Devotional Resonances

– Akanksha Saxena & Chandrika Deb

Of all that is material and spiritual, God is the origin and the dissolution.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is the mecca of the spiritual world. Through Krishna Consciousness, this spiritual space enables people to tread on the path towards renunciation of all material desires and achievement of true happiness.

It emphasizes that the material world is full of temporary manifestations and is plagued by suffering and pain. Life is too short to spend it in relentless material pursuits and it is only through selfless devotion to Lord Krishna that one can attain bliss. With reliance on this simple principle, the ISKCON has changed the lives of many, who have abandoned their comfortable lives and lucrative careers, to dedicate their lives in the satisfaction of the Lord.

For Gaura Nitai Das, his life changed when he met the Hare Krishnas in the US. That brief interaction answered many questions for him: “what is the aim of life?”, “what is happiness?”, “why do we feel so much pain and suffering?”

Many like him delve into the depths of devotion here, which in turn leads to enlightenment and existentialism. More and more people are being mesmerised by this divine intervention which through chanting and devotional services, makes you realise the ultimate truth, which the material world can never compensate for.

The ISKCON was formed to spread the Bhakti Yoga in which aspirant Devotees dedicated their thoughts and actions to God.

The temple emphasizes Lord Krishna’a philosophy of true devotion. It is believed that he reincarnated as Mahaprabhu Chaitanya to show the world what a true devotee’s life should exemplify.

Bhakt Avatar Das, previously a Meditation Trainer in the US, has been a devotee of ISKCON since the 1980s.

He believes that the ‘keertanas’ and the ‘aartis’ provide him with an outlet for emotional and spiritual release through music and dance. He particularly enjoys the Rath Yatra, and prides himself in pulling the chariot for Lord Krishna.

The Sanctum sanctorum of the temple where devotees gather at dawn for ‘Mangla Aarti’ (Morning Worship)

Through dance and music, the devotees offer their prayers to Lord Krishna. Their selfless dedication translates into a trance like spectacle of the same.

Devotees carry the fans in a procession around the temple.

Louisa, is an Italian, but for the last few years has been living at the ISKCON temple at Barcelona, Spain. A Psychology graduate, she serves people at the temple through healing practices like Reiki.

Ever since she has been a devotee she says she has overcome the feeling of emptiness in her life.

Urmila believes that Krishna consciousness and spirituality have helped her attain true happiness. Having left her medical practice, she and her family have dedicated their lives to the service of the temple. Preparing ‘bhog’ and teaching spirituality to the devotees at the temple, have helped her move past the traumas that she faced in her domestic life.

Gaura Nitai Das says his life changed when he met the “Hare Krishnas” at the Rainbow Festival in USA, while hitchhiking.

Today he is a philosophy teacher at the ISKCON school in Mayapur, West Bengal. His 8 year old son, Balagopala is also a devotee.

Balagopal loves to play mridangam during “keertanas” at the temple and drawimg sketches of Lord Krishna.

The‘bhaktas’ (devotees) surround ‘tulsi’ plant to offer prayers.

Sunehri Sakhi, suffered various hardships at her home in Uzbekistan. She moved to India, with her husband and two children, Yamuna and Raghuraman, looking for peace and happiness. The sight of children smoking today disturbs her and feels spirituality is essential for the youth today.

Devotees spend their time preparing ‘prasadam’ for the visitors in the temple. They consider it a fortunate thing to be able to serve Krishna in this way.

The temple also has a full-fledged library that stores religious and cultural texts about Hinduism and other religions.

Visitors line up to collect Prasadam. ‘Prasadam’, literally, a gracious gift, is a substance that is first offered to a deity and then consumed.

Towards tranquility and spiritual pursuit.


~ by thegai on April 25, 2010.

2 Responses to “Devotional Resonances”

  1. great work…

  2. Interesting. Must check this out.

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