Padayatra Restarts in Guyana
Posted January 27, 2009
The devotees of the ISKCON Guyana will restart Padayatra from Monday, January 26, 2009. Padayatra was first launched by His Holiness Agrani Swami in Guyana in 1989 from the easternmost Village of Crabwood Creek, near the Suriname border, with a five mile walk daily followed by massive evening sankirtan and other Krishna consciousness presentations. That segment covered 200 kilometres along the main coastline where most of the population is concentrated. There was then a break for several years.
In the mid nineties Padayatra again continued for another 50 kilometres on the West Coast of Demerara when World Padayatra Minister, His Holiness Lokanath Swami, graced the festival. This third segment of Padayatra is scheduled for one week from January 26-February 01 and the walk will be for about 40 kilometres through the most populated villages leading to the Capital City of Georgetown.
A new aluminum fabricated Padayatra cart and two huge tents were imported from Canada for the occasion, and the Deities of Nitai Gaurasundar were brought from Mayapur last month; all through the kind courtesy of Ram-lila das, a disciple of His Holiness Bhakti-marg Swami. His Holiness Bhakti-marg Swami and Ajamil Prabhu are expected to arrive shortly and several live appearances on television and press conferences are billed for this weekend, prior to the big event on Monday.
There has been wide media publicity of the event and devotees are on television daily promoting the festival and sensitizing the public. Hundreds of local devotees will participate and a contingent of devotees from neighbouring Suriname and Trinidad will join. Everyone is excited and upbeat in anticipation of the festival and the support from the local villagers and government officials is overwhelming-people spontaneously coming forward to offer assistance and make contributions. Guyana is the only English speaking country located on the north eastern shoulder of the mainland of South America, having an area of 215,000 square kilometers and has a relatively small population of only three-quarters of a million.
Located between latitudes 1 and 9 degrees, the country enjoys yearlong mild climate, with a mean temperature of 27.5 degrees Centigrade. Fifty-five percent of the population is Indians, 40 percent Africans and the remainder, mixed races. More than 90 percent of the topography is covered with tropical rain forest and the country is more agriculture based. ISKCON is well received and very popular countrywide and has cordial relations with the government.
There are three main Temples, one in each county, and a thriving preaching centre near the only University. The installed Deities here are: Sri Sri Radha Gokula Chandra located at New Kulinagram, Berbice, and Sri Sri Nitai Caitanya Chandra located at Gaura Nitai Ashirvaad Mandir on the West Coast of Demerara. For further information please e-mail Paramatma das, firstname.lastname@example.org.