Parasuram das: The weather forecast predicted 100% rain, as we cooked torrential rain
fell, as we travelled to East London the skies continued to down load rain
as forecasted. But then as Lord Jagannath arrived to the sound of Kirtan,
everything changed, and Lord Indra gave us a break.
I was thinking “who will come out on such a rainy day”. But the
Bhakti Vriksha and Nama Hatta devotees of East London are not fair weather
devotees and what ever they do is successful.
The Mayor gave a nice speech and was happy to smash a coconut, not really
sure why we smash coconuts, but it reminds me launching a ship with
smashing a bottle of champagne.
This Rathayatra costs a lot of Laxmi to hold, the hiring of tents,
toilets, park and road closures. But the benefits are there:
Rathe ca vamanam drstva punar janma na vidyate.
“Simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot, one makes advancement for
stopping the repetition of birth and death.”
It is said that the participants in Rath Yatra will be blessed immensely by
Lord Jagannatha (Krishna) such as
(1) By the sight of Jagannatha’s merciful large two eye globes, the devotee
will be blessed with astute purity of mind and spiritual elevation;
(2) Observing the Rathayatra will dissipate the sins committed by the
embodied person in the past births;
(3) The accompanying person in the Rathayatra will receive opulence at par
with Lord Vishnu even if he hails from a poor family;
(4) Dancing, singing and chanting in the Ratharatra entourage, the
participant will be elevated to a level superior to yogis; and
(5) Active participation in the Rathayatra by any means will receive the
utmost blessings of Lord Jagannatha.
The real benefits of taking part in my two cents worth opinion is simply
that we can please Srila Prabhupada and get his mercy.
HH Janananda Maharaj was in jubilant form as ever, and the Kirtan was
The procession went past the location where the previous night two youths
had been shot down by a rival gang.
The chanting of the Holy Name is the only shelter for the poor embodied
souls of Kali Yuga.
When we arrived at the park the heavens opened up again but Yogesvara
Gopinath prabhu, who headed up the festival had hired an extra large tent
to accommodate the devotees, Jai Jagannath!
See you next year