WELCOME The photos illustrating the cover story for this issue were taken at the 2020 Radhadesh Mellows Kirtan Festival in Belgium. Over the last dozen or so years, kirtana festivals have become an important part of the culture of the Hare Krishna movement. As evidence of the spiritual power of the Lord’s names, devotees who attend these festivals, which usually last from one to three days, spend many hours each day joyfully singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
“Chanting,” whether by singing or by uttering the holy name while counting on japa beads, is at the heart of the practice of bhakti-yoga, whose goal is to awaken our love for Krishna. In this issue, Gaura Sharana Dasa’s “Steer Your Life Guided by Wisdom” and Tirumala Devi Dasi’s “The Spiritual Highway” both stress the importance of understanding life’s goal and striving to attain it. The title of the book excerpt in this issue says what we can expect as we pursue that goal: “Maya Is Going to Test You.”
In his opening lecture, Srila Prabhupada tells us to “Prepare to Go to Krishna,” and Urmila Devi Dasi, in “Devotional Surrender: An Embracing of Truth,” writes that Krishna mercifully responds to our earnest attempts to take refuge in Him.
Hare Krishna. – Nagaraja Dasa, Editor