Shiva Ratri Wrap Up
Posted February 28, 2004
Sunday evening's Shiva Ratri celebrations were attended by an enthusiastic crowd of 300-400 people, divided evenly between Indians and Westerners. We have posted a number of photos in the gallery section. While guests were arriving, from 5-5:30 pm, we showed on the big screen a video called "Healthy, Wealthy & Wise", extolling benefits of a vegetarian diet. At 5:30 pm Caru das gave a 35 minute power point presentation on Lord Shiva. The presentation included 40 of the most beautiful, classic graphics of Lord Shiva and his associates. Caru Das narrated the many stories attached to Lord Shiva, explained the meaning of his paraphernalia, like the trident, the ashes on his body, the snakes, tiger skin etc., and quoted many verses (Bhagavat Purana, Padma Purana) of Lord Shiva about his devotion to Vishnu, or Krishna. The crowd indicated satisfaction at the presentation with applause at the end.
Jai Krishna, Karuna, Sydhartha, Garuda and Jon, did a wonderful job in the ensuing drama, Called "Shiva & Parvati". Many said it was one of the best dramas ever done in the Spanish Fork temple. Some of the special effects didn't go off as we had planned (someone unplugged the smoke machine, and someone else forgot to turn off the lights when Lord Shiva burned Kama Dev with his glance). Still, the audience reacted more strongly than expected to the emotional parts, and again expressed deep appreciation with prolonged applause and two curtain calls.
Even though many visitors were coming to the temple for the first time, 85 per cent participated in the bathing (abhishekam) of the Shiva lingam. Pragna Shah lead the crowd in singing "Om Namo Shivaya" with great gusto and devotion throughout the bathing ritual. After drying off the lingam, many people offered flower petals, bilva leaves, and rice 108 times. On the big screen there was projected each of the 108 names of Lord Shiva with English translation. Rajeev had made the translation, and led the collective chanting on the microphone. It was very potent.
Finally, Jai Krishna Das lead a Hare Krishna aarti and kirtan which had a the large crowd variously dancing circles within circles, going up and down and back and forth the length of the temple room, and sometimes leaping high into the air.
From the beginning of the event, a prasadam buffet of 20 plus preparations was available for $ 5.00 a plate and people could buy mango shakes for an extra dollar. The prasadam sales were brisk, the gift store was very busy and donations reached the $ 2,000.00 mark, thanks in large part to Dr. Dinesh and Kalpana Patel.
We posted a large number of photos at our yahoo groups site, viewable by members: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KrishnaKulture/
The Shiva Ratri festival was the first of 12 planned festivals for 2004, and it was so successful, that although this morning we are tired and have a huge clean-up, we are already looking forward to the next one, Holi and Gaura Punrima, on Saturday March 6th, from 4 PM.
Visit our web site at http://www.utahkrishnas.com. One drama every hour on Krishna Interent radio, at the Web site --For more stories and twice, thrice weekly updates on the Utah Krishna temple, join the yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KrishnaKulture/
Caru das and Vaibhavi