By Jaya Sada Gosai Dasa
For only the second time in History, the people of Adelaide were treated to the spiritual delight that is Jagannath Ratha Yatra. The festival was staged as part of the annual Australia Day celebrations in the CBD. Nominally, the Ratha was a float in a long parade. But, in truth, the Lord of the Universe had simply found another way to distribute His incomparable mercy.
The parade as a whole turned out to be diverse, colourful and loud! Its theme was about celebrating the liberal and multicultural ethos that is modern Australia. Accordingly, the floats were a veritable feast for the senses. Nevertheless, as He always does, Lord Jagannath stood out. Like Mahaprabhu through Nadia, Jagannath through Adelaide was the cynosure of all eyes. In spite of the other attractions, His Rath commanded undivided attention. Members of the public gathered round in droves, politicians clamoured for the photo op, people whooped and clapped with delight. Temple President, 68 year old His Grace Adi Purusa Krishna Prabhu led Kirtan for five hours. Along with this, Yashoda Sakhi Mataji’s team of well-trained ladies danced exquisitely. Their twirling, swaying moves were made even more attractive by the elegant waving of hand-fans. Some 40 devotees manned Jagannath’s ropes, but all members of the ISKCON Adelaide contingent captivated the 50,000 strong crowd with their spiritual enthusiasm.
And that should be no surprise. Members of the Adelaide Yatra worked hard for several months to make Ratha Yatra a success. There was governmental red tape to be negotiated, a Rath had to be organised plus many other finer details. All this consumed much time and of course Lakshmi. When the date itself arrived, the devotees were raring to go. Australia day is a public holiday thus many attended the morning program. Their spiritual appetite was whetted further by Gaura Carana Prabhu’s explosive, moving class on the appearance of Advaita Acarya.
In the end, His Grace Adi Purusa Krishna Prabhu’s organisational skills, the devotees’ cooperation and Lord Jagannath’s mercy resulted in a triumph for Srila Prabhupada’s mission. The Lord of the Universe rolled through town and began the spiritual lives of thousands.
-Article by Jaya Sada Gosai Dasa