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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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ISKCON’s Youth Bus Tour Reaches Midpoint, Performing at Iconic Utah Temple
By Thomas Haribol, ISKCON News Managing Editor   |  Jul 28, 2023
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Thirty members of the Krishna Culture Festival Tour reached the mid-point of their six-week tour with a visit to the iconic Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Since 1995, ISKCON Youth Ministry volunteers have led the Krishna Culture Festival Tours (aka Youth Bus Tours) across North America to inspire youth in Krishna consciousness.

“The mission of ISKCON Youth Ministry bus tours is to inspire, train, engage and empower youth in Krishna consciousness to their fullest potential, through transformational immersion experiences, passing on the missionary spirit to the next generation, our future hope,” said Manorama Dasa, one of the long-time organizers.

The journey, which began in Alachua, Florida, in June, has already participated in three Canadian Ratha-Yatras (Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary) and seen some of the most stunning scenic landscapes, including Yellowstone National Park, the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, and the Athabasca Glacier. “We’ve seen some amazing places, but the most meaningful part of the experience so far has been the kirtans and participating in the Ratha Yatras,” said one of the group members, Nandini. She is joined by her brother Shyam and their older sister Shyamsundari. The three devotee siblings are from Manchester, UK. Besides the UK and US, other countries represented on the tour include New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.

Devotee siblings Nandini, Shyamsundari, and Shyam.

After being welcomed by Caru Das and Vaibhavi Devi Dasi, the group participated in a morning of service and lunch prasada at the Spanish Fork temple before visiting nearby glacier-blue mineral pools and cooling waterfalls as Utah faced nearly triple-digit temperatures.

That evening, locals and devotees gathered for an energetic and inspiring one-hour program. It began with a spell-binding devotional dance presentation by Ksamesvari Edwards and Ranganayaki Mayshark.

Next, the crowd was treated to a new drama called “The Gita,” written by Bhaktimarga Swami, who had joined the tour earlier during part of its Canadian leg. This was their sixth performance, which was first given at the Toronto Festival of India. A stirring and joyful kirtan followed which had the whole crowd dancing.

Following the inspiring evening, Spanish Fork devotees bid a sad goodbye to the youth who jumped on the bus for a night drive to their next stop in Bryce Canyon, Utah, celebrating its 100th anniversary as a National Park. The next two weeks will include outreach in Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park, Temple visits in San Diego and Laguna Beach, a Japa Retreat in Sequoia National Park, and the famous LA Ratha Yatra.

For more information about this life-changing service and how you can support and sponsor future events, visit their website.

 

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