Eighth annual Mediterranean Traveling Festival of India

Mediterranean Festival Tour Boldly Takes the
Holy Name Where No Harinama Has Gone Before


By Madhava Smullen for 
ISKCON News on 23 Jul 2011

Twenty devotees from all over Europe as well as the USA and Mexico have departed from the ISKCON temple in Karlovac, Croatia on July 15th for a great spiritual adventure: the eighth annual Mediterranean Traveling Festival of India.

The festival tour will travel along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, visiting around eighty cities in ten countries: Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania, where it will conclude at the end of August. In each city, devotees hope to enliven streets and squares with their colorful displays of devotion and beautiful singing of the Hare Krishna mantra.

The festival’s humble beginnings in 2004 saw five devotees cram into one car, along with their Deities, musical instruments, food, and books, and hold “harinamas”- public street chanting shows - along the Croatian coast. But with every passing year, the tour grew, becoming one of the biggest contributors to spreading the Holy Name in ISKCON.

The unique specialty of the tour, which is organized by the Avadhuta cultural association in cooperation with ISKCON, is to hold harinamas in cities and even countries where the Holy Name has never been publicly chanted before.

 

The experience is exciting, but also dangerous, for the history of ISKCON’s efforts in many of these countries has been fraught with problems with their governments and fanatical dominant religious groups.

Mohan feels sure of the Lord’s protection again this year, when the tour will be holding Harinamas in the cities of Bihac, Bosnia, which is 90% percent Muslim, and Durres, Albania which is 100% Muslim. It will also be visiting the only remaining European country where Harinama has never been held before - Kosovo, which is half Muslim and half Orthodox.



“We expect all the local people to be chanting and dancing in ecstasy,” Mohan says. “Every tour, something amazing happens. For instance last year, we were invited to the wedding of seventy-two couples in a mountain forest of Macedonia. The wedding was under the Orthodox Church, but still everyone responded happily and with enthusiasm while we sang the Maha-mantra.”

“The Hare Krishna mantra is so powerful,”
Mohan says. “Sometimes we are positively awestruck by the miracles it causes… Year after year, we constantly see people and cities so easily transformed by its potency. Our audience each year is 500,000 to 600,000 people, and we feel that there is no greater joy, and no greater service, than giving Krishna to so many. It is such a beautiful feeling to go to some new country under the flag of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and give new people His mercy.”

 

For more information about the tour, with the schedule, news, and photos visit: http://avadhuta.hr/index-eng.php
or 
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002536827953

To donate towards the tour, please visit:

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