I started the day with a broadcast to 20 online watchers, then finished the day with a broadcast to 2 million radio listeners.
As I usually do on Wednesday mornings at 7.30, I gave the online Srimad Bhagavatam class via webcam broadcast. Today we were discussing how the leader of society has four duties: (1) To follow dharmic principles (2) To encourage others to do so (3) To protect dharma within society (4) To challenge atheism and sinful practises. Even though it was Boxing Day there were still around 20 devotees up bright and early to catch the class.
At the temple we held a ceremony for the thirteenth day after the passing of Gangotri, our cow. The Vedas enjoin that the cow is accorded the funeral rites of humans. Sri Ramachandra performed the same shraddha ceremony for the bird Jatayu.
Gadadhara Pandit and Shyamasundara perform tarpana for Gangotri
In Vedic culture the cow is known as Aghanya meaning ‘one who it is forbidden to kill’ and the fire sacrifice was performed both to pray for the continued journey of the departed and to alleviate the burden of sin created by the act of killing.
Simultaneous with the temple ceremony was a protest outside the headquarters of the RSPCA down in Horsham, West Sussex. Surprisingly, a significant amount of media interest was generated by this and local newspapers were joined by national dailies the Sun, Independent, and Mail. Sky News also attended.
This afternoon I was interviewed on PM, the BBC Radio 4 late afternoon news programme with around 2 million listeners. No RSPCA spokesperson was available for comment. You can see many more photos of the two events here.