After a long morning of rain showers, the sun appeared and the devotees serving Sri Krishna at the Tucson temple put on their smiles and chanted their way through the annual Earth Day parade in downtown Tucson. The sounds of the mrdanga and kartals could be heard for blocks and the crowd was instantly attracted to the maha mantra being sung on the lips of the blissful devotees.
As we approached the judges stand, an announcer introduced us as the temple devotees from Govinda's Restaurant and Chaitanya Cultural Center. He then invited the spectators to chant with us. Many people tried to join our kirtan and some even knew the words. There were cheers all around. Children danced on the sidewalks.
We rounded the final corner of the parade route and continued to chant and dance blissfully. We then progressed to the location of our booth. On the table were many different preparations of prasadam to hand out, Srila Prabhupada's books for distribution, information on vegetarianism, a large posterboard display about the impact of meat eating on the earth as well as an 11 page list of famous vegetarians. A table was set up for the children that came by to color pictures of vegetarian themed pictures. A beautiful kirtan was assembled next to the tables and the maha mantra was continuously chanted throughout the day attracting many onlookers, especially children. They seemed mesmerized by the transcendental names of Hari, Krishna, and Rama.
Hundreds of people came by our booth and took away prasadam and literature. All went away smiling. All benefited from hearing and chanting the mantra, eating the prasad, associating with the devotees, and seeing the beautiful lotus face of Lord Krishna. We found that we received a ribbon for second place in the parade along with some other small prizes and we knew that our beautiful lotus eyed Lord was happy with our efforts. Thank you to all of you that worked so hard to make this a successful event. We truly appreciate your efforts.