Last Friday, the family and I took a nice trip to Cancún, Mexico. A sweet Gujarati family had asked me if I could officiate their destination wedding in Cancún. We arrived on Friday night with all the Vedic equipment in our suitcases ready to perform the wedding fire ceremony on Saturday. We were to take care of all the wedding ceremony which included purchasing flowers for the wedding garlands.
Uddhava kindly picked us up from the Cancún airport to take us to Gopal’s Vegetarian Restaurant. We were treated to a delicious meal of Mexican prasadam, and then we were off to the late hour flower shops to get ready for our Vedic Oceanside Weddings, or what Mother Kunti likes to call V.O.W. After a swim in the pool the next morning, we went to an organic restaurant seeking something suitable for Vaisnavas to eat. There were no real supermarkets in the hotel zone so finding food was a little difficult. Devotees working at the 5 star hotels said that even the more wealthy hotels did not have much to offer for the vegetarian and Hindu community. After a short trip to Restaurante Natura, we got busy with all the wedding preparations.
The wedding turned out very nicely, and neat things happened during it. During the wedding, I was playing a bhajan by Krishna Kisor that he performed at the Festival of the Holy Name in Alachua. The bhajan was playing from a bluetooth speaker, and I would turn it up and down from my iPad while I was doing the arati to the fire. Then something really cool happened. During the pronouncement of husband and wife, I turned up the kirtan and there was an ecstatic “Nitai Gaura Premanande Hari Hari BOOOOLLLL!! Nitai Gaurapremanande Hari Hariboolll!” Everyone in the audience followed in response. The surprising thing was that it happened in the bhajan at the perfect time to complement the wedding.
In addition to the wedding, we were also asked by the local devotees of Cancún to do the foundation laying ceremony for the new upcoming temple at their farm community. After getting all the details from Dallas temple President Nityananda Prabhu, the devotees decided to postpone the ceremony until they had the proper items for the ceremony. However, they did invite us on a trip to visit the farm for kirtan and prasadam. They are in the process of building a grand temple there. The farm has peacocks, and they grow okra as well. The prasadam was wonderful. They even had a swimming pool! During the ride back, we were pleasantly surprised to see the well-attended open air churches from which we could hear devotional songs wafting into the air through the traffic of the night.