Dates: Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June 2016.
Invitation to participate by Dayal Mora dasa, ISKCON-London Brahmacari Ashram Leader:
The inspiration behind the Padayatra
Padayatra is an excellent way to reach the public and show that the Hare Krishna’s really practice what they teach. As a mobile Temple, Padayatra simultaneously preaches Harinama Sankirtana, book distribution, prasadam distribution, deity worship, cow protection and the lifestyle of “simple living and high thinking” in harmony with nature and the supreme will of Krishna.
I became inspired about putting on this Padayatra for the 50th year of ISKCON after learning about how Parasurama dasa performs Padayatra every year in Vraja during Kartik. I was fortunate enough to travel with him last year and worked alongside him for the month of Kartik whereby we circumambulated the whole of Vraja with oxcart, distributing tonnes of prasadam and thousands of books.
I was very inspired by the positive impact of this style of preaching and realised how important it is to perform a Padayatra for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada in this landmark year. It’s a fact that Srila Prabhupada called for millions of oxcarts to perform Padayatra all over the world and it was our Founder-Acharya’s wish also to do parikrama around Govardhana Hill on an oxcart.
In light of these instructions, Lokanatha Swami has called for 50 Padayatra’s worldwide this year for the 50th Anniversary, and so this event would contribute as one of those 50. It is a great opportunity to gain the blessings and recognition of the international ISKCON community for the UK’s progressive preaching spirit.
A Pilgrimage for Peace
We have named this Padayatra “A Pilgrimage for Peace”. We will be emphasising the theme of cow protection, self-sufficiency, a simple way of life in tune with nature and the will of the Lord, and love for all living entities. We hope to attract the attention of the local media and in this way reach out to countless people through this event. The use of the bullocks will attract so many people, especially children, maximising our impact upon the public.
Itinerary – everyone is welcome to join us!
The planned route is from Hastings to Brighton via Eastbourne which is a sum total of under 40 miles which will be walked by us over a period of 5 days which averages out at 8 miles a day with a maximum of 10 miles in any one day.
We will begin the walk on Monday 30th May and finish in Brighton on Friday 3rd June.
The weather at this time of year is usually very mild, with Brighton having a decent climate by UK standards.
The walking will be from the morning at 10am after the morning rush and we will be going at a pace suitable for everyone, including the bullocks. There is no hurry as the proposed daily distance is easily covered at a leisurely pace. Even if we walk at only 3 miles an hour with an hour break for lunch the distance will be covered in the afternoon without any difficulty.
The land across the coast is mostly flat between Hastings and Eastbourne and the winding and gently sloping hills which we will encounter between Eastbourne and Brighton will not present any problem for the bullocks.
We will have a core team of 8 to 10 full-time devotees with us with experience in this kind of outdoor lifestyle, and three, most notably Parasurama, with specific expertise in oxcart Padayatra.
Everyone is welcome to come and walk with us during the days and join in.
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Nrsimhananda das, Devotee Care Committee Member NA
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Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium