Bhn. Snezana Babic from Serbia, although far away, has been supporting our temple for years and serves Sri Sri Gaura Nitai very nicely in various ways. We are overjoyed, therefore, that on the Day of the Appearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Takura, in Subotica, in a very special and unusual way, she received initiation from her spiritual master, His Holiness Bhaktivaibhava Swami. Namely, Maharaj initiated Snežana so that, in agreement with the authorities from the Zagreb temple, through a letter, he instructed and authorized Bhakti-grantha prabhu to lead the initiation ceremony. Before the deities and the assembled Vaishnavas, bhn. Snezana took her vows and now has a new name: Sukanya Madhavi devi dasi. We wish her all the success and blessings in the service of the guru and Gauranga!
The yajna ceremony was performed by Cedi das.
Behind us is the sixth Rath Yatra in Zagreb, and according to many, the most successful so far!
This event, on September 4, 2021, in the very center of the city of Zagreb, gathered more than 250 devotees and sympathizers of the Movement and countless curious visitors, tourists and passers-by.
Three spiritual teachers, sannyasis, Prahladananda Swami, Candramauli Swami and Kadamba Kanana Swami, participated.
Lord Jagannatha's dancer, Anuradha devi dasi, even performed the traditional bharat-natyam dance twice.
1300 packets of prasadam were distributed from the carriage.
Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra and Srila Prabhupada this time had a slightly longer route, all the way to the Central Station.
More than 380 books by Srila Prabhupada were distributed that day.
The finale was marked by the distribution of delicious prasadam - about 350 samosas and 650 khajas ("Jagannath's tongues", sweets).
The after-party, Sunday Feast, gathered over 100 visitors, including two brand new people. One of them, world traveller Julio, spent three days in the temple and did valuable service for Sri Sri Gaura Nitai.
Immediately after the end of the festival, members of the organizing team of Ratha Yatra began to seriously consider the possibility of building their own carriage for next year. You will be informed in time about the plans themselves, as well as about the opportunities to participate in the fulfillment of this project.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this wonderful event possible and magnified in the smallest way, at least with your own presence. We would especially like to point out and thank one person, without whose special and exceptional effort, all this would simply not be possible. It's Devarsi Narada das! He is already starting to organize an even bigger and more magnificent Ratha Yatra next year. All glory to the devoted devotees of Lord Jagannatha!
This year we had a special guest for Radhastami, His Holiness Kadamaba Kanana Swami. We know that the festival gathers a large number of devotees and visitors, but also that the association of spiritual teachers makes that number increase, which was the case this time as well. Thus, about a hundred visitors attended the festival itself. Of these, the temple was visited for the first time by three “new” people. One of them continued to visit the temple regularly and became increasingly involved in various activities in the temple and community.
In the children's playroom, our Master of Illusion, Krsna-kirtan das, prepared a fun and interactive magic show for a dozen children.
A few enthusiastic devotees decided to spend the sunny September days in harinam, giving everyone who is happy the opportunity to enjoy something far higher than a sunny day. You guessed it, an opportunity to enjoy the taste of the Holy Name. As is usually the case, there were those who watched with special attention and interest what it was all about, to street musicians who, just as the devotees were passing by, were playing the song My Sweet Lord by George Harrison, so the opportunity arose to share it with them. the book Chant and be Happy, which on the back cover has a picture and commentary of this great friend of the devotee. Along with them, there were those who watched timidly and from the sidelines, to those who, as old acquaintances, "at first" took part in the harinam.
The month of September proved to be very successful in terms of book sharing. 1720 transcendental books of Srila Prabhupada were distributed.
We would single out how out of that, 856 books were divided in just one week!
In addition to the usual engagement in book distribution in the City of Zagreb, the devotees also had two sankirtan tours this month, one in Rijeka and the other on Hvar.
Devotees Mario and Emily participated in sankirtana for the first time.
In the Newsletter for the month of July, we announced the Bhadra-purnima campaign that has just ended, and with great success.
As a reminder, the day of the full moon in the month of Bhadra (September) - Bhadra-purnima - is the day when Sukadeva Gosvami ended his seven-day presentation of Srimad Bhagavatam Maharaja Pariksit. It is said in the scriptures, "If on the day of the full moon in the month of Bhadra a person places Srimad Bhagavatam on a golden throne and bestows it on someone, he will reach a transcendental destination."
On this occasion, we gathered a team of enthusiastic devotees (Call Center) who had the task to call over 300 phone numbers from the records of members, friends and benefactors of the temple and offer them sets of Srimad Bhagavatam (a set of all 18 books in English or only two - first and second Canto - in Croatian).
All proceeds are intended exclusively for the much-needed renovation of the temple parking lot, which is in critical condition and is becoming increasingly unusable.
The contractor's best offer is HRK 200,000, and you can see the draft parking plan in the attached photo.
