Here is a picture to make any father proud. Its a poster for Devotion, the stage presentation of the Krishna Culture Youth group as they tour the USA, Mexico, and Canada. That’s my daughter Jahnavi on the poster, and the poster is pinned to a palm tree in San Diego (British vaishnavas please note the weather)
The tour around North America, with a little break down in Mexico, is the fruit of all the planning and pioneering spirit of Manu das and his wife Jaya Radhe dasi. They plan all the dates, which involve hooking up with more than a dozen Rathayatra festivals. The festivals are put on often by an effective collaberation between the local ISKCON temples, a travelling operation called ‘The Festival of India,’ and the youth. The youth teams help with setting up the festival tents and booths, invigorate the Rathayatra procession, perform dance, drama and kirtan, then take everything down again. Its like joining a Vaishnava circus – without the clowns or sad-looking animals.
This year there’s 53 young people travelling in two buses. They’ve been rolling across America for two months. Florida to Atlanta, New York to Boston, to Toronto, then right across Canada to Vancouver and down the west coast to San Diego, Laguna Beach and across the southern border of the US.
As part of their tour they’ve had the company of sanyasis who’ve given them tuition and inspiration. In between the spirituality and practical services they’ve had time for some white-water rafting and other adventures.
In heading up this amazing opportunity for young people in our movement Manu and Jaya Radhe have done wonderful service. I know that many, many devotee parents will applaud them for all their hard work and foresight. I am very grateful to them both.
Jahnavi has enjoyed it very much, and the others have enjoyed her company and personal contributions, including her southern Indian violin playing. Devotion was a dance performance explaining the nine processes of devotional service: Hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the feet of the Lord, worshipping His image, prayer, becoming a servant, becoming a friend, and taking complete refuge in Him.
I am very happy that Jahnavi has made this tour twice now. As I wrote yesterday, I had a great time from 18-21 travelling and preaching. I cannot think of anything more materially and spiritually fulfilling to do, and I feel proud that I have a daughter who has sacrificed her time and energy to do this to reach out to others with our Vaishnava culture and to develop herself spiritually in the process. She comes home in a couple of weeks and gets immediately back into university and studies. Well done Jahnavi!