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Flavors of Devotion: A 12-year-old’s Reflection's on the Baltimore Temple Opening

By: for ISKCON News on May 4, 2017
Opinion

The author of the article Revati (left) with her brother Kirtan, mom Vrinda and sister Kairava.

I wasn’t ready for all the excitement that hit me as I walked into the temple. The mridangas, the kartals, and the joyful Kirtan. I bowed down to Srila Prabhupada. The energy from the previous day stilled flowed through the air. I found myself falling down a deep well of anticipation. Waiting, waiting, waiting to see Sri Radha Madhava. I made my way over to the Kirtan party. 

Senior devotees told stories and memories of when Srila Prabhupada came to the old Baltimore temple. I wonder if they ever envisioned there would be a temple this beautiful someday. 

My sister was one of the Kumaris. They held different gifts and would be called up to the altar when the deities opened. She held wooden flutes. She would be one of the first people that the Lord will see. 

The mic was handed to the head priest. “In this ceremony we are to destroy the temple.” He looked around at all the troubled faces. “Well I know that sounds a little scary considering we just built it, but we must destroy the material walls of this temple and replace it with a holy spiritual temple. After this we will (just as we did with the temple) destroy the deity marble forms of Radha Madhava and the real transcendental forms will come into the temple. After this the curtains will open as we do Kirtan.” He gestured towards me as I sat next to the harmonium.

Manipuri Hare Krishna. That was the tune I sang. And before I knew it the curtains were open. All the Kumaris placed their gifts on the altar. The simple Dhoti and Sari the deities wore were the most beautiful outfits I’ve ever seen. No jewels or fancy beads. So many people stood up. I lost my line of sight. I strained my neck in this direction and that direction. They were lost. Closing my eyes I pictured their beautiful forms. This was enough.

“Haribol Haribol Haribol Haribol!” We sang over and over. There it was again! One more glimpse of the deities. Every time I looked at them they seemed to smile even bigger. Sweet names danced on my tongue. So many flavors of devotion. I loved it. I loved every moment.

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