Friday, September 30, 2011

Srila Prabhupada's Arrival in the UK: BHAJAHARI DAS

Devotees gather outside 7 Bury Place at the start of a special Harinam
to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's Arrival in London

On Saturday 10th September, almost forty initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada, along with up to 80 others (many who had chanted and rendered service together in ISKCON's formative 1970's era) assembled outside 7 Bury Place, Bloomsbury, London, the site of the first UK ISKCON temple established by Srila Prabhupada on 14th September 1969. 
With a palpable sense of anticipation the devotees, some of whom hadn't seen each other for over 30 years, proceeded to chant and dance along Oxford Street and then on through other parts of the West End, stopping in Cambridge Circus where they drew a huge crowd of smiling (and sometimes dancing) members of the public. Most of them seemed already familiar with the sight of blissful devotees, but not so accustomed to such a large assembly from the senior generation! 
38 formally initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada together with about 80 other Vaisnavas
performing Harinam on Oxford Street

After a vibrant and sometimes tearful kirtan outside the Palace Theatre, the party continued to the Soho Street Temple for arati. Most of the group then returned to Bhaktivedanta Manor to enjoy a ‘70's style' feast, followed by exquisite film footage of Srila Prabhupada in the UK compiled by Mohan das.
Many were visibly moved by this rare opportunity to reunite and chant together again in the intimate family mood created by their eternal spiritual father, Srila Prabhupada.  
Blissful disciples of Srila Prabhupada performing Harinam on Oxford Street

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