8th Annual Hilo Rathayatra
Posted August 17, 2004
By the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, the Big Island devotees once again took part in Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Lady Subhadra’s Rathaytra Festival. Every year we wonder how it will be possible; the answer, of course is that it is the Lord’s doing, to allow us this service so people in general can receive Their mercy.
Friday, August 6th, amid the sound of Krsna’s conch shell, the rain mystically stopped as the Rath cart began its ride through the streets of Hilo. Under the banner “Dedicated to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, he brought Rathayatra to the Western world” over 75 devotees from various gurus ecstatically chanted the Holy Name. We had placed a small picture of our Srimate MulaPrakriti dd near Srila Prabhupada’s murti in remembrance of our sweet god sister, so she came along for the ride too.
Our lead kirtan devotee, Gauranga Prabhu was ill with flu; HariMohan Prabhu started the chanting so sweetly that magically, our Gauranga was later able to lead the assembled devotees in glorifying Lord Jagannatha. As the parade progressed, the chanting reached a potency that became like a pulsating wall of transcendental energy; the spectators were spell bound and the devotees were blissful. The children distributed prasadam candies, the crowds began to clap, and big smiles enveloped their faces as the jivatmas awakened from million of births and deaths hearing the sweet names of the Lord and seeing Lord Jagannatha’s form! You could almost see the jiva pushing its way through all the material layers in it’s greed to once again connect with the Lord.
After the parade, with Their Lordships in attendance on Their cart, we hosted a wonderful gathering for devotees and visitors with more ecstatic kirtan and book distribution. After the sumptuous 10 course feast at the Bandstand we all agreed that this year it was the sweetest Festival yet, and we are already planning how to make it even better next year! Hope to see YOU there!