Prabhupada’s Janmastami Festival in Seattle
There were so many nice devotees who came from distant places for this event. And most of them stayed overnight to rise together for mongal arotik. That was a sweet kirtan where everyone was all very focused on Srila Prabhupada. When was the last time anyone reading this got together with so many Prabhupadanugas for such a blissful mongal arotik??
Once again by Prabhupada’s mercy we here at Sri Sri Gaura Nitai mandir have had a wonderful festival to honor the appearance day of both Lord Krsna and Srila Prabhupada.
My wife and I once again prepared over 108 offerings for the pleasure of our Deities. In addition to the food preps, there was a new backdrop made for our Govinda Gopal deity, a very opulent skirt made for tulasi devi, two new silk cushions for the visiting devotees to sit upon, as well as various other gifts (oils, Deity jewelry, offering plates, arotik bell, incense, etc) we presented to the Deities on Janmastami evening. Srila Prabhupada got a very opulent flower garland made from garden flowers and puspa puja as well as guru puja followed on the next day.
There were many nice devotees who came from distant places for this event. Gauridas and his new fiance came all the way from San Diego, Pavana das an original “inmate” from New Vrndavana came all the way from West Virginia. Jaya Narayana came all the way from Southern Oregon, Sukadev prabhu and his son came from Portland, and of course many devotees from the Seattle area also came-driving about one or two hours to get here. And most of them stayed overnight to all rise together for mongal arotik. That was a sweet kirtan where everyone was all very focused on Srila Prabhupada. When was the last time anyone reading this got together with so many Prabhupadanugas for such a blissful mongal arotik??
As time wears on and us down, if we dont make the endeavors for such association, in a very short while, we all forget what it was we were once doing together. So these festivals are extremely important to help us remember what our lives are for and to re-dedicate them, if necessary, by the power of such association.
Sukadev brought two of his salagram silas from his home/ashram and I personally got the opportunity to bath and dry Their Divine Forms. It was such a transcendentally focused moment in time, that I didnt hear the rip roaring kirtan going on while the abhisek was being performed nor do I remember any sights while I held these forms of Krsna in my hands. Worshiping silas is indeed, something very special.
Anubhavanda prabhu read a couple of his serious and humorous poems on both days, and Sukadev also had a very funny poem for us to relish following that reading.
The range of devotees present was unusual. One from Ukrain, one from South America, one from India, and the rest Americans. Again, showing Prabhupadas range of attraction.
One newer bhakta gave a very nice donation which covered the cost for the entire feast. And he was very pleased to be with us again. A new couple who had visited India for a few years “discovered” our temple and were highly pleased to come and attend and hear kirtan with devotees. They will be coming more in the near future.
As we all grow older, better to grow old happily engaged in the sweet rasa of Krsna kirtan, because if you dont fill your life with Krsna it will be filled with the nonsense of kali yuga.
Prabhupda used to say judge a thing by the result. So what was the result of observing such a festival? Well for one thing, I am going to be receiving at least one Salagram sila very soon-how’s that for starters? Everybody who came got super enlivened from the surcharged kirtans of Sukadev prabhu and we all know that kirtan is the LIFE of any bhakta so when you get supercharged, you are able to live within this world happily while the entrails of Kali yuga do not entangle you. We all got to see long time friends and exchange things, words, appreciations, and encouragements amongst each other. Some of us met older devotees whom we have only heard of in the past and then kindle new and deep relationships. Some of us got new realizations about the depth of bhakti and the Personality of Godhead Krsna as well as new realizations about the position of Srila Prabhupada. We all feasted blissfully on more preparations that we should have, taking rest on a “full plate” of Krsna!! Have you ever had the muscles in your face ache because of too much smiling?? This also happens on such festival days. Its called BLISS!!!
Remember those good old days when we all danced ourselves silly, chanted till we could no more and then just basically laid around talking about Krsna, Prabhupada, and other prabhus?????????
This is the practical result of associating with Krsnas devotees. You immediately remember what this short lifetime is for and either silently vow or pledge to yourself that you will continue to “remember” this fact by continuing to associate with Krsnnas devotees on a regular basis. It is only on a regular basis that we can continue down the spiritual path because like the sticks in a broom, each one has no strength by himself/herself. But together, the combined strength of all the “sticks” cannot be broken. Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya!!!!!!!!!!!
Sri Krsna Janmastami ki Jaya!!!!!!!!!!
All glories to the assembled vaisnavas
submitted by the lowly,