Posted by iskconklnews on February 16, 2011
By Sriman Mayank pr
11th to 13th February’2011.
The congregation of Sri Jagannath Mandir, Kuala Lumpur set out on a spiritual getaway from the routine life, to spend a weekend of solace and complete absorption in the hearing and chanting about the glories of the Lord in the association of sincere devotees and to deepen relationships amongst devotees.
The Convention was held at NUBE Training center at Port Dickson. The facility at NUBE perfectly catered for the needs and requirements of such a convention. The main hall was spacious and easily accommodated over two hundred devotees who had gathered from all corners. The rooms and dormitories were well furnished, and it was only due to such basic needs being well addressed that the devotees could completely get themselves absorbed in the seminars to follow, free from anxiety. The children were also well taken care of, under the guidance of experienced teachers, who engaged them into learning various subjects and arts while the parents could comfortably attend the seminars.
It was however the presence of expert and experienced speakers from Shri Shri Radha Gopinath Mandir, Chowpatty, Mumbai which overwhelmed the hearts of the audience, as they found themselves attending sessions lasting over six to seven hours a day! HG Radha Gopinath Prabhu, a senior Brahmachari and one of the members of the Presidential Council of Shri Radha Gopinath Mandir, enlightened the audience with an interactive Seminar on “Taking care of Krsna’s devotees” divided into three sessions for each day.
HG Dwaraka Dish Prabhu and HG Vishaka Priya Mataji were the other guest speakers for the event who shared their experiences on the ‘Practicing Krishna Consciousness in the Grhastha Ashram’ throughout the convention.
The day would begin with Mangala Arati at 05.30am, with the worship of a number of deities who graced the altar and blessed the devotees with Their auspicious presence. We had Jagannath Baladev and Subathra who extended themselves to be with the congregation, we had Sri Lakshmi Narasimha dev who must have been very pleased with all the seminars on devotee care. And we had about 7 or 8 sets of Sri Gaura Nitai Deities just showering their blessings upon all of us. Oh and we also had LaduGopal ji. It was inspiring and highly motivating for all, to attend the morning programmes, especially to sit together in a circle and chant as the hall reverberated with the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.
The kirtans during the Guru Puja were euphoric and left everyone fully drenched after dancing their hearts out, for the pleasure of the Deities and Prabhupada as an expression of joy and spiritual bliss.
The rest of the day would then progress attending various seminars addressing significant aspects of Krishna consciousness. The sessions were deeply enlivening and highly nourishing and kept the audience
fully absorbed in the realizations and the wisdom shared by the speakers.
The Prasadam was delicious, like always, and the devotees feasted on an array of dishes. The great serving spirit of young devotees, who blissfully and tirelessly served the congregation, added to the taste and their potent service was well appreciated and acknowledged. While having Prasadam, the devotees would sit together and engage in the churning process of sharing their thoughts and realizations after the seminars, helping others to learn and progress individually and collectively in Krishna Consciousness.
The weather was soothing and many devotees would stroll down the nearby beach in the evenings for a Japa Walk. Some of us were quite fortunate to have joined HG Radha Gopinath Prabhu for one such walk. Amongst many things he shared was a pastime of Srila Prabhupada where His Divine Grace saw a crab crawling towards the ocean and asked one of his disciples, HG Brahmananda Prabhu, to catch it. HG Brahmananda Prabhu immediately ran to catch the crab and after a lot of struggle with splashing the waves at the shore, returned, but in vain. Prabhupada later described that Brahmananda prabhu even though being so powerful couldn’t catch the crab, once the crab entered the ocean. Similarly if a living entity takes shelter of the Supreme Lord, he can cross over the material energy which is so powerful and impossible to overcome.
Prabhu also shared many learning experiences from his life. The devotees were most intrigued to learn how he came to Krishna Consciousness! The devotees felt touched by his simplicity and innocence and inspired and motivated by his realizations as the time spent with him impressed itself upon many hearts.
The three days were spent full of bliss in the association of devotees, far from the daily chores of material life to appreciate this most valuable gift of Krishna Consciousness presented by Srila Prabhupada.
As the Convention concluded, there was enough for each devotee to learn from, be inspired with and most importantly to work upon. Even though there was much more for the speakers to share and for the audience to hear and learn, it was inevitable time which separated them both. With a feeling of being spiritually nourished and having spent valuable moments in the wonderful association to be cherished for long, the devotees bid NUBE, Port Dickson a Hare Krishna!
But here I must add, that having said all that, the feeling of being in the company of so many devotees and hearing and sharing Krsna katha for three consecutive days really made a huge impact on us. The prevalent feeling was that of security and warmness being in the company of close family. I’m sure many of us feel closer to one another and experienced Srila Prabhupad’s infallible and ever merciful shelter in the unity of our congregation. Sri Jagannath Mandir family ki – JAI!