Chakra Announcements

Travelling Kazakh devotees delight Mauritius

by Bhakta Indrasen

Posted June 21, 2003

As many as 600,000 television viewers recently saw a "Peace and Tolerance" concert organized by ISKCON Mauritius, in collaboration with various local artists. It was also an opportunity to introduce the Kazakhstan Silk Road Band of H.H. Bhakti Bhrnga Govinda Swami to the people of Mauritius.

On April 13, Bhakta Bhrnga Maharaj and 15 other devotees, mostly from Kazakhstan, landed on the beautiful island of Mauritius. They smiled broadly to see the radiant sun, rather than the freezing temperatures they are used to. The devotees had come to celebrate the reinstallation of Sri Sri Radha Golokananda and, at the same time, to raise funds for building their temple, Palace of the Soul, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

During their three-week stay, the Silk Road Band performed on different parts of the island. Everybody was very much surprised and inspired by their unusual kirtan style, with instruments like the saxophone and violin, rather than the Indian classical instruments we are used to. The group very expertly performed different shows throughout the island, and people appreciated them very much.

Although the transcendental vibration of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra captures most of the people's mind, the audience, primarily of a Hindu background, were amazed to learn of the Muslim background of the Kazakh devotees. Audience members were astonished that conservative Muslims had become Vaisnavas, and happy that the maha-mantra had had such a transformative effect.

Often, during his lectures, Maharaj spoke of the glories of the maha-mantra; once, for example, about 150 kilometres from the Afghan border he met about three thousand Muslims dancing like anything to the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.

During their visit to Mauritius, everything was blissful and devotees attributed it to the mercy of our Deities Sri Sri Radha Golokananda. The Deities brought these devotees from the other part of the Himalayan range to our small island on a specific mission: to encourage and inspire Mauritians about devotional service.

At the end of each show, I would see people becoming more humble. One time, while I was inviting people to attend a program, I met three persons of Hindu background; when I told them about the program, they did not like the idea of Muslims chanting Hare Krsna. Still, I asked them to come and I promised them it would be a very important part of their life if they attended. After the program, I encountered them again; they welcomed me with a big hug, saying "Don't pay attention about what we said last time; we are now in another dimension."

The visit of the travelling Kazakhstan devotees to Mauritius not only opens new horizons in the preaching field, it also reminds us about the mood of preaching itself: How compassionate must we be with everyone, irrespective of race, religion, etc.

This small visit also reminds us of a man, physically old but eternally young, who left Vrndavana in 1965 for the United States. Although having suffered two heart attacks, he did not renounce his mission of delivering the fallen. His followers became inspired by the love and compassion he had for them, thus they followed in his footsteps. Now, after many years, his grand-disciples are also following in his footsteps. Patita-pavana Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

"Our remedy for material life is very simple: simply to chant for Krishna, to dance for Krishna, to work for Krishna, prepare nice food for Krishna and then, cent per cent, we become fully free from all other influences. Please always remember this secret and show by example to all others." -- Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Himavati, Dec. 12, 1968.