The two weeks of the campaign were divided into:
- 2 sets of Caitanya Caritamrite (26 books)
- 4 sets of Srimad Bhagavatam in English (72 books)
- 30 Srimad Bhagavatama in Croatian (first and second chants)
- 6 books of Krishna book (Srila Prabhupada's summary on the 10th chant of SB)
Total: 134 books!
During the campaign, about HRK 30,000 was collected. The calculation is as follows:
80,000 before the campaign + 30,000 after the campaign = 110,000 kn total available.
This means that we are missing another HRK 90,000.
We are sure that, thanks to additional donations and the generous efforts of all of you, together, we can start work as early as the end of this year, when heavy machinery could start its work.
You can pay your heartfelt donations to the temple account for Capital Projects:
Below you can hear and see how we marked the very day of Bhadra-purnima in the temple. As stated in the above mentioned quote from the scriptures, Bhagavatam should be placed on the golden throne. You wonder where our gold throne came from and if we really have it, how do we “wire” it for parking. Well, we don't really have it, but we managed so that Mataji Ljerka lent us a gold ducat, which we used for that purpose, and placed the Bhagavatam on it. Bhagavatam did not protest.
Then we worshiped Bhagavatam arati and of course kirtana.
Then we walked around the temple three times with Bhagavat on our head.
During this auspicious day, we were contacted by devotees who obtained their copies on time, informing us that they had held a similar ceremony in their homes, and then gave the same Bhagavatam to someone. Everyone is getting ready for a transcendental destination! One devotee was looking for a suitable candidate until late at night to give him his copy of the Bhagavatam Purana, which is as bright as the Sun, by midnight.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in the campaign.
We look forward to serving together again!
The following is an interview Devarsi Narada das conducted with Devarsi Narada das.
DRND: Dear Devarsi Narada das, since our last interview, is there any progress?
Devarsi Narada das: How not !? If you remember, a few months ago you asked me how much money we have in the capital account for parking and I told you HRK 50,023.30. Today the situation is completely different. At the moment we have HRK 110,925.48 in the account. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the large and small donors. Especially to our Call Center which did a great thing during the Bhadra-purnima campaign in which over 130 Maha-big books were distributed, and together with the devotees who were doing sankirtan on the street at the time - HRK 40,000 was raised.
DRND: Is that enough or do we need more funds?
Devarsi Narada das: Well we’re somewhere a little over halfway there. Parking costs about HRK 200,000 (you need to take into account some 20% more, because when the works start, you know how it goes, there is always some extra cost). But just as I was optimistic last time, so am I now. Excavators are coming out on the field sometime before Christmas 2021. And we also have the Prabhupada marathon ahead of us, as well as the intensified campaign we are planning for December.
DRND: If the excavators come before the end of the year, how are we going to get rid of that leftover if I fail to raise all the funds?
Devarsi Narada das: Personally, I think we will be able to collect almost everything, and if that doesn't happen, we always have a few borrowing options. Let us remember that this temple was also completed by credit borrowing where many devotees were guarantors (Tulasi Vallabha prabhu etc.). It's one option, but I might still go for another option - a blank promissory note. There are other ways, such as deferred payment and the like. But let’s face it now, we better concentrate on how we can do this without borrowing.
DRND: You just mentioned an intensified campaign. What is it about?
Devarsi Narada das: For December, we plan to print calendars with beautiful photographs of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Srila Prabhupada from our temple, which we will send to devotees and our benefactors at their home address as a “gift”. The calendar is completely free, we do not expect anything in return, but if by chance someone is still in the mood to return this wonderful "gift", they are free to pay a donation. Some give 100, some 200, some 500 KN. In any case, all funds will go exclusively to parking. In case that until 15.12. someone does not get a calendar, you can contact Vraja Mandala Priya mataji on 0915626462 and request your "free" copy.
DRND: At what stage is the parking now?
Devarsi Narada das: Never worse! I'm kidding, you probably wanted to ask what stage it's in the making? It is currently in the project development phase, which is being worked on independently by two expert engineers. Bh. Marin from Dubrovnik and a lady from Karlovac. The surveyors have completed their work and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gaura-sakti das for fully funding this entire surveying process and for his involvement in this whole large project in general.
DRND: Thank you for this detailed information, I hope our next conversation will take place in an already paved parking lot.
Devarsi Narada das: Thank you too! I don't know why, but whenever I talk to you I have a feeling that we know each other for life ...
In the temple, we started regular cooking classes for our young devotees and well-wishers. Krishna's future cooks were trained by Vaikuntha-murti das.
You recently had the opportunity to read the call for fundraising, as an ideal opportunity for many congregational devotees to participate in the sankirtan mission. Our intention was for the temple brahmacaris who go out every day to share books to buy quality clothes and shoes for the uninterrupted and safe performance of their service. With your heartfelt donations, we have collected over HRK 2000. Thanks to everyone who participated. A common celebration of the Lord’s holy name ki jai!
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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