By Basu Ghosh Das
The Sri Krishna Janmastami festival here was, in a word, “tremendous”!
Thousands of citizens of Baroda visited the Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar Mandir here at Hare Krishna Land, Baroda, both on Janmastami and Nandotsava/Srila Prabhupada’s Vyas puja day. More than thirty thousand life members, donors, VIPs and in the evening any and all members of the public were served full plates of Krishna prasad: including puris, sweet, subji, chole (chick peas), kadi and rice!
IYF (ISKCON Youth Forum) devotees distributed books. They also showed slide shows in a special booth for the purpose. In another booth they got members of the public to chant japa!
“Phalahari prasad” (non-grain preparations) were sold in huge quanitites at Govinda’s snack bar! Radha Madhava incense from Bangalore (Dayaram Prabhu) sold in large quantities as well, and gift items also were in much demand a the gift shop!
The Baroda Police Commissioner, Sri Rakesh Astana and his wife (a very pious lady!) were present - “front and center” - for the midnight abhishek of Lord Krishna! On Nandotsava morning, Municipal Commissioner Sri M. N. Das, IAS, visited as well.
Additionally a number of Municipal Corporators, Police Officials and other government officals visited the Mandir.
All in all it was a memorable occasion and a very successful effort!
Special thanks to Nityananda Ram Das, ISKCON Baroda Vice President, for raising the bulk of the funds and handling almost all of the management, Sri Shivlal Goyal, his main assistant, Smt. Kanta Goyal, Shivlal’s devoted wife, Police Commissioner Rakesh Astana, and J. P. Road Police Inspector Chudasma for the “pukka” security arrangements/”bandobast” that they so expertly provided! Also thanks to Bhakta Dhirubhai Patel, Sri Sureshbhai B. Patel, Sriman Nartaka Gauranga Prabhu & IYF devotees, and many more too numerous to mention.
Pictures of the Sri Krishna Janmastami mahotsav @ ISKCON Baroda have just been posted on the internet in three new albums on Picasa web pictures:
“A picture tells a thousand words”, as it’s said!