Janmashtami celebrations 2013: What a wonderful and joyous day to look forward to.
I got up around 3 am and rushed to attend the Mangal arti at Punjabi Bagh temple. At 4.30 am the whole road was full of neatly parked cars. There were devotees assisting the drivers. The queue outside the temple was already long. By Krishna’s mercy I could enter from the exit gate and then a devotee put me in the crowd control service. In minutes I was standing right outside the temple hall from where my eyes could take darshan of the Lord’s feet. Altar was glowing with flowers and decorations. The Deities looked so beautiful, specially Lord Jagannath seemed to be basking in glory. HG Rukmini led the morning Arti with so much devotional force, he seemed spiritually charged up. Everyone was participating enthusiastically in sankirtana. I wished this would just go on and on.
After the aarti, I tried to do preaching seva, was not successful with no conversion for the seven day seminar registration. I then did my japa rounds. And then Guru Puja was led my dear friend HG Karuna Prabhuji, who got a special gift to start wearing saffron from today.
HG Karuna Prabhuji Ki Jaya.
After the Guru puja, our team was preaching inside the complex and I finally got the first booking, then the second and third quickly followed. My confidence went up and I pushed other team members to do more. All my stereotype notions about people turned 180 degree as I approached people for registration. HG Bimpla Prasad Prabhuji encouraged us with his presence and guidance.
I left for Gurgaon in the afternoon, slept for two hours and then went to Gymkhana grounds for service at celebrations in Gurgaon. It is was at a grand scale. I did some service at the BTG stall, learning how to sell the subscription of Back to Godhead magazine. I realised that I forgot to call Sumeet prabhuji, who was in Australia, as I had offered to take his children out for darshan.
I left with Pawan Prabhuji, who graciously agreed to accompany me, for home to set up my first stall in my apartment complex at 8 pm. We set up the stall and apart from book distribution tried to start a Bhagavad Gita study group at my home. Pawan Prabhu helped me a lot by teaching me, by practice, on how to get the attention of the people and get over my hesitation to approach strangers. I had made up my mind that I will start the group even with a single devotee. Krishna was merciful and I got around 20 people interested to join the group, my first go to start preaching. Pawan prabhuju left to do service at the centre and then my amused daughter joined me for the last one hour at the table. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm of some of the people who registered for the group.
I wrapped up the stall around 11.15 pm and went home, Priti was watching live action from both Vrindavan live and Mayapur.tv. It was festival time all around with loud sankirtana and abhisheka. She had dressed the deities at home with new dresses and the altar looked beautiful with long stemmed flowers. We did kirtan for the last 15 minutes and then a rousing celebration for the Lord at 12. We offered Bhoga to our Lord with love and affection. I had a sumptuous prasadam later. Subir Prabhuji’s SMS came to wish happy Janamashtami and I finally slept around 1 pm with memories of Lord Krishna in my heart.
कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय देवकी नन्दनाय च ।
नन्दगोप कुमाराय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः
Let me therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has become the son of Vasudeva, the pleasure of Devaki, the boy of Nanda and the other cowherdmen of Vrindavana, and the enlivener of the cows and the senses.
All Glories to Guru Maharaja.
All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.