London and Ireland
By Kavicandra Swami
Thursday night I left Bangkok and flew to London. I was fortunate to have two empty seats next to me so I could sleep nicely on the long flight, which left just after midnight. London Soho is always blissful. There are three classes daily and Krsna Vritti Prabhu goes many times for harinam, so there is no time for Maya.
On Saturday I was talking to Praghosa Prabhu and he said that Sunday was the “open day” for the island temple in Ireland. He invited me to come and somehow he arranged flights. Early Sunday Morning I flew to Dublin where he met me to drive to the Radha Govinda mandira at Inis Rath. He has two very successful Govinda’s restaurants in Dublin, and is soon opening a third one. He told of a festival where the prasadam was so popular that one man stood in front of the large queue and shouted the glories of the pakoras to everyone. After all the prasadam was finished they collected more vegetables from a local farmer but they still ran out before everyone could be satisfied. Two ladies who missed out asked if they could go and stand in the tent and simply relish the smell of the prasadam!
In the London airport I met one devotee student from Mauritius. She is studying law in Newcastle and told me that she wanted to become a magistrate and “fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire” On the way to the airport I was reading Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja book and was impressed by the enthusiasm and positive attitude of the contributors. Hearing how so many devotees are preaching and becoming more and more dedicated to the mission of Srila Prabhupada gives me great inspiration to keep trying to serve the devotees.
The festival in Ireland was very successful. Manu prabhu had arranged things very nicely. The main tent had dancers from Bhaktivedanta Manor and dramas by Parividha Prabhu. His version of the “Boatman” was superb. There was a very big inflated playground that kept the many children very happy. There were several prasadam tables that were busy all day and all the guests were very happy to be in such a pleasing atmosphere . Manu was hoping for 3,000 guests and I think he got more than half of that. Even when I left at 6 pm a large group of guests were arriving. Festivals like this are great ways to give vaisnava sanga to the public. They can come and relax and enjoy the grounds, and at the same time hear kirtan, experience spritual culture and take prasadam. For those who are more interested Srila Prabhupada’s books were available. In fact everyone got one small book as they were leaving. And the devotees always relish the chance to be together for preaching and sharing their happiness in Krsna Consciousness
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