Rathyatra and Bhumi Puja at ISKCON Lucknow (India)
By Vrajendranandan Das
Dear Maharaj’s and Prabhu’s,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
On 15th May, ISKCON Lucknow celebrated a colorful Rathayatra. The city of Lucknow is the capital of the Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in the country. This city is also known as ‘Laxmanpuri’. H. G. Devkinandan Prabhu, (ZS of UP and Rajasthan), H. G. Surapati Prabhu and H. G. Radha Ranjan Prabhu (Co-TP’s of ISKCON Lucknow) and the local committee members and congregation organized this wonderful festival.
The Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath Baladeva and Subadra came up on their Ratha at
4 PM and then an Arati ceremony was performed by Sri Sushil Ansal and his wife Smt. Kusum Ansal (the land donors for the Lucknow temple). Sri Dinesh Sharma, Mayor of Lucknow inaugurated the Rathyatra, after the traditional broom cleaning of the road.
H. H. Mahavishnu Swami Maharaj, spoke on the significance of Rathayatra and H. G. Devkinandan Prabhu delivered the welcome speech.
The Chariot began moving at 5:30 PM, with thousands of devotees pulling the cart of the Lordship, accompanied with a tremendous kirtan performed with various Kirtineers from several cities. All along the Rathayatra procession, the Lordship’s were showered with the multitudes of flower petals. Several residents came out of their homes and offices to perform an Arati to the Lordships. Prasadam was distributed through out the yatra.
H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, H. H. Maha Vishnu Swami Maharaj, H. H. Bhakti Madhurya Govinda Swami Maharaj (previously Makan Lal Prabhu), H. G. Mohan Rupa Prabhu (TP of New Delhi), H. G Nityananda Prabhu (Vice- President, Baroda), H. G. Vraja Bhumi Prabhu (TP, Jhansi) H. G. Murli Mohan Prabhu, (Co-TP, Vijaywada)
And several devotees from different cities attended the Rathyatra.
All along the Rathayatra, the famous Sankirtan team from ISKCON New Delhi distributed Srila Prabhupada’s books. The Rathyatra finished at 8:30 PM.
The next day (16th May), Bhumi Puja for the 5 acre land that ISKCON has received from the Ansal Builders was performed. Located in Sushant Golf City, Sultanpur Road, Amarsahid Path, Lucknow, the land is at a very prime location.
H. G. Sitalanga Prabhu (from Bangalore) led the Yajna as the Head Priest. The Yajna Mandap comprised of 11 Kundas each with a Brahmin performing the sacrifices. 108 founder donor of the city, sat along with their families.
H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, H. G. Devikinandan Prabhu and his wife H. G. Surangi Mataji, Sri Sushil Ansal and his wife Kusum Anasal and family members were seated at the main Yajna Kunda.
Several Life Members, well wishers and devotees were present at this function. After the Yajna, H. H. Gopal Krishna Maharaj, delivered a blessing speech and thanked the donors for donating the Land for the temple. H. G. Devkinandan Prabhu thanked the donors and requested the founder members to come together inorder to build a beautiful temple for the Lordships Sri Sri Radha Raman Bihari.
Sri Sushil Ansal expressed his pleasure in the project and promised to help further in any way that he could and he praised ISKCON for its activities of spreading the Sanatana Dharma.
The 2 day program as was well covered by the print and electronic media.
Both the festivals was well organized and very systematic. The arrangements for the visiting devotes was very good.
Link to the Gallery:
Your Servant, Vrajendranandan Das National Communications Director New Delhi, India.