this past sunday was Janmastami. eric was so kind as to take me to Gita Nagari for the Janmastami celebrations. i was never at a Hare Krishna festival but i was rather excited to see the events of the evening.
we got to the temple around 7pm i do believe. eric saw his friend chris pretty much as soon as we got there and he gave us a tour of Gita Nagari. everyone there was amazingly nice. the experiences i have had with catholicism showed me that a great deal of catholics are snooty and don’t really like to be bothered. it’s true. i was raised catholic so i do have some room to talk here. it was a nice change of pace to find that there was no snootiness at the temple.
on the tour of the temple and temple grounds, we came across this little kitty who enjoyed hopping up on her hind legs and saying hello. hello!
when we arrived back at the temple it was time for the swinging of the deities. i really don’t know the ins and outs of everything that took place during the swinging, but as the deities were swinging the devotees would stand in line and have a drop of water placed in their hand. after letting the water roll off of their hand, flower petals were then placed in the hand and then the petal offered to the deities. i was actually able to participate in this event which kind of surprised me but it was very much enjoyed. if you weren’t catholic you really couldn’t or weren’t allowed to participate in different events at the church. it was fun to see that even though i’m not a devotee, participation was encouraged.
after the swinging we hung outside for a bit because it was a bit toasty in the temple. eric talked to some people he kind of sort of knew who knew some people he knew. dig? around 10pm or so was the bathing of the deities which is called abi-sheka. thank you to eric’s blog for that information. after the bathing we decided to make the hour or so drive home. before leaving we were given fruits to take home for the Janmastami celebration. the kind devotee who brought us the fruit also gave us the garlands that were around the necks of the deities who we swung that evening. we wore the garlands out of the temple and again i found it to be a very kind gesture that they would let me celebrate with them or in this case they let me have the garlands. that kind of made my night and i’m still excited that i have the garlands. eric’s garland is hanging in my room too. see?
i had a very good evening at Gita Nagari. i thank eric for taking me and i thank everyone at the temple for sharing their festival with me! kindness like that will not soon be forgotten!