Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Saturday, September 19th, 2015
Boston, Massachusetts

It All Began in Boston

Pilgrims from the USA, Canada, Europe, and other destinations who were keen to be present for a unique historic event, converged at Commonwealth Pier where Srila Prabhupada landed at 5:30 AM on September 17th, 50 years ago.

We did not make a walking venture to commemorate his touching American soil for the first time but rather a three-hour cruise on the 900 person Provincetown II boat. The passengers, myself included, transcended (or tried to) the blistering sun beating on our heads as we immersed ourselves in reflecting on the significance of what would be to secular vision, a small brown monk from India landing in the USA in 1965 and what impact he had for those on board. Speakers went on further to say how perhaps he had impacted the world.

I was given the honour to lead the kirtan in what is called the 'Guru Vandanam' (Prayers to the Guru). This was followed by reflections from senior men and women, disciples of Srila Prabhupada. This was precious.

A second gathering of souls took place at historic Faneuil Hall with Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Graham M. Schweig. The guest speakers who spoke ranged from the political sector to the spiritual one. Now, this might all sound like a real formal experience but actually, it was flavoured by the presence of kirtan. Niranjan Swami sang. And it was Ambarish, the great grandson of Henry Ford, who spoke most endearingly about his ancestral past that captured my heart. What sticks out in my mind regarding what he said about his childhood was that at his Sunday school he demanded to know from his spiritual authorities who is God and how does He look? For this he was made to step out. Of his great grandfather, Henry Ford was known to have a Sufi saint come to his home. Plus to those whom he deemed receptive, he would present them with a pamphlet on reincarnation. Henry Ford was also a vegetarian.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


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