Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the International Society for Krishna
Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York by our dear Srila Prabhupada. As a special offering to His
Divine Grace, the ISKCON Perth Temple with the help of the congregational devotees had planned
to hold one program every day on the Holy Name during the 18 day span of the celebration.
1. Opening Special Kirtana
Thursday 28th July represents the actual day of ISKCON’s 50 years - the astrological day when
ISKCON was incorporated exactly 50 years ago. To commemorate such a special day and to reflect
on Srila Prabhupada's great gift to us and to the whole world, an evening Kirtana session was held
at the Temple. This was then followed by a wonderful video about “The Life and Contribution” of
His Divine Grace.
2. Street Harinamas in Perth City
This time, the WHNW 2016 offered us the
opportunity to have at least 3 Street Harinamas in
Perth City on Friday 29th July, 5th and 12th August during
the duration of the event.
Another Harinama on Saturday 6th August was
added to the list as the planned Park Sitting Harinama
at the Esplanade, Fremantle, had to be cancelled
beforehand because of the forecasted bad weather. To
everyone’s surprise, it turned out to be quite a bright
sunny morning and the Harinama did attract a fairly good attendance. This was just one of the
unlimited tricks of the Supreme Lord.
Also, on Sunday 14th August – the last day of the
WHNW 2016 celebration, a special Harinama was
organised in the Perth CBD in view to commemorate the
first ever Sankirtana that stepped into the public outside
India. Srila Prabhupada had then led a group of initial
devotees to the Washington Square Park in New York in
August 1966 to hold ISKCON’s first public Kirtana.
By coincidence, the Universities of Australia
happened to have an Open Day for their Science Fair on that Sunday 14th August along James Street
Mall next to the Perth Cultural Centre. The Sankirtana Party had to make its way through the crowd
to the amazement and joy of all the onlookers. May be it was the desire of Their Lordships Sri Sri
Gaura Nitai that the Holy Name be distributed to those fortunate souls.
3. Mantra Meditation Yoga
On Saturday 30th July, a session on Mantra Meditation Yoga was organised at the Belmont
Community Centre. The attendees were introduced to the concept of Yoga whereby technics were
demonstrated to develop the proper mood to set us up for the bliss of meditation.
They were then initiated to the chanting of the Maha Mantra – the perfect means to connect
to the Supreme Lord and only way for deliverance from the miseries of the material world.
4. Bhakti Vriksha Vyuha Program
To date, the Perth Yatra has got quite a few Bhakti Vriksha groups running. The Sunday Feast
session on 31st July was restructured into a Vyuha Program whereby the various educational
facilities within ISKCON for the upliftment of our spiritual well-being were presented.
The highlight of the program was the award of a certificate of recognition to all the
participants of those different groups for their effort in regularly chanting between 1 – 16 rounds of
the Maha Mantra.
5. Evening House Programs
In order to complement the various activities over
the 3 week-ends during the WHNW 2016 celebration, a
series of House Programs were conducted during the 2
weeks from Monday 1st to Thursday 4th August and then
from Monday 8th to 11th August. The family hosts were
devotees of the Perth Congregation who were
approached either directly or via the Bhakti Vriksha
Those 8 programs, being during the week, were kept short and compact, where the focus
was on the Maha Mantra and the importance of chanting. We were blessed to have the association
of HG Sankarshan Nitai Prabhu and HG Ananda Mohun Prabhu from ISKCON Mayapur during 2 of
those evening programs.
6. 6 Hour Kirtana
A 6 hour Kirtana was organised at the Temple on Sunday 7th August in lieu of the normal
Sunday Feast Program. Starting at 1pm, it gave the chance to the local and aspiring kirtaneers to
display their talents for the pleasure of Their Lordships Sri Sri Nitai Sacinandana.
A 1-hour slot was, however, reserved for a class by HG Sankarshan Nitai Prabhu who gave a
wonderful exposé on the Holy Name. This was then followed by an ecstatic Gaura Arati getting all
present to sing and dance to the tune of the Maha Mantra.
7. Park Sitting Harinama
The planned sitting Harinama in Hyde Park, Perth City, on Saturday 13th August was
welcomed with a splendid weather to the delight of those
devotees who had pencilled that event in their diary.
Held next to Srila Prabhupada’s Tree, the set up
was such that the melodious and enlivening Kirtana did
catch the attention of almost everyone using one of the
main pathways through the Park by either slowing down
or even stopping for a minute or so. A book table with the
ISKCON 50 magazines was also put on display.
8. Special Sunday Feast
In order to conclude the WHNW 2016 celebration in a grand manner, ISKCON Perth had the
privilege to have the association of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami during the Sunday Feast
Program on 14th August. Everyone present within the packed Temple had the opportunity to relish
the sweet Kirtana as well as a very informative lecture by His Holiness.
The WHNW 2016 organising team for the Perth Yatra would like to show its gratitude to the
ISKCON Perth co-presidents, HG Sita Ram Lakshmana Prabhu and HG Yadu Srestha Prabhu, for their
support before and during the event as well as to all the devotees who had in one way or the other
contributed their efforts thereto.
A special thanks also goes to the participants in the series of the Harinamas as well as to the
8 family devotees who had kindly accepted to host the evening House Programs.