Saturday, May 7, 2016

News - Harinam creates history in the Middle East — A World Holy Name Week Event for ISKCON 50

Harinam creates history in the Middle East — A World Holy Name Week Event for ISKCON 50 Harinam Sankirtan or the congregational chanting of the Holy Name, initiated and propagated by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, continues to be carried out throughout the world with great pomp and splendor. However, the Middle Eastern countries, being slightly sensitive towards religious matters and public display of devotion, had never before witnessed a performance of public Harinam. Bahrain witnesses the first public Harinam in the region on April 29, 2016, from 4 pm to 10 pm. Tthe event was sponsored and patronized by the office of Bahrain Prime Minister – His Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. Fifty thousand fortunate residents of Bahrain turned up for the festival and were in for a treat when two hundred and fifty members of ISKCON Bahrain took over the stage, fulfilling the prophesy of Lord Caitanya that the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra will be heard in every town and village of the world. The first group on the stage was a collection of “special needs” children in wheelchairs with their family members and teachers who performed along with a song by the Beatles, “A Little Help from my Friends”.This was highly auspicious, as the Beatles had played a major role in the spreading of Krishna consciousness in the west during the 1960s and 1970s. Sridhari Madhav Prabhu had arranged for a slide with the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra displayed on the massive 50’ x 80’ hi tech LED which boldly and clearly showed the Mahamantra in three languages – English, Sanskrit, and Arabic. Ekalavya Prabhu began by expressing gratitude to His Highness Prince Khalifa and the festival organizers. Then, he introduced ISKCON group to the audience. There were many devotees on stage right with three mridangas (drums), some kartal players (small cymbals), response singers with microphones and one devotee with a big pair of cymbals called wompers. twenty-five female devotees neatly arranged in five consecutive lines of five devotees per line. The younger girls and children were in the front dressed in colorful saris and gopi dresses. Members of the public participating in the festival were amazed at the number of participants that ISKCON had, as well as the enthusiasm devotees were manifesting. The kirtan started slowly, and gradually built up. As the kirtan began to build, the devotees seated in the audience rose and joined the dance. The audience chanted along with Hare Krishna devotees and then gave a warm round of applause. Ekalavya Prabhu concluded the programme by thanking His Highness Prince Khalifa and the organizers, and by speaking about Harinam Sankirtan and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, #laxmi

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