A Walk Down Memory Lane

My business with tending to the immediate needs of my Sydney-based parents is done for now; I shall return there in less than 8 weeks.

I’m back in Melbourne on the way home to Perth. Melbourne is not on the way from Sydney to Perth, but anyway, it’s a scheduled stop.

Tomorrow I take part in the famous Moomba Festival, which commences mid-morning. We will chant Hare Krishna the length of the parade route. Loads of fun. With half a million onlookers.

But back to the gist of today’s blog. Why Memory Lane?

An old associate Madhu Sevita, now the Governing Body Commissioner for Italy, while negotiating my ill-fated trip to Milano last year, sent me some pictures from his files. This is one:

archive photo:

This was taken in Juhu Beach, Bombay, April 1974 – 33 years ago. The event was morning or evening class – can’t exactly discern – in the then temporary temple structure.

In this picture we are all hearing attentively from our beloved Guru Srila Prabhupada. Most of us were just teenagers, or in our early twenties. And for me, and many others, it was our first trip to India and a great adventure.

Every morning as the sun rose we would depart for sankirtana, congregational chanting on the streets, and visit various different local beach-side suburbs – Ville Parle is one name I remember – and announce to the still-sleeping people {via the sound vibrations of the Maha Mantra} of the sublime spiritual heritage that was still extant for all Indians.

Some local papers in Bombay had commented that the Hare Krishna chanting was creating a ‘nuisance’. Prabhupada was disgusted with this attitude and invited us to perform a civil disobedience in the form of more chanting to open people’s eyes to the cultural reality.

Public Sankirtana chanters, Prabhupada pointed out, had one time been a very common event throughout Bombay, even as late as the early twentieth-century. But the onset of this materialistic age had laid it dormant.

There are many now-famous personalities in the above photo – some prominent sanyasis, some already departed.

Can you see Acyutananda Swami? And Sridhara (later, Swami, now departed) Prithu Putra (later Swami, now departed), Tatpur (later Swami), Bhakti Vidya Purna (later Swami), Madhu Sevita, Kurma, Yadubara (famous film-maker), Jaya Sacinandana, Dinanatha, Sabhapati, Basu Ghosh, to name but a few.

It was our glory days. A wonderful opportunity to sit and hear wondrous things from our dear Srila Prabhupada.
Posted by Kurma on 11/3/07; 4:36:16 PM from the Travel dept.

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