Fantastic Festivals

Posted on March 20, 2014 by navalatika

Srila Gurudeva’s Vyasa Puja

Srila Gurudeva’s Vyasa Puja This year Srila Gurudev’s Vyasa Puja festival fell on Thursday, January 30. Although we love to celebrate these auspicious holy days in New Braj, since it was a weekday, this was impossible. Thus, by the mercy of Srila Gurudeva, approximately 30 devotees gathered from near and far to celebrate this amazing day. What made this celebration unique and inspiring, was hearing from EVERY person who came. Not only did everyone speak, but also led a kirtan after their speaking. Gurudeva’s children’s heartfelt offerings deeply moved and touched all present.

Sadananda said he never spoke, and told a beautiful interaction of him with Gurudeva in Govardhana. Kanahaiya dedicated his natural musical inclination to please Gurudeva by practicing the bhajans. Subhadra led us in a beautiful meditation remembering what it was like at festivals with Srila Gurudeva. Jayadeva remembered how his years in New Braj were the best of his life, and Gurudeva instructed him to learn mridanga, which he did there. Amit (whom we met at Bhaktifest), came all the way from Laguna Beach. Beautiful chanting,while playing harmonium or mridanga and speaking.

It’s awe-inspiring how even never meeting Srila Gurudeva, sincere people accept his teachings and become spiritually enlivened and awakened from reading his books, to the point of accepting him as their shiksha guru. Probably the most memorable speaker was Ekadasi and Lalita Priya’s mom, Lisa. She spoke last and just opened up how she doesn’t know why she is fighting this path of Krsna consciousness. She spoke sincerely with tears flowing, how everyone is so sincere and honest with their position, so she doesn’t feel hopeless or alone.

Tyler led an ecstatic kirtan and he and Amit both received a Bhrhad Bhagavatamrta.

Conscious Life Expo

Conscious Life Expo Dave (another amazing connection from Bhaktifest) told Vasanti about the Conscious Life Expo at the Los Angeles Hilton February 7-9. He did his best to introduce us to the organizers, but his connection was in charge of the music and the permaculture area. After much thought and discussion, we were told that we could use one of the hotel’s tables in the lobby and set up our books and posters there. We were told to not approach people, but they are more than welcomed to come up to talk to us. Once receiving this information, we were quite deflated and uninspired. We were hesitant to be unofficial and wanted to make sure we represented Gurudeva in the best way possible. Luckily we were able to Skype with Syamarani didi. She inspired us to go and do the best we could within the parameters we were given. She reminded us how Srila Prabhupada sat in Thompkins Square Park alone with just cartels, and look how many people came. With renewed faith and enthusiasm we set up in the lobby in the best spot.

All of the people passed by our table to enter the festival. We made numerous connections with lovely people. The first people that came to the table were receptive and generous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We met a Prabhupada disciple who hasn’t associated with devotees in years who received a Sri Brahma Samitha. A newly pregnant woman, got some coloring books for her baby, and we met a kind soul named Syama who met Srila Gurudeva in Florida in 2006 and has been nourished by Tamal Krsna bramacari.

Our godsister Malati was there and wants to be part of the Gaudiya girls. Anya Zama deva is a devotee of Lord Shiva that loved the philosophy, and came back the second day with more questions that Shivananda answered.

At the beginning of the second day, we met an amazing man that actually had his flight cancelled, so the airline put him up at the hotel for the night until his new flight the next day. He is from Malaysia and Shivananda spoke to him for over an hour. He got a stack of books piled high, and reached in his pocket and gave us a big stack of lakshmi.

 

We also met teachers that want conscious books for their students, and received coloring books. Right when we were leaving, we met a devotee from ISKCON who had tons of misconceptions about Srila Gurudeva’s relationship with Srila Prabhupada. After speaking with Shiva, and receiving a Siksu Guru and Priya Bandhu and Letters from America, she was happy and understood things clearly.

 

 

Kumbha Mela Los Angeles

One of the best connections at the Conscious Life Expo were representatives from the Nityananda Vedic Temple. They invited us to have a booth at the Kumbha Mela festival in Norwalk on February 22. The day started with a beautiful procession with all of the temples represented. Malini, Amit, his wife, son, Shiva, and I (Krsna-mayi dasi) had a small kirtan and held a beautiful picture of Gurudeva for the procession. There was supposed to be 5,000 people, and only about 200 people came. Nonetheless, a substantial number of Srila Gurudeva’s books and art work were distributed.

The people were really attracted to the artwork and books.

So many lessons learned

We learned so many lessons from these attempts to serve. We feel fortunate to be asked to participate in these events. They make us remember Srila Gurudev and at least for the duration of the service act in the capacity of is representatives as aspiring disciples. They have such power that as we introduce the parampara’s message contained within them we ourselves feel connected to bhakti. Knowing that the book bhagavat will increase the reader’s desire to seek out and associate with the person bhagavat and through that association all of the problems of life will be solved. By being a link in this chain of helping all then automaitcally all of our problems are solved.

By attempting to explain the subject matter of each book not only is our spiritual intelligence strengthened but our hearts are softened by the receptiveness of so many sincere people. Philosophical differences all become rectified through the genuine exchange of sharing our own gradual unfoldment and that of others through the process. It is the dynamic pure bhakti shakti of the words of our parampara captured so beautifully in Srila Gurudev’s translated words and presented so artistically and professionally by the entire team of editors, layout artists, transcribers, publishers, printers, consultants, and researchers. The packagers, shippers and others who somehow get them to our door, then the devotees who help load them, set up the booths and create the wonderful inviting display, all contribute all help make it a service which inspired by Gurudev gives a sense of mission and selfless service. Then when the art and book reaches the hand of a most fortunate person wow we just see the whole picture, the cooperation teamwork coming all together at that moment, one of the precious moments Srila Gurudev desires for that blessed soul. We are so thankful that we can announce “Any item for any donation. It goes to also help put these books in prisons and hospitals!” with genuine honesty thanks to the hard work of so many devotees linked in the process a special mention here to Vasanti dasi for heading up those programs. Reflecting on the work of the worldwide sanga in general it is easy to see how each of us are being used as instruments to help our parmapara’s mission. Those engaged in intense bhajan who many not be physically distributing are living the example of what the books are telling us all to do. To do pure bhakti beginning with chanting hearing and remembering the Lord and all connected with Him…Tan nama rupa charita sukirtinano….the essence of all advice. Often as Srila Gurudev would begin a festival, if not always he would say…”Come with me to Vrndaven”…close his eyes, pray for us and transport us there through his divine pure Hari Katha. At the Kumbha mela festival as we were walking in the procession along with members of twenty or so other “Hindu” sangas..when the mc…saw the picture of Srila Narayana Maharaj we were carrying he exclaim ..”Oh bhakti Yoga Society, very good Guru very good Guru…just by the darshan of Gurudev’s picture. How amazing how wonderful Sri Guru is self evident and eternal we can never repay