By Bhaktin Priya Naidoo
Last night I attended the Sunday Feast at the SSRR temple-it also happened to be Snana Yatra so the devotees had more energy and enthusiasm than usual. What was more striking however, was a fun, creative and seemingly spontaneous presentation from The Blue Mountain Children’s tent team and the Youth Lounge, two dynamic preaching events at the Durban Festival of Chariots this year during the Easter weekend. I was completely enamored and uplifted as I watched these presentations, which combined wit and humor, humble appeals, and just down to earth bare devotion to Lord Jagannatha. I can say, without a doubt, that I caught the Ratha Yatra fever!!I was enthused about the upcoming festival as I am always struck by the absence of proper engagement and preaching for children and the youth. This morning, I received this letter in my mailbox and felt inspired to share it with you. I am sure it will also leave you enthusiastic and willing to help from wherever you are. It is surely setting a trend in the way we approach festivals. Jaya Jagannatha!
Bhaktin Priya Naidoo
KZN, South Africa
Please accept our respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
The Blue Mountain, Nilachala Children’s Village will be a highlight at this years Festival of Chariots (Ratha Yatra) from April 6-9 in Durban, South Africa. Inspired by HH Jayadvaita Swami upon seeing the lack of engagement for children and the youth at such festivals, and HH Indradyumna Swami’s love and enthusiasm for children, the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple of Understanding decided to host this wonderful endeavor order to create an age appropriate forum for children to also relish the festival.
The Blue Mountain will feature a goshalla where children can worship the cow and learn how to make multigrain laddus and cow-dung patties. The sound of hammering and sanding in the Daru Brahma wood working tent will surely attract the crafty children who will be treated to an experience of building and painting their very own chariot and Jagannatha deities. The Kala Ksetra craft area will have something for everyone–from the making of intricate lotus flowers, a barnyard of cows, constructing the eyes of Lord Jagannatha in traditional Pippli applique style, stringing jewels which the children will have to find buried in the crevices of the mountain to finally painting their very own pocket stones to stuffing a special Nilachala animal pillow.
Other experiences include a Vedic kitchen complete with a cow dung cob stove, a candle dipping cave, a gopi dots and hair braiding garden, traditional tattoos and face painting for the boys, exciting new games and competitions, and story time with sweet bhajans.
A highlight of the village is the Yatri BazaarÃwhere children can engage in a wholesome shopping experience. Here they will find treasures to bring home as memories of their visit to The Blue Mountain. In fact, the Yatri Bazaar has something for everyone and every occasion so stock up for those special days! Items are limited and exclusiveÃand mostly handcrafted, so don’t delay.
To help keep you informed with the development of The Blue Mountain, we have opened a Facebook page which will be updated periodically before the event.
Please click on the following link to view the page:
If you click the LIKE button on the Facebook page you will be notified each time we make an update. Please also SHARE this page on your wall. Find us on CAUSES and give us a tweet on Twitter on thebluemountainry.
The website www.thebluemountain.org is ready! You will be privy to The Blue Mountain exclusive Silent AuctionÃwe traversed Jagannatha Puri and West Bengal looking for unique items to grace your home and life. Our specialty item is CONCH and the amazing jewelry made from it. There are unlimited health and spiritual benefits to wearing and using conchÃfind these details on our website. It is no wonder that Jagannath Puri is also called Sri Sankha Ksetra! You will also find descriptions of Nilachala Jagannatha, prayers, future plans, how The Blue Mountain began, the inspiration behind it, and donation opportunities.
Please share this letter with your network of associates and friends so as many devotees as possible can be kept up to date with this “juggernaut” event. Please also publish the link in your newsletters and web pages to help us maximize the online audience.
Looking forward to seeing you during the Easter weekend at The Blue Mountain.
The Sevaites of Lord Jagannatha