Moscow, Russia — Sunday, August 14th

Two weekend festivals

We had two festivals here in Moscow this weekend:

Yesterday, we held a one-day Vaishnava Festival at a posh downtown hotel. Sripad Avadhut Maharaj officially opened the festival, and Goswami Maharaj, Siddhanti Maharaj, Bharati Maharaj and I addressed the hundred or so devotees and guests who attended.

Today we held the Mysterious India Festival — a big outdoor cultural festival celebrating the Indian Independence Day — in a large park in central Moscow. One of the many VIP's in attendance was the Indian ambassador of Cultural Affairs, who officiated at the flag-raising ceremony.

Thousands of people showed up to see Indian cultural singers, dancers, and actors (and the authentic Indian elephant!), browse the spiritual book-tables, sample the delicious prasadam from the Jagannath Express restaurant, or just meet and talk to the devotees.

Sripad Avadhut Maharaj and Sripad Goswami Maharaj were interviewed by a national television station, Bharati Maharaj and I took turns at the colorful question-and-answer booths to answer a wide variety of questions all afternoon and evening, and Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj led the aratis and kirtans for Lord Giriraj in the tent-temple in the center of the park.

The festival ended with a fireworks display and a rousing kirtan led by Goswami Maharaj on the center stage.

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Layout by iMonk — August 8th, 2005.