1. Video: Roots of Kirtan Festival Day 1

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    On Thursday evening, March 13th, we began celebrating our Second Annual Roots of Kirtan Festival in honor of Gaura Purnima, the birth of Sri Chaitanya, the avatar and mystic saint who pioneered devotional yoga (bhakti) in sixteenth-century India and began the practice of sacred chanting (kirtan) that has now spread around the world. The festival’s highlight was the ritual bathing of the divine forms of Sri Caitanya and Nityananda with the water of fresh coconuts. All guests had the opportunity to give a donation for a coconut, bring it to the alter to bathe Sri Chaitanya and receive in return...
  2. Bhakti Immersion Retreat

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    As August was winding down, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a retreat led by two of The Bhakti Center’s regular speakers – His Holiness Dhanurdhara Swami and beloved New York yoga teacher Raghunath Cappo. I and about forty others fled the heat of New York City to spend a blissful three and a half days at the Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center near Hudson, NY for the Bhakti Immersion Retreat. As the name implies, it was, indeed, a Bhakti immersion. Starting at 6 am with group mantra meditation, we spent our days in classes on sacred texts...
  3. A Spiritual Oasis

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    Earlier this summer, Radhanath Swami — who is one of my teachers and someone who many of us consider an inspiration for this project — delivered a  talk on Creating Community  at The Bhakti Center. I was struck by how succinct and simple his definition of Bhakti was, and how thoughtfully he articulated the purpose of The Bhakti Center. Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly inspiring. - Vineet Chander “Many years ago, my spiritual teacher, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote a proposal that the best way to honor the memory of Mahatma Gandhi would be to create...
  4. Announcing The Pearl Festival

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    Save the date! In observance of the appearance of Srimati Radharani, the embodiment of Bhakti and feminine energy of the Divine, The Bhakti Center will host the Pearl Festival on September 21st from 6:30 – 10pm. In the Gaudiya Vaishnava Bhakti tradition Srimati Radharani is seen as the source of the other goddesses. Just as Lord Krishna is Deva-deva, the source of all other manifestations and incarnations of God, Radharani is the source of all expansions of the energies of God – the shaktis, or other goddesses. Thus, Vishnu, Rama, even Shiva are all expansions of the one Supreme Being, Krishna, and similarly Lakshmi, Sita,...