Every Sunday at Hare Krishna temples around the world, a Sunday Feast is prepared for visitors and regular attendees, which includes kirtan (devotional chanting) and a uniquely prepared talk about the basics of Vedic philosophy.
Both chanting and partaking of spiritualised food (prasādam) are very important in the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism (the classical term for the Hare Krishna spiritual movement) since they dislodge our consciousness from its material fixations and make us more fit for spiritual realisation:
Material senses cannot appreciate Kṛṣṇa's holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord's holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord's food [prasādam], the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Kṛṣṇa really is.Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234
At the centre of the afternoon is a philosophy talk from a different speaker each week. Often we host travelling swamis and pandits: the subject is always new but may always be appreciated by newcomers. Visiting members from other faiths are often surprised at the accommodating nature of the Vedic religion, which is inclusive rather than exclusive.
Our Sunday schedule is, approximately:
- 3:00 - 3:30: gentle kirtan
- 3:30 - 4:30: philosophical presentation & questions
- 4:30 - 5:00: ecstatic kirtan
- 5:00 - 6:00: free vegetarian feast (donations welcome)