“Around two to three hundred kilograms of flowers were used, including 10,000 roses,” says Vraja Hari. “First, the Deities were showered with flower petals on the altar. Then, the flowers were brought into the temple room, where all the devotees enjoyed lovingly throwing flower petals onto each other while a huge kirtan went on.”
“When the military operations intensified our home turned out to be on the front line. Until the last moment, I had hoped that the war would be over soon.” They were not so lucky. When Lugansk got attacked by mortars and the neighboring street became a battlefield, it was time for Nilacala Dasi, her husband Vrajamani Das and daughter Vrinda Gopi to leave.
Today, Ukraine is all over the news for the civil unrest in its capital Kiev. But devotees are safe, and doing what they can to assist those affected. The crisis has, however, affected the Bhakti Sangam festival, which draws thousands of devotees and is the biggest ISKCON festival in the Ukraine and one of the biggest in the world. The festival was held every September in the Crimean Peninsula on the coast of the Black Sea, an area which became Russian territory in late February.
ISKCON devotees in Russia and Ukraine have had quite a turbulent time in the past month with the revolution in Ukraine. Due to this situation Bhakti Vijnana Goswami has recorded an appeal to the devotees of Ukraine and Russia.
Ukrainian priests are trained to comfort their flock — and these days, those worshippers are often on the barricades.