Jagannatha Puri – On February 3-5 the Puri Congress of Peace and Harmony was held. His Holiness Bhaktitirtha Swami had attended in 2002 and encouraged his godbrothers and godsisters to actively participate. This year, for the first time, the Congress invited a female Hare Krsna from outside of India—me—to be on the Congress Planning Commission. I accepted this role in the association of many Puri dignitaries, scholars, doctors, and health-oriented leaders for the purpose of extending Prabhupada's broad vision of peace and harmon. I was informally named the "goodwill abassador" for Puri.
The Puri Congress also established that they desire a "direct disciple of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada" to be a prominent speaker in the schedule every year. I was asked to be the speaker this year, but passed the invitation on to Dhruva Maharaj das and his wife, Samapriya devi dasi. Instead, I volunteered to coordinate a cultural event which would include non-Indian devotees.
Having two daughters who are very active in the drama and Indian classical music scenes, I have some experience with directing dramas. Years ago, I had written a drama, "Krsna's Headache" based on the very famous story. I performed in it, as part of Rhythm Divine, in Vrndavana. It got such a great reception that we performed it in Delhi, Bombay, and many other places.
Years later, I went with my daughter Goura Prema, a Katthak dancer, on the 2006 Maharastran tour with His Holiness Lokanath Swami, where we peformed it in several villages. The beautiful thing about this drama is that many many souls can be engaged and offer some talent or seva (service) for Krishna to ease His headache. The drama is always a big success and a lot of fun, especially working together with devotees from India and all over the world.
So, with the Lord’s help, I organized a cast of about 12 principal actors and many beautiful girls. Several different countries were represented, including Russia, Italy, and Germany, as well as different Indian states. Together we put on a gala performance the last night of the Congress, featuring an emotionally wrenching performance by the young girls, who played the part of Krishna’s gopis.
The great success of so many foreigner bhaktas speaking at the Congress led to many of them being interviewed on local TV stations and newspapers, including the Times of India.
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