Sunday, 18 March 2012

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

The First Ratha Ratra of the Year

Miami, Florida

What you put in determines very much who is your output. This morning Dharma, the local priest here, stoked up a mean havan or fire sacrifice. Twigs were few that fuelled the fire at this ceremony. Local branches from the temple ground bushes contributed to intense smoke, as did the tulasi wood. Fans were switched on and every window in this large cavernous soon was opened.

Participants were on the verge of tears. I could hear coughing. I contributed to that. This is the downside.

On the bright side, two women were given diksha. One was Clorissa, a Cuban-born nurse, whose name is now Kuntidevi. The second woman, Rupa Manjari, received her second or Brahminical initiation. To Kuntidevi I said, “You are now a member of our Krishna family”. To Rupa Manjari I said, “You will now intensify your devotion, become a teacher and always be truthful.”

The two made vows and mantras were given. They are two very good people and I cannot relate the bad smoke as an ill omen. They say it in some of the Caribbean, “All is good!” Our morning was concluded with a haze of grace.

When noon struck the Ratha Yatra, festival of Chariots, began at 3220 Virginia St., the location of the temple. Although one chariot did suffice, a pleasant turnout of mostly Miami congregants came out to greet the sun, and Sri Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe, which is Krishna in wooden form.

The promenade or procession was a slow (but commendable of a speed) in Coconut Grove. You could say that there was a smoky kirtan-taking place on the street culminating at Peacock Park. There is a history to this piece of green. In the early seventies Frisbee-throwing and dancing happy hippies filled that park. People were sitting on the grass (and smoking some I’m sure). They were greeted by Hare Krishna monks who came along with their drums and chants. End result was that sincere friendship manifested. Some good vibes were invested and the outcome was that some of the curious and confused joined the monk ranks. The input and output were one.

3 Km

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