The first Annual Parsippany, New Jersey, Rathayatra festival was held this summer on July 11th, 2021.
The bright-faced, colorfully dressed devotees, numbering over 1500, sang, danced, and joyfully pulled the beautifully decorated chariot of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra Devi starting at the Vrajdham temple and ending at the construction site of the brand new Grand ISKCON Parsippany Temple, where the parade ending with a thunderous kirtan.
The Mayor of Parsippany, Michael Soriano, and Madana Gopala Das
The Mayor enthusiastically participated throughout the entire parade beginning with the opening coconut arati and then being the first to sweep the street before the cart of the Lord as has been traditionally done by the king of the land throughout history.
Working hand-in-hand with our partner the Vrajdham Temple of Parsippany, we charted out a unique route that wound through beautifully landscaped streets and the lovely Mazdabrook residential neighborhood lined with homes of Krishna devotees who came out of their home with arati trays to offer to Lord Jagannath.
At the end of the parade, the festivities continued inside the grand hall at the PAL center across the street from the temple construction site. Here we had some beautiful devotional dance performances by the world-famous Kalasri School of Dance as well as the performers from the Vrajdham Temple congregation. A sumptuous prasadam feast (sanctified vegetarian food of over 1200 plates) was distributed free of charge to all attendees.
New temple under construction
The new temple under construction is now visible from a distance due to its towering steel beams where the workers are working at a feverish pace to get the outer structure complete by October before the cold weather sets in. This will allow the indoor work to continue unimpeded by the weather through the rest of the year and into next year. We hope to move into the new building by the summer of 2022. Our only bottleneck at this point is funding. We have raised and spent over $4.5 million and need only another $1.5 million or so to complete the first phase which will allow us to commence worship and operations.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today: https://www.iskconofnewjersey.org/donate
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