IskconKL Rath Yatra Jan2010
Posted by iskconklnews on February 18, 2010
By Gaura Chandra Das (BCS)
(edited by Bhakta Raaj Prabhu)
Ratha Yatra SJMKL – Jan 2010
All glories to Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra Maiya
All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
The 32nd Annual Ratha Yathra of SJMKL was held on Saturday, 23rd January 2010, along an almost identical route to that of last years (2009) event, but for the short stretch along the main road of Jalan Tun Sambanthan. HG Gopi Gopal prabhu, HG Vraja Mohan Prabhu and HG Subal Mitra Prabhu were in charge of securing the police permit, we would have been pleased to have the procession along the route as planned. Unbeknownst to many, the last minute change of route was absolutely unavoidable as it was by the explicit orders of the police officers who were ever present all along the route and throughout the event.
We are indeed thankful to their Lordships for blessing us with the opportunity to proceed with the event in the first place; given the heightened security awareness amongst places of worship in and around the Klang Valley. The organisers and the team of volunteers must be congratulated for the TIMELY and “incident free” completion of this auspicious event as it bears testimony to ISKCON’s long term interests, and may be viewed as a success under conditions that were circumspect. The shop owners and householders along this truncated route, who missed out on catching a glimpse of their Lordships were as disappointed as were the organisers. However, given the BIG picture and the greater good of all concerned, we must all be thankful and positively optimistic in the hope that next year’s event, Krsna willing, we will be able to get a better and longer route.
The volunteer “flower arrangement girls team” did an excellent job of decorating the two chariots that added to the grandeur and splendour of the procession. The smaller chariot bearing HDG Swami Srila Prabupada’s murthi was from SJMKL while the main one of Their Lordships was from ISKCON Taiping.
To the uninitiated public who lined the route, it was a sight to savour as the chariots were led in a very orderly and disciplined fashion by Prabus and Matajis on either side of the procession. The ecstatic kirtan that accompanied their Lordships and the paying of obeisances all along the streets of Brickfields by the devotees must surely have made a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of the public. The weather was excellent throughout. A few intermittent droplets of rain that came about only served to heighten the overall euphoria. Such is the mission of His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami… to go forth and share in the public domain, The Maha Mantra to one all; such that the nectar of the Maha Mantra ignites the self realization within the hearts of all.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter and enclosed photographs of the Ratha Yatra festival. If we introduce this festival in all the big cities in the world along side with book distribution then in no time we will conquer the whole world.
(SPL to Bhutatma 7.8.1973)
Megala Mataji on her own on Saturday 16th and the Sunday morning Harinam team led by Bhakta Prakash and HG Sarvanan Prabhu on 17th, need to be commended for their able canvassing and timely updating of shops and households, along the designated route. This provided all ample notice and opportunity to prepare offerings for Their Lordships. HG Gopi Gopal Prabhu and Satte Mataji facilitated the collection of Laxmi from the donors. We also had very encouraging collection during the Yatra itself from the bystanders and supporters present. All these no doubt helped in alleviating the financing burden in putting the whole festival together for the pleasure of their Lordships and the devotees.
As expected, the congregation of about 1,000 was well represented by devotees from near and far. We must record our particular appreciation to devotees from Taiping as well as from Johor Baru, Bahau, Seremban and many other centres who joined the many from the Klang Valley who made this event most memorable.
One could not possibly miss the quiet conversations and musings of many, as they flashed back to the ever cheerful, ever smiling and ever present, Uttama Chaitanya Prabhu. His presence was particularly missed when the chariot and procession passed through beneath the overhead bridge in front of Pines Condominium. All remembered how last year, the chariot was unable to pass through due to an oversight between the height of the topmost spire of the chariot then, and the underside of the bridge. His exemplary leadership on that day was wistfully recalled; of how he and his team heroically exhibited some acrobatics in dismantling the spire on the spot to allow the procession to pass through. Though unrelated, yet equally momentous and perhaps coincidental, was the personal choice of HG Gaura Chandra Prabhu (RNS) and his team to choose that same spot to shower the passing chariots and the accompanying congregation of devotees with petals of fresh flowers as they were led through in ecstatic kirtan by HG Simheswara Prabhu. Unlike last year, this year’s chariot had a retractable spire that was a beauty to behold when fully extended; making it most convenient in traversing beneath low overhead bridges. A lesson well learnt from the past.
The feast was ably prepared by dedicated volunteers led by HG Mayapur Chandra Prabhu and HG Gaurachandra Prabhu (BCS) assisted by HG Sudarshan Das. This team worked tirelessly from early dawn to warrant that the feast was substantial enough to meet the discerning needs of a thousand plus. The serving team led by HG Bhagya Caitanya Prabhu and HG Viswaksena Prabhu were equal to the task of ensuring that all who came were neither disappointed nor made to wait unnecessarily long for their prasadam.
In the genuine interest of time management and to allow HG Simheswara Prabhu to welcome the congregation and guests, the truly ecstatic and vociferous kirtan ably led by HG Kripa Sindhu Prabhu from ISKCON Kuching had to be interrupted; much to the disappointment of the participating devotees who were in genuine joy and ecstasy; and this was in spite of them having strained their vocals chords right through the procession route, from as early as 4.30pm. The welcome address was followed by a spiritual discourse on the significance of Ratha Yatra, given by HG Ajamela Prabhu-a senior Prabhupad disciple. His sharing of matters related to the religiosity of chanting and the honouring of Krsna prasadam, amongst others, was a reminder to some and a revelation to the novice.
HG Subal Mitra Prabhu, HG Gopi Gopal Prabhu and HG Vraja Mohan Prabhu and myself are indeed thankful and humbled for the opportunity entrusted in us to serve SJMKL in put together this momentous event, and we wish to thank everyone in the committee as well as the countless many who came forward willingly, and who have contributed tirelessly and unreservedly in having helped my team and I bring to fruition this event …
All glories to HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada ki … Jai!