Welcome to Global Puja for Ukraine, a virtual prayer event, connecting participants from devotional and yogic communities around the world.

    A global event to raise awareness; collectively pray for peace in Ukraine and the world; and support aid initiatives.

    At the heart of the event lie three powerful, traditional pujas to Sri Narasimha, the deity of divine protection.

    When: April 3, 2022
    Live on YouTube!

    The event will span 3 distinct parts, corresponding to 3 continents:

    Puja 1 | Ahobhilam/Asia
    6:30PM IST

    Puja 2 | Simhachalam/Europe
    8:00PM CET

    Puja 3 | New Vrindaban/USA
    8:00PM EDT


    HOSTS

    Sacinandana Swami

    Dhruva Gorrick


    GUESTS OF HONOR


    LORD NARASIMHA

    Narasimha, half-man half-lion, is the divine protector. He evokes a mood of wonder, awe, and divine strength. Culturally, the worship of Narasimha permeates South Asia (and now the world) and crosses regional, linguistic, and sect-specific lines. His worship is central to the four orthodox Vaishnava lineages, but also to other Hindus and some Buddhists. Adi Shankaracharya, the seminal theologian of the Advaita traditions, enshrined Narasimha as the central deity in his monastery. Yogi traditions have also enjoyed a connection to the form of Yoga Narasimha, widening His appeal even further.

    We chose Narasimha Deva as the deity to petition for a number of reasons. The main narrative associated with Him depicts Him as the protector of Prahlada, a devout and innocent child who was being abused by his cruel father. Narasimha is thus believed to be particularly sensitive to the suffering endured by the most vulnerable and is especially considered to be the refuge of the helpless.


    SCHEDULE

    The online event will be held on Sunday, April 3rd - in three Parts (see below). This date was chosen in consultation with multiple calendars and Indian almanacs, Vedic astrologers, and experienced priests within the tradition. It is considered to be an auspicious date.

    AHOBILAM
    (South India)

    Start: 6.30pm IST
    (3pm CET / 9am EDT)

    Address by Sacinandana SwamiPuja by Head Priests Ahobhilam,Real-time commentary by Dhruva GorrickKirtan by Madhava Naidoo

    SIMHACHALAM
    (Germany)

    Start: 8pm CET
    (2pm EDT / 11.30pm IST)

    Address by Dr. Kenneth ValpeySong for PeacePuja by Amaraprabhu DasanReal-time commentary by Dhruva GorrickKirtan by Sacinandana Swami

    NEW VRINDABAN
    (USA)

    Start: 8pm EDT
    (2am CET / 5.30am IST)

    Address by Radhanath SwamiPuja and Santi Meditation by Eddie SternPuja by Head Priests NVReal-time commentary by Dhruva GorrickKirtan by Krishna das and Acyuta Gopi

    Puja 1 will feature a live puja offered to an ancient deity of Narasimha in Ahobalam, South India— considered by some to be the place of Narasimha’s earthly appearance millennia ago. We will also share pre-recorded messages important thought leaders and teachers, as well as a pre-recorded kirtan offered by Madhava Prabhu and his team in Vrindavan.

    Puja 2 will allow us to witness the puja offered to the presiding Naraimsha deity of the Simhachalam farm community in Germany. This form of Narasimha is known as Shanta Narasimha, or the Lord with a countenance of peace, and so is especially well-suited to receive our prayers for peace. Krishna Kshetra Swami (Dr. Kenneth Valpey) will share pre-recorded reflections. Dr. James Biddulph and young students from the University of Cambridge Primary School will sing a special song for peace, and Sacinandana Swami will lead us in kirtan.

    Puja 3 will take us to the awe-inspiring Narasimha murti in New Vrindaban, West Virginia, in the United States. This deity, carved locally, was especially installed as a protector of the devotees there. We will complement the historic livestream puja with pre-recorded offerings from Radhanath Swami and Eddie Stern. Krishna das will guide us in special chants, and beloved kirtan artist Achyuta Gopi will offer a recorded kirtan, as well.

    All three events will take place at dusk, which was chosen because of its centrality to the story of Narasimha—sacred texts and folk traditions hold that he appeared in this world at the time of dusk. Dusk also marks a time of transition and is believed to be an especially receptive time for energetic exchange or offering prayers.


    HOSTS

    Sacinandana Swami

    Sacinandana Swami, a monk in the bhakti tradition, is known for his significant contribution to the practice of meditation and kirtan. Dedicated to the process of inner transformation, he has spent fifty years in pursuit of genuine spiritual experiences. Sacinandana Swami co-founded the BrajCare charity in India and has been integral in building two spiritual communities in Germany. He teaches at the Vrindavana Institute for Higher Education in India and the Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium. Currently he is writing a book on meditation, Inner Stillness
    sacinandanaswami.com
    @sacinandanaswamiofficial

    Dhruva Gorrick

    Dhruva Gorrick, author of Narasimha – The Lost Temples. Since a young age he traveled throughout the Indian subcontinent through the hottest deserts and the darkest jungles. His mission: Search for the half-man, half-lion form of Vishnu, known as Narasimha Deva. In the course of 24 years, he found over 1200 glorious temples, some humble shrines and other magnificent structures. Today he offers tours to the lost temples of Narasimha in South India, including fire sacrifices, mantras and mystical rituals to enlighten body, mind, and soul. Currently he is writing the second book, Narasimha —The God of Yoga
    thegodofyoga.com
    @thegodofyoga


