A dozen devotees from the harinam team 'Waves of sankirtan', and this year, in the period from 1.8. to 11.8., went on tour in the cities of Dalmatia, Kvarner and Istria, all the way from Split to Pula. Permanent members of the tour: Prema-murti d, Gaura-mitra d, Dharma-vatsala d, Uddhava-mitra d, bh. Alen, bh. Subala, Sadhumati-sakhi dd, Taruni Radha dd, Seva-kunja dd and bhn. Ploa, held a total of 13 harinams, and were joined by local devotees. A total of 252 books by Srila Prabhupada were distributed, and Uddhava-mitra das from Slovenia, who, as they say, distributed the books "at the speed of the mind", is most responsible for such a beautiful number. For the first time on the tour, prasadam was distributed, so 720 packets of prasadam ended up in the hands, but also under the teeth, of happy souls.
The team is especially grateful to the devotees who welcomed them with accommodation and thus made the tour possible. The hosts were: Mrgendra d (Čiovo), Ananta-sesa d, bh. Luka and Damodara-sena d with families (Zadar), mother Višnja and Aco (parents of Seva-kunja dd in Šibenik), Srivas-pandit d (Rijeka), Sivananda-sena d and Caitanya-nitai d (Pula).
Apart from the coast, harinam and sankirtan also took place on the mainland, but also on the islands.
In August, 1,100 books by Srila Prabhupada were distributed!
The month of August is always marked by our very important festivals. This year we had three of them (last year there were as many as four in August). The first in a row was the Day of the Appearance of Lord Balarama.
In the association of a large number of devotees, as is usually the case, with bhajans and abhisek, we praised Lord Balarama and prayed to Him on this auspicious day for spiritual strength on the path of devotional service. The lecture was given by Kakudmi das.
We thank everyone who, in the slightest way, contributed to the performance of this festival, which, according to the feedback of several devotees, went particularly “smoothly” and “cool”.
Our temple brahmacari and sankirtan devotee, bh. Andrei, on the all-auspicious Day of the Appearance of Lord Balarama, received the first initiation from His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami, who on that occasion gave him the name - Advaita das. We wish Advaita prabhu all the blessings of guru and Gauranga for successful service!
By the way, Advaita das and his brother, Ameyatma das, come to us from far Russia, and their guru sent them to our temple to distribute books and, since Croatian is not their mother tongue, they are doing quite well. Not only that, they are a real example of humble and diligent devotees who make chapati's for devotees before sankirtana, clean the kitchen and serve other temple residents prasadam in the morning, and when they return to the temple after five hours of sankirtana, clean the hallways and toilets.
The second major festival in a row, the one that regularly gathers the most visitors, was Sri Krishna Janmashtami, or the Day of the Appearance of Lord Krishna (also known to the Vaishnava folk's as "Krishna's Birthday").
As a true Celebrant, in sumptuous white garments of golden color, with glittering jewels, a large turban on his head, and crowned with a beautiful flower garland, which he accepted from the devotees as their service to Him, the Lord was ready for this great day, just like the devotees, who served all day so that the Lord and His birthday guests could have a special transcendental experience.
From early morning, Gaura-mitra d, Nrsingha-lila dd, Fani, Gita (daughter of bh. Zoran Crnčević), Emily and Karmen, decorated the temple room, while in the kitchen, Vraja Mandali Priya dd, Vakuntha-murti d and bh. Mario Jukić, prepared birthday offers to the Lord. The beautiful new suit for Gauranga and Nityananda was taken care of by Krsna-rupa devi dasi who worked on it for as long as a year!
The Ambassador of India, His Excellency Raj Kumar Srivastava, a native of Mathura and who is, as we would say, a "devotee at heart", also honored us with his presence. It is not surprising, therefore, that this Ambassador is especially sympathetic to us (in addition to many "spiritual" institutions from India operating in the Republic of Croatia). It is also worth mentioning that, accompanied by him, as many as ten members of his staff from the embassy visited the temple for the first time. It is especially interesting how everyone brought Krishna's birthday present, as is the custom when we go to someone's birthday party. Thank you to them for that beautiful example!
We said at the beginning that this festival gathers the most visitors. So in one moment, in the temple room alone, as many as 130 people were celebrating Krishna together!
It is especially worth mentioning that on that day, for the first time, in addition to the embassy staff, four completely "new" people came to the temple. Three of them "from the street", that is, from sankirtana!
Since Lord Krishna appeared at midnight, we fasted until then. However, we did not fast from the loud and enthusiastic chanting of the holy name, which is how we welcomed the very moment of Krishna's appearance. At midnight we enjoyed the exchange of love among the devotees through serving and accepting Krishna’s remnants of the feast.
The very next morning (some did not even close their eyes, but just continued to serve) we were greeted by another festival, the most important for all sincere followers of Srila Prabhupada. It is the Day of the Appearance of the Founder-acarya of ISKCON His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. This year it was exactly the 125th anniversary of his appearance.
All over the world, this day was followed in a special way and with great attention, in some places even by the media. Thus, in New York, in the famous Time Square, a giant photograph of Srila Prabhupada with some of the most important information about his life appeared. In India, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, showed the public a special coin with the image of Srila Prabhupada, which was made in honor of this great anniversary. And our ISKCON temple was invited to participate in an online conference ahead of that event in India.
Traditionally, on this special day, devotees express Srila Prabhupada their feelings of love, gratitude and sacrifice to his mission through reading written offerings. It seems that only through time and following the instructions given to us by Prabhupada can each of us look deeper and more fully into our personal relationship with him, so reading the offerings this year was a great inspiration to the devotees present, as well as a lesson in which our dear a guest from Crikvenica, Isodyana das, spoke about the amazing feat that Srila Prabhupada did as a service for his spiritual master and Krishna.
Thanks to everyone who organized this festival!
As August is quite an intense month, full of festivals and events, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the abhisek team, which has been dedicated, careful and very professional for years to ensure that the deities in the temple get bathing and worship in general. The Abhisek team is led by Nitai-paramananda das, and these devotees also serve: Vaisnava-seva d and wife Lila-avatar dd, Narahari dd, Krsna-rupini dd, Dinadayadri dd, Krsna-katha dd, Krsna-kanta d and bhn. Ivan from Petrinja. Recently, Krsna-rupini dd, Nrsingha-lila dd and husband Matsya d and Vrsabha d (CMS) also joined the team. Saridvara dd is an external collaborator who sends a multitude of fruit garlands for abhisek from every festival in Sinj.
We would especially like to thank Mataja Ljerka for her responsibility and above all perseverance, who has been taking care of flower arrangements in the temple for years, not only on the eve of the festival, but also that they are not lacking every day. Mataji Ljerka not only makes sure that there are always flowers in the temple, but also involves and organizes others in contributing to that service. We would not dare to mention who all contributed to the flower arrangements for these festivals, as there were indeed many who donated flowers and / or financially supported the procurement, and we are afraid to mention anyone.
From now on, you can also find ghee (clarified butter) made from homemade milk in the offer of the temple shop. The price of the jar is 80 kn, and all proceeds from the sale are intended for the renovation of the deity room and altar of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, with which we plan to start in the middle of next year.
Contact: Vraja Mandali Priya devi dasi, 091 56 26 462
Donations for the temple or for Club 108 can be paid at IBAN: HR1123400091110102369.
Donations for the construction of parking lots or other capital projects can be paid at IBAN: HR5623400091510955126.
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