“In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Krishna instructs Uddhava in the principles of devotional service which please Him. ISKCON is completely following these instructions that include singing, dancing and playing musical instruments glorifying the Lord, observing festivals like Ratha Yatra and making special offerings to the Lord on such occasions, observing religious vows such as Ekadashi and taking initiation as per the procedures laid out in the scriptures like Pancharatra,” said His Holiness Shri Vidyesha Thirtha Swamiji of Sri Bhandarakeri Mutt while addressing the devotees at the inaugural ceremony of the 30th Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra celebrated by ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Bangalore on 24th January 2015.
His Holiness stressed the importance of utilising the valuable human life to develop unflinching devotion to Lord Krishna. Eulogizing the Akshaya Patra initiative of ISKCON, he said, “Lord Krishna in Udupi who is known as Annabrahma is extending His mercy to north India through this spiritual activity of ISKCON.”
The festival witnessed thousands of devotees enthusiastically taking part in pulling the Ratha with devotion. The inaugural ceremony of the Ratha Yatra was also graced by the presence of His Holiness Sri Shivanubhava Charamurthi Sri Shivarudra Maha Swamiji of Belimutt. He glorified Srila Prabhupada saying that Prabhupada has brought Lord Krishna from the spiritual kingdom to this earth for the welfare of the whole world. “We should pray to the Lord with the door of our heart open so that He can reside within our heart. It is possible to get full benefit of this Ratha Yatra when we are anxious to see the beautiful form of the Lord and have the eagerness to take part in the celebration knowing ourselves to be greatly fortunate,” he added.
Regarding the Vrindavana Chandrodaya Mandira being built in Vrindavana by the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore, he said, “The majestic temple is rising up in Mathura for Lord Krishna showing His Vishva Rupa. The seed sown by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has fructified and is growing into a huge tree. All this is Lord’s desire.”
Sri Gopalaiah, M. L. A., Mahalakshmipuram, Sri N L Narendra Babu, Ex–MLA and Sri S Harish, Ex Dy. Mayor of BBMP, Bangalore were among the dignitaries present on this occasion.
ISKCON temple president Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa said, “Srila Prabhupada has taken the pure message of Lord Krishna all over the world. He has incorporated every item of devotional service like chanting, dancing, prasadam, Ratha Yatra etc. as given in the Bhagavatam. The Hare Krishna mantra is so powerful that it changes even a stone-heart to make it Krishna conscious. Everything here on the hill is a sankalpa of Srila Prabhupada. Every gift that we have is the mercy of Srila Prabhupada.”
On the occasion of Ratha Yatra, Annadana program under which free lunch prasadam is served to the devotees visiting the temple every day was inaugurated according to the instruction of Srila Prabhupada to freely distribute prasadam as one of the core principles of Krishna Consciousness.
The colourfully decorated and illuminated Ratha carrying the Deities of Lord Krishna, Balarama, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda and Srila Prabhupada was pulled by hundreds of devotees through the streets of Mahalakshmipuram and Rajajinagar 1st Block amid Harinama Sankirtan that resounded in all directions. The divine forms of Their Lordships magnificently dressed and decorated and riding on the Ratha, gave a spiritual experience to all who took darshan and offered prayers. Free sweet prasadam was distributed to everyone throughout the Ratha Yatra. Devotees made an offering of flowers, fruits, coconuts etc. to Their Lordships at many places along the route of the procession.
The celebration concluded with Pallakki Utsava of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama followed by delicious and sumptuous dinner prasadam to all.