for Indo American News on May 24, 2013
On Saturday, May 18, as Part of “Self Discovery” programs all over the Houston conducted by ISKCON, the Hare Krishna Dham, devotees grand celebrated annual event called “Festival of Love and Trust” (FOLT) at Gauranga Hall. This year, the theme of FOLT was “Nama Ruchi (Attraction towards Mantra meditation) – the Unique Gift of Srila Prabhupada”. The festival promoted loving exchanges amongst the participants with lot of interactive activities around the theme. More than 100 families from different places of Houston came and celebrated the FOLT with lot of enthusiasm and interest.
The Festival inaugurated with Ratha Yatra of “Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Lady Subhadra” around the Gauranga Hall of the Temple conducted by the children of all ages who performed ecstatic kirtan. Before starting the cultural programs, ladies sang the Mangala Charana (invocation prayers) led by HG Madhavi Gopi. This was followed by the Sri Nama Bhajan – “Bol Hari Bol – Chant the name of Hari” beautifully sung by the Bhakti Vriksha kids with different musical instruments which was taught by Sujata Srikanteswaran.
There was also a presentation of Bhakti Vriksha Testimonies by various members of all the Self-Discovery groups. The interactive multimedia quiz called “Pariprashnena” (inquiry) was conducted by Gopal Ramamurthy, in which the participants were asked questions based on Bhagavad Gita, ‘Your Ever Well-Wisher’ book (Srila Prabhupada’s Biography), Vaishnava bhajans and Darshana (deities of ISKCON temples all over the world).
Barsana Humble Self Discovery group enacted a skit called “Mind Your Mind”. This skit revealed the mind of a person, who is trying to progress in devotional path, and how the mind resists and distracts him from the same. It also presented how the person was able to control his mind with the help of devotee association and chanting of the holy names to make progress in the devotional service.
Bhakti Vriksha Youth group presented a Higher Taste Fashion show, in which they depicted how Bhakta Prahalada is saved and how Hiranyakasipu is slayed by Lord Narasimha who is none other than Lord Krishna.
Kalasuda Devi Dasi directed “Kali’s Nightmare” drama, in which devotees acted wonderfully showing how in Kali Yuga (The age of quarrel and hypocrisy), the evil qualities (Meat Eating, Intoxication, Gambling and Illicit Sex) influence and divert the people in devotional service. The drama further revealed how the Sankirtana movement started by Lord Chaitanya can help one overcome these evil qualities. They also showed the love and trust among devotees will protect from these evil influences and progress in devotion with the blessing from the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada.
The Temple president, Shyamsundar and his wife Shyamvallabhi inaugurated the highlight of event, “The Art Calendar”, which was made with the kids’ wonderful paintings on the theme, “Nama Ruchi”. The Art Calendar along with a Back to Godhead magazine and a Bhajan CD was given as a gift to all the families. At the end, a sumptuous vegetarian feast prasadam perfectly completed the ensemble for the evening.
ISKCON is excited to invite everyone to the interactive “Self Discovery” programs (consist of music, mantra-meditation, philosophical discussion, and dinner) in your neighborhood. At these Self-Discovery programs you will meet many like-minded, growth-oriented people like yourself, and likely make many new friends and contacts. We would also recommend bringing family members and friends to the program.
For further details, visit
http://www.iskconhouston.org/alpha/activities/outreach/self-discovery-classes or call at 713-686-GITA (4482) or visit ISKCON Hare Krishna Dham located on 1320 W 34th Street, Houston, TX 77018