As the days get closer and closer to Janmastami our temple and activities become busier and busier. Last Saturday morning I performed a Nam Karan Yajna, a ceremony by which the newborn baby’s name is decided. The name chosen was Lalita Devi, the dear friend of Srimati Radharani. The baby was born during Ekadasi last month right near the Visakha Nakshatra (Visakha is the dear friend of Lalita) and later on found out that her aunty, who is a nice devotee, also has the name Lalita. Also the beautiful baby looked just like little Lalita in the Little Krishna cartoon.
After finishing that program I went to what I thought would have been another home program. I was invited a few weeks ago to come and speak at a Bhagavata Saptaha that a Nepali man was organizing. Much to my surprise there were well over 300 people at this event. It was held at the Nepali Cultural Center in Dallas. Entering in the building reminded me of India. It was about 110 F outside and the building’s AC was struggling. AC water dripped from the ceiling as the hundreds of Nepalis approached the altar and vyasasana for blessings. Even with the AC maxed out it was quite hot inside. There was a big platform and canopy as a vyasasana and I was motioned to sit and speak. The host asked if I could explain the essence of the Srimad Bhagavatam and its glories. I spoke at first about so called “material qualities” of the Bhagavatam. That there is a chapter wherein it is discussed the the smallest calculation of time based on atomic interaction. Or that there are accurate measurements to the various planets in our solar system, or that you can find accurate descriptions of the growth of the fetus. Then the discussion let to why the Bhagavatam was produced, the story of Vyasa’s spiritual maturation and finally the goal, Bhakti. One could see the appreciation that all the Nepali devotees had hearing Bhagavatam Katha. We followed by inviting them to come to the Janmastami festival. Later that evening the whole family and I attend a great lecture by His Grace Manonatha Prabhu who led a question and answers session on Veda and Vedanta and spoke about his upcoming Yoga Sutras discourse.
On Sunday morning we had another very nice program. I was invited to speak at the Christ United Methodist Church in Plano. A church with a membership of about 8000. Murari Vallabh Prabhu, accompanied me on this trip to their beautiful facility. The building must have had at least 40 class rooms. We were invited in a room wherein sat fifty 60 year olds. It was to be a class on Hinduism 101. We first gave the explanation of the word Hindu and gave a basic Bhagavad Gita 101. The class was very well received. Many came to thank us after the class and particularly a gentleman came to me and reading his notes stated, “We are a soul in the vehicle of the body, wow this REALLY puts perspective on things.” The day was then followed by a wonderful kirtan led by Urjsvat Prabhu at the Sunday Feast.