When we’re not cooking up a storm at major music festivals, town shows and other outdoor events, you’ll find the crew of Govindas Catering working hard to make the world a better place. Our specific role in this endeavour is to distribute “sanctified” vegetarian food (or prasadam) for the upliftment of society, and by encouraging a vegetarian diet which can help the world, ecologically, socially and in humanitarian matters. We travel to give Australians the opportunity to meet spiritually-minded people and receive spiritual knowledge and sustenance.
Govindas Catering wears a few hat! Our home base is near Mount Warning on a farm community called New Govardhana (Govardhana means a place where cows are protected).
We are part of a greater movement known as ISKCON (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness) which is dedicated to making spiritual life and God (or Krishna) consciousness accessible to people all over the world.
Who We Are
ISKCON is part of the Gaudiya, or Chaitanya Vaishnava, tradition, which hails from the eastern regions of India. Gaudiyas place special emphasis on the teachings of 16th Century saint and avatar, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Gaudiya Vaishnavism in turn gave rise to ISKCON which was founded by Srila Prabhupada in 1966. Today Vaishnava teachings have crossed all geographic borders and proven relevant in addressing humanity’s essential needs.
Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within the broader Vedic, or Hindu, spiritual culture. Unlike some Vedic traditions, Vaishnavas believe that the ultimate reality is personal. Thus, they understand that God is the Supreme all-attractive person, or Krishna. They acknowledge that all living beings are eternal persons, and that all life’s problems are rooted in the individual soul’s forgetfulness of his or her relationship with God.
Vaishnavas teach that by chanting God’s names the soul can reawaken his original spiritual knowledge, live peacefully in this life and return to the spiritual realm, or Vaikuntha, the place of no anxiety, at the time of death.
What is ISKCON
For millennia the teachings of bhakti-yoga (or Krishna Consciousness) had been hidden within the borders of India. Today, millions around the globe express their gratitude to Srila Prabhupada for revealing the timeless wisdom of bhakti.
In July of 1966, Bhaktivedanta Swami established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) for the purpose of “checking the imbalance of values in the world and working for real unity and peace”.ISKCON belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradāya, a monotheistic tradition within the Vedic or Hindu culture. Philosophically it’s based on the Sanskrit texts Bhagavad-gītā and Srimad Bhagavatam.
The Vedas, the ancient Sanskrit books of spiritual knowledge, prescribe invoking our original blissful spiritual consciousness through the medium of sound, a process considered especially effective for this current age.
The joyous feelings awakened through the melodious glorification of the Divine are a kind of sonic theology, in which both performer and audience gradually awaken spiritual understanding of the self and the Supreme Self, or God, in ways difficult to achieve by other means. Kirtan, a form of devotional ‘call and response’ chanting first popularized 500 years ago in India by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is practiced regularly by devotees.