    GUESTS OF HONOR

    Radhanatha Swami

    Radhanatha Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. He spent his youth wandering through disparate countries and cultures yearning for an experience of truth; after finally meeting his spiritual teacher in India he has spent the last 50 years internalising that spiritual practice and sharing it with others. He is not only a guide, but a community builder, activist, and a New York Times Best selling author. Rooted in his study of ancient India’s mystic devotional tradition, Radhanath Swami’s message is as profound as it is simple: by cultivating a rich inner life of self-awareness and a genuine practice of service, we can become instruments of compassion and agents of sustainable change in the world.
    radhanathswami.com
    @radhanathswami

    Krsna Das

    Krishna Das travels the world sharing his kirtan practice and wonderful stories of his life, of his guru Neem Karoli Baba, of his life on the Path, and discusses bringing chanting into our lives through retreats and workshops. To date Krishna Das has released 16 well received albums, performed at Grammy awards, has released an award-winning film One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, and formed the Kirtan Wallah Foundation, dedicated to spreading the teachings of his guru and spiritual teacher, whose teachings can be summed up by his saying, “Love everyone. Serve everyone. Remember God.
    krishnadas.com
    @krishnadasmusic

    Eddie Stern

    Eddie Stern, yoga teacher, author, and a lecturer from New York City. He is known for his teaching expertise in Ashtanga Yoga, as well as for his multidisciplinary approach to furthering education to access yoga. He has been practicing and studying yoga, Sanskrit, and related disciplines since 1987. Eddie authored a formidable book One Simple Thing – A New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life. He is back teaching in-person yoga classes at the Broome Street Temple, a Hindu Sanctuary in Downtown Manhattan.
    eddiestern.com
    broomestreetganesh.org
    @eddiestern

    Krishna Kshetra Swami

    Krishna Kshetra Swami, (Dr. Kenneth Valpey) teacher, writer, and traveller,  is a disciple of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has served as a temple priest (pujari), and counselor for bhakti-yoga practitioners from the time of his formal initiation in 1972. In 2004 he received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Oxford (St. Cross College). Krishna Kshetra Swami Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and has taught at world-renowned Universities. Amidst academic work he also travels extensively, teaching about spiritual life, as comprehended in the bhakti tradition.
    www.krks.name

    Acyuta Gopi

    Acyuta Gopi, kirtan artist, author, spiritual content creator, travels the world sining and writing. She is an award-winning writer and a Grammy nominated artist. Born and raised in a bhakti family, mantra meditation has been the focus of her life. Today she conducts workshops, classes and seminars on kirtan. Acyuta Gopi lives with her family in New York City, and continues to pour her heart into the beautiful practices of bhakti yoga. Her book, Prema Mala – A Garland of Poems, Prayers and Meditations on Love has touched the hearts of thousands of readers.
    acyutagopi.me
    @govindagirl_acyutagopi

    Dr. James Biddulph

    Dr. James Biddulph PhD MEd MA BA (Hons.) is the founding Headteacher of the University of Cambridge Primary School, the first primary University Training School in the UK. In 2017 he completed his PhD which focused on creative learning in ethnic minority immigrant children’s homes. He is a founding fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. Dr. Biddulph is the series editor of two book series and is currently writing a book, Unlocking Research: Unleashing Children’s New Democratic Voices in Primary education.universityprimaryschool.org.uk

    Madhava Naidoo

    Madhava Naidoo, kirtan artist, musician, lifestyle blogger, was raised in a Vaisnava family in Mauritius. He received his first mridanga (Indian clay drum) at the age of five which helped him discover his love for kirtan. As an eighteen-year-old he traveled to Vrindavan, India, where he trained trained kirtan under the esteemed Aindra Prabhu, the leader of the 24-hour-kirtan part at the Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir. When leaving Vrindavan, he received the instruction from Aindra das to “always chant Hare Krishna, even if you have to do it to the four walls – and never stop practicing your mridanga.” In 2009 Madhava made kirtan his life’s mission and travels the world sharing kirtan and his love for bhakti.
    kirtanforever.com IG: @madhavanaidoo


    WITH GRATITUDE TO ALL WHO HELPED:

    Dr. Vineet Chander (Conceptualization) // Rukmini Poddar (Graphic design poster) // Dhrda Vrata Gorrick (Artwork Narasimha Deva) // Nila-madhava (website, live-broadcast) // Ramesh Bhattar (priests at Ahobhilam) // Pavan and Ramprasad (live stream Ahobhilam) // Amaraprabhu Dasan and team (priests at Simhachalam) // Govinda dasa, Ramananda Gopala and Gourmohan (event coordination Simhachalam) // Deva-shekhara (video recordings Vrindavan, India) // BB Govinda Swami and Panchagauda dasa (providing video equipment) // Janeswar Mantraprema Photography (reels, trailers and Instagram support) // Jay Krishna and Anuradha (coordination New Vrindaban) // Amit Dasa (Priest at New Vrindaban) // Eddie Stern and Broome Street Temple (Ghanesha Puja and Santi Meditation) // Raghunath and Kaustubha (ongoing support) // Kelly Skinner, Hannah Brinkaus, Ashley O’Hara, Kylie Brown, Melissa Neubart, Wendy Borror, Narayani dasi, Laura Marco, Victoria, Sara Zervanov and many, many more (spreading the news) // Sid Nutulapati (video and overall support) . . . more to come!!! And: Bhanu-nandini (event coordination