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Bringing Krishna Culture Festivals to a City Near You
See Dr. Gupta heal the soul.
An overview of everyone attending the festival rousing their consciousness into transcendence.
Featuring the concessions of Sri Krishna Prasadam.
The crowd's learning more about Vedic philosohpy.
Side view of the Questions and Answers booth. Fully loaded.
A dance much to the delight of the audience.
Lord Jagannatha gazing over the crowds en masse.
The audience absorbed in our stage presentation of Krishna Culture.
A three day repose had us back in FOI HQ, Sandy Ridgeâ€™s own Prabhupada Village.
Jagannatha Puri Dhama Prabhu, who has been with FOI since the summer of â€™03 was scheduled to be tested for a CDL (commercial driverâ€™s license) on the Thursday we needed to depart in order to be in Chicago. The pressure was on! By the grace of Lord Sri Krsna, Jagannatha Prabhu passed the complex and difficult test without difficulty, other than being admittedly, â€œvery nervousâ€. Hare Krishna!
Within hours of his receiving that license, he was behind the wheel aiming for Chicago, for the windy cityâ€™s Ratha-yatra. Friday evening had the last fifteen miles of the journey lasting better of two hours due to typical traffic. Showers and some prasadam and then back in action. The tents needed to fulfill the required set-up were in place but not stood up or staked down, that would be our morning duty.
As the sun rose on Chicagoâ€™s horizon, the threat of thunder showers urged us on to stand, stake, and tie the tents with haste. The new â€œWho is Prabhupadaâ€ exhibit was placed prominently so also the â€œrefurbishedâ€ Fish out of water was displayed before the public eye.
Weary but eager, most of the crew assisted in the lovely one cart parade glorifying Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra. The cart was pulled directly into the site to the delight of everyone. The distribution of a â€œfree CDâ€ proved to attract crowds to the international gift shop. Free feasting satisfied the hungry and music drama, etc. captured those seated in the large assembly of spiritual seekers.
Krishnaâ€™s mercy held back the reins, in fact the weather was found to be most comfortable. One more visit to the temple for showers and prasadam before the next stop... D.C. Ratha-yatra.
New mid-week report.
Arriving just as the Potomac Temple parking lot cleared after its Sunday feast, allowing FOI the 48â€™ clearing it requires to secure our trailer. Madhuha Prabhu departed that night after having remained in the cab for most of the day. He had arranged for a servicing of the rental truck, therefore he needed to be in Greensboro, NC by Monday morning. He will rejoin the remaining crew members on July 2nd when the whole party will target the Washington, D.C. Mall site on the morning of the 3rd. Fourth of July is always a fixed date on the FOI calendar, Independence Ratha-yatra and Festival of India.
New Rama Reti (Alachua, Florida)
2007 Kuli Mela
Tuesday evening June 12th, FOI and vehicles, safely situated in New Rama Reti Dhama. The order of the week: to facilitate the KULI MELA (A festival conducted by vaisnava-devotee- youth).
Great numbers of â€œkulisâ€ reside in the Alachua area and they certainly place their best feet forward in organizing and maintaining a proper program of festivities. (Read on for more)
Radhanatha Jakupko and Govinda Seyer and Saradia Moy spearheaded an efficiently produced package of activities and events in order to engage all festival participants.
Large tents were erected for â€œcampsâ€ on business, spirituality, body&mind, children, and other targeted topics- such as prasadam distributing and kirtan (devotional music). With the permission of the local charter school a full schedule of classes from arts n crafts to yoga, palmistry to Thai massage, and a spectrum of interactive discussions and showcase presentations were conducted in classrooms and cafeteria.
Enthusiasm was evident by the numbers of registered participants who each received a backpack containing a notebook, the Kuli Mela "Back to Godhead" issue, a DVD, and a beautifully designed t-shirt. The registrar greeted all as they entered a string of FOI 10x10â€™s housing a variety of wares and refreshments. Prasadam was served 3 times daily throughout the event. Certainly no one was wanting.
The evenings focus was shifted to the other end of the road front layout. Closer to the temple, an expansive covered stage was illumined and amplified for a performers paradise and the audiences opportunity to enjoy. The music continued into the night and met with the morning hours.
Thus, the summary of the mela stands, yet for FOI and crew, our duties began on Sunday afternoon in the blazing sunshine. By the Sunday feast, we had wrapped the camp and market place areas. Only the stage and serve out areas remained to be whisked away. SO it was that by 1A.M., the Festival of India truck poised itself for departure. We rested for dawn, packed a bite for the trip and off we went to Prabhupada Village, NC before Chicagoâ€¦ CHECK IT OUT!