By Ila devi dasi
A âHarinam-Acrobatic Showâ? What exactly is that? According to those devotees came to see it, it was a spectacular stage show, with nice kirtana and fun to watch. For the youth who took part, it was a wonderful way to dovetail their youthful energy and talent in Krishnaâs service. For the general public it was a great attraction, thus also a way for devotees to preach. And from a motherâs perspective, it was really a very nice way to engage her son, build his self-esteem and team-spirit.
On Saturday 17 May, the evening before Nrsimha-Caturdasi, the Nagar-Sankirtan Department celebrated its 2-year anniversary by having a stage Harinam show. The focus was on the youth. Krishnadas Kaviraja dasa (only 18 years old) and Bhava Bhakti dasi lead an ecstatic kirtan in front of the crowd of approximately 1000 people, in the Lotus park in front of the Radha-Madhava Temple. Simultaneously, Hari Narayan dasa (20 yrs) lead his team of âacrobatic artistsâ in a display of on-stage leaps, rolls and gravitational feats. The 7 young acrobatic artists, from age 5 to16, are actually members of the Mayapur Community, who only started training under the expert guidance of Hari-Narayan just 2 weeks ago. Hari-Narayan has been doing acrobatics and martial arts since boyhood, and trained both in Ghana and the USA, where he recently took part in the Burning Man Festival, the Festival of India Tour and America Gets Talent. In Ghana, even the Head of state, President Koffour, used to invite him and his Ghanaian team to entertain his VIP guests at the airport upon arrival.
On stage in their yellow outfits the boys looked like an assembly of the United Nations â from different parts of the world they are all part of Srila Prabhupadaâs Family. The kirtana was really wonderful, and the crowds cheered loudly. Parents were really grateful since they felt that there is often a lack of engagement for children in Krishna Consciousness, especially for energetic children with Ksatriya-like qualities. Physical activity for boys is especially important to channel their extra energy in a positive direction, and if all this can be done in an effort to preach, it is perfect.
Packets of Prasadam were distributed as well. This was a first-time attempt at doing such a show here in Mayapur, but many devotees felt it can be a great preaching attraction all over India, just as the wonderful Polish Festival arranged by HH Indradyumna Swami. There are no definite plans yet, but Hari Narayan will be around for at least 6 months and is eager to help engage the children of the community in further activities.