Oct. 22-28 daily from 9-1.
OCT. 21-27 Pundrik Goswami at Hare Krishna Orchid
A program in the “burbs”. Pundarik Goswami is the scion of a great Radha Raman branch of Bhagavata Pathaks. This is a Bhagavata Saptaha. 2.30-6.30 daily. Hare Krishna Orchid is on Sunrakh Road. Blog. Facebook.
OCT. 24 Parikrama
Chaurasi Kos Parikrama run by Hit Ashram from Oct. 24.
OCT 24-29 Naresh Sharma (Fajilka)
I don’t know the speaker, Naresh Sharmaji, nor the place, Pushpanjali Vaikunth, Phase 1, on Tehra Road. This is somewhere in the outer part of Vrindavan. Many of the new housing complexes along the Chattikara Road are holding such programs frequently. Anyway, some big talent coming, namely Vinode Agarwal on Oct. 29th.
OCT. 25-Nov. 1 Hit Ashram
Swami Nimai Sriramji’s troupe doing both Gauranga lila (mornings 9-12) and Rasa Lila (evenings 6-9)
OCT. 31 Samuhika Vivaha
This is an interesting phenomenon in India, the mass charitable marriage, where sponsors finance the marriages of poor women who cannot afford dowry. The Yogi government has just started a government program of this sort. This particular program is without discrimination to caste or religion. During Chaturmasya there are no marriages anywhere according to the rules of Jyotish. This is strictly adhered to even by most secular Indians. So this event is scheduled for the Utthan Ekadashi, which marks Vishnu’s rising from his four month sleep.