Sunday Love Feast
The Sunday Love Feast originated in the 60’s, when Srila Prabhupada together with his first disciples invited people to come by in the temple for bhajans (music) and prasadam (vegetarian meal). A trend was born and with that also the Sunday Love Feast. Srila Prabhupada proposed the name Sunday Love Feast as name. Nowadays we often use the abbreviation Sunday Feast (in dutch: “Zondagsfeest”).
The Sunday Feast is open to everyone and completely informal. You do not have to follow the whole program. If you come only for the vegetarian meal, you might be asked for a contribution to the costs.
Bhajans are songs that are sung in a peacefull and tranquil way. They are supported by harmonium, karatales, and mrdanga. The public can of course join in the singing, and this is also encouraged. Mostly we sing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. This mantra is composed of 16 names of Krishna, and the meaning is “O Krishna, give me your devotion.” It is common to sit on the ground during the bhajans, but of course there are also chairs available. The bhajans take about 45 minutes till one hour.
The lecture is about our philosophy and is often from our scriptures like the Bhagavad-Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. The speaker decides in most cases about the subject of the lecture. After the lecture, there is the possibility to ask questions. The lecture is mostly in English, and takes about 45 minutes till one hour.
The curtain of the altar opens and now we can see our deities (representations of Krishna). We start with the next part of the program, the Kirtan. Kirtans are also songs, but the difference is that the speed is higher and we sing standing. Bhajans are mostly when sitting. During the kirtan we sing the Gaura Arati song. After the Gaura Arati we sing again the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, untill we drop!
The kirtan takes about 30-45 minutes.
This is the last part of the Sunday Feast and often the most talked about. Prasadam is our famous vegetarian meal. But what is so special about prasadam? Shortly said, we cook with love for Krishna. We prepare all dishes ourselves and know exactly what ingredients are used. Besides that, we use as much as possible ingredients from biological origin. When all dishes are ready, the food is first offered to Krishna. This means, that we ask Krishna to accept our service (the cooking and eating), to purify the food from karma and to spiritualise the food. After this we can enjoy the multi-course dinner!
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Stichter-Acharya Zijne Goddelijke Genade A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada