Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Krishna Puja Recollections

The 2006 Shri Krishna Puja left an indelible mark in the hearts of all who experienced it. The beauty of music, theater and joy of sharing was all over the place. Rakhi ceremony always carries special cool vibrations and is one of the most joyful events in a Krishna Puja. No one can compare the graceful and dignified dance performance of the brilliant soul Shraddha to Pt Bhimsen Joshi’s ‘Jai Jagdishwari’. The skit for Dahi-handi was awesome: it showed the breaking the curd/butter pot by Shri Krishna climbing a pyramid of yuvas. Auntie Tracy’s Julia played the role of Yashoda so well and Uncle Matt Malley’s son Tansen was brilliant as Shri Bala Krishna. It is the sweetest thing one can ever witness – you knew instantly that the crowd’s heart-strings tugged as the watched the interaction of Shri Krishna & Yashoda.

The funny twist was that Tansen was too young to climb the human pyramid and break the Matki – so in scene 2, the Krishna was replaced by another yound kid from the LA ashram – which was quite fun and joyful to watch.

The Connecticut collective performed Krishna bhajans in the Carnatic style of Indian classical music, which was tremendously soothing. They were preceeded by the heart tugging song ‘Namaste’ by the LA collective. The Toronto Collective sprung a pleasant surprise with a 12 year old lead singer – they did some amazing bhajans. There were many other dance performances by yuvas and yoginis.

Puja day morning meditation was followed by the newer biographical movie on Shri Mataji, I think called “Liberty & Freedom”. It has interviews of Shri Mataji, her daughters, Gregoire, Dr Brian Wells, Rajesh Shah and most importantly the first person to recognize Shri Mataji – the gujarati lady (my memory is failing at this point…). The movie is made on film, not video and has rich colors and top level direction and editing. It showcases some of the highlights of Sahaja Yoga – beautifully done – Shri Mataji arriving in ganapatipule by train, traveling to the MTDC hotel, puja preparations in ganapatiphule. The film starts off in a typical Indian bazaar, where a Sahaja Yogi vegetable seller is explaining what Sahaja yoga means to him in Marathi… stupendous. Then the movie moves into the details of the freedom struggle, beautiful anecdotes. Most importantly – the open explanation of Pujas and Sahaja Marriages. Astounding stuff. Hopefully it will be sold at one of the forthcoming pujas.

On puja day, Seattle showed a collection of Mother’s video extracts from all USA pujas – which was quite rousing. Shri Mataji’s declaration that America is the Vishuddhi was a beautiful moment when She is in her most compassionate ‘roopa’.

And then, Shri Mataji arrived.

Smiling, joyful, beautiful, vibrant, dynamic… during gifts she was speaking out and responding and smiling… which melted many hearts in the Grand Ballroom. Michigan made a nice offering at Mother’s lotus feet with a walnut-wood map of Michigan state with current SY centers marked with Swarovski crystals. Also a crystal car (the Auto Industry here) and a crystal lighthouse (signifying the Great Lakes and the National Coastline).

Many other things happened, little miracles, news from far and near, little leelas, yuva fun… but these stick out in memory right now…


One gift that got the maximum attention was a joint gift from Lebanon, Israel and Palestine (if I remember correctly). Which charged the whole ballroom with emotions.

Update: Oleg, one of the presenters wrote to the yogis later... It was so great moment when we came up to the stage (Emad from Lebanon, Akbar from Iran and me (Oleg) from Israel) offering the gift from Hala and flowers from Israel and prayer from all of us...