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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from SVA!

Dec 25,2023 – Jan 1,2024

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope you’re having a restful week and are ready to celebrate more holidays with us here at SVA for the New Year. We have a few important events coming up through the first week of January that we would like to highlight:

Saturday, December 30th @ 4pm is the anniversary of the disappearance of Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada.

Sunday, December 31st @ 5pm-12am we are celebrating New Year’s Eve at SVA with kirtan and so on. Please note that we are having this event instead of the Sunday afternoon love feast.

Wednesday, January 3rd @ 6:30pm Vasanti will be leading a japa and kirtan meditation workshop (as a part of a series) called Mindfulness Wednesday. This is for newer members of the community to come learn more about mantra meditation.

Friday, January 5th @ 5pm is the anniversary of the disappearance of our Srila Gurudeva, Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja, and the anniversary of the appearance of Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja. Devotees will be giving glorifications of Srila Gurudeva.

Saturday, January 6th @ 6pm the devotees will be performing kirtan and serving prasadam, and Didi will give a lecture. This will take place at a local meditation center called Modern Om. The event starts at 6pm and there is an entrance fee of $45.

Okay, that was a lot of events! The official fliers for them will be linked in the bottom of this email. Now let’s get into our recap of what happened at SVA this week.

Recitation of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Last Friday was Gita Jayanti, the anniversary of the recitation of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. It is typical for devotees to celebrate this day by reciting the whole Bhagavad Gita, and that’s exactly what we did! Narasimha Das was our main reader throughout the program, and he was very speedy in his recitation. Several guests and devotees completed hearing the entire Bhagavad Gita for the first time.

Kirtan Night with New Faces

During this weeks Friday night kirtan, Narasimha, Paramdevi, and Sandipani led kirtans each with their own unique moods. Narasimha’s kirtan was uplifting and made us dance, Param devi’s was soulful, and Sandi Pani led us through a beautiful story of Vraj. In total there were 10 new faces that night. Some had heard through word of mouth at local yoga studios, others had seen our eventbrite ad, and one person had a miraculous story as to how she came. She had been falling and put her hand out to stop herself. When she looked down, her hand was on a Bhagavad Gita, and later she found our kirtan flier in a Wynwood coffee shop! Krishna certainly works his magic in mysterious ways.

Love Feast Discussing Jesus Christ

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Christmas eve at the temple by listening to Srimati Syamarani Didi give a lecture on Jesus Christ and his relationship with Krishna, based on Srila Gurudeva’s lectures. Jesus Christ is said to be a Shaktyavesa Avatar who is empowered directly by the Lord.

A Christmas Feast

The day after Christmas, we hosted a volunteer event to feed plates of prasadam to the underserved. In addition to 5 temple devotees, 10 people came out from our larger Miami community to volunteer. One hundred plates of prasadam were distributed. We served delicious pasta with vegetables, white rice, green beans, bread, fruit, and water. Those receiving the prasadam said that the food was notably healthy and nutritious compared to the food they normally eat. The devotees performed kirtan while the guests ate their meals. All glories to our head cook Sriman Mahaprabhu Das.

A Big Thank You to Everyone

Thank you to everyone who helped out this week and a special thanks to Nitai Das who was visiting us from Texas. He stayed for almost three weeks and was a big help during Art Basel and cooking in the kitchen for Thakurji. We love all of you and can’t wait to see what devotion this week will bring.

A Call for Action

Some of our vital team members who live here at SVA have left for the holidays and we are a bit desperate for some extra hands to help with cooking, kitchen prep, cleaning, organization, yard maintenance, flower garland making, pujari services, chanting and dancing at kirtans, and more.

Please contact Vasanti (347-727-8692) or Champak (617-230-7437) to inquire about services.

Aspiring to Serve,

SVA Newsletter Team

SLOKA OF THE WEEK:

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ’nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata

(BG 2.14)

“O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”