Heartfelt 'Thank You and Pranams' from ISKCON Baltimore
Posted July 2, 2003
With over 1,500 plates of prasadam served and an even greater number of people walking through the Festival of India, Baltimore's first Jagannatha Rathayatra and Festival of India was a huge success.
The devotees and congregation of ISKCON Baltimore would like to offer our obeisances to all the devotees who helped make the festival possible. Your service personally, financially, or by just attending was much appreciated. Special appreciation goes out to devotees who came all the way from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington DC, North Carolina and Florida, to be a part of this blissful service to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Jagannatha.
ISKCON Potomac devotees, led by Caitanya Nitai Prabhu, cooked the delicious feast, and devotees at ISKCON New York helped with publicity and worship of Lord Jagannatha. We pray to be always in the association of devotees like these, who exemplify that, working together as a group of devotees, servants of Guru and Gauranga, anything can be accomplished.
Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe, was the Supreme Director of the festival. He kept the rains away from Baltimore's Inner Harbor, although it continued to rain throughout the day in the surrounding areas just a few miles away!!!
The procession lasted for over one hour with devotees chanting blissfully, led by a police escort up Pratt Street, Baltimore's main street, to the Festival of India site. Kirtans led by His Grace Navayogendra Swami, Naradmuni Prabhu, Shastrivar Prabhu, and Gaura-vani Prabhu were nothing but ecstatic and caught heart and soul of all devotees and passersby.
A representative of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley presented ISKCON Baltimore with a Citation of Appreciation as an opening address to the Festival of India. State Delegates from Catonsville and Arbutus, Maryland were also present. Television coverage aired that evening at 6:30 p.m and 10:00 p.m. Devotees' video footage is being edited by Avatara Studios and will be available shortly.
Over 300 books were sold and thousands of people got the opportunity to hear the holy name, perhaps for the first times in their lives. The stage program was excellent; master of ceremonies Pragnesh Surti Prabhu, from New York, kept devotees and guests transcendentally entertained for the entire afternoon.
We were very pleased with the results of this year's festival, Baltimore's
first, which the Lord kindly bestowed on us. We hope to make it an annual
event so that we may continue to serve the mission of Srila Prabhupada, Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and all the Vaisnavas, for many years to come.