Hare Krishnas return to Cambridge
By Harinama Rasa dasa
After many years, the Hare Krishna Festival team returned to the historic city of Cambridge, to host a festival at Cambridge University, in the West Road Concert Hall.
The hall was very grand, with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, and a very large stage which would play a role in prominently displaying the devotees.
A couple hundreds of guests turned up and we were very surprised that such a variety of guests came, most of them were English, but we had many other nationalities such as Japanese, American, Italian and so on. There were lots of students, but many other people such as lecturers, businessmen and retired folk. The programme was similar to the traditional format, short bhajans, bharat natyam dance, lecture, video of Srila Prabhupada and the final energetic Kirtan, fully intense chanting, with the whole audience jumping up and down and dancing. After that we served all the guests some light Prasadam, such as samosas, spring rolls, and mango coconut sweets (the managers wouldn’t allow a full meal as of venue restrictions).
The format and presentation was fairly chaste to the style which Srila Prabhupada personally taught his disciples in many respects, but had a slight modern edge to it, such as in addition to the traditional bharat natyam dance, we had a contemporary western style dance depicting reincarnation.
The festival was was sponsored by His Grace Devaprastha dasa, in tribute to a festival in Cambridge a few decades ago where he met the devotees / Tribhuvanatha Prabhu, when they did a festival at the Guildhall in Cambridge in 1989. He was a young student at the time and after meeting the devotees at that festival, he later joined the Hare Krishna temple, Bhaktivedanta Manor in Watford and spent around a decade as a full time monk (Brahmacari). At that time in 1989 Tribhuvanatha Prabhu was just restarting the festival programme, he hadn’t been involved in organising festivals since the 1970s and he told the devotees Srila Prabhupada instructed him to do these festivals all over England.
Harinama Rasa dasa