Thursday, March 27, 2008

Backstage Drama

"Have the lights been checked, double checked and backed up?"

"Where are those barricades ?? People are piling up and walking in different directions"

"Aaahhhh.... where is XYZ Prabhu and WHY isn't he picking up his phone? Doesn't he know that he has to help us out with lifting these chairs"

If any devotees have ever been involved in planning any festival at the temple, be it in-temple festivals like Gaur Purnima or the large outdoor festivals like Rath Yatra, I am sure they can totally relate to the mayhem that happens before the festival, after the festival and most importantly during the backstage of the festival.

Lets picture a festival, Gaur Purnima. Picture that on a Friday. Now throw in the fact that the friday is Good Friday, a holiday. Perfect situation? Maybe also throw in the fact that after what can ONLY be defined as the longest winter in History, its a day with sun and good weather. Now that is what I call the ideal festival weather - good news for all the devotees who are coming for the festival to the temple! Great news for us organizers :-)!

Running around with Drama Rehersals, Organizing logistics, Preparing the wonderful Exhibit in the dining hall was all what I did pretty much of the week leading to Gaur Purnima. Balancing that with work and other things going in, it was more often I would feel tired and exhausted. On one such day of absolute exhaustion, as I opened my inbox, I read this wonderful quote by His Holiness Tamal Krsna Maharaj.

"As I stated in my short talk before leaving Dallas, Krsna is now blessing our zone with many nice new souls who are offering their lives in His devotional service. I am therefore counting on you, my senior disciples, to train these new devotees properly. One of the best ways to get the mercy of Krsna is to take the responsibility for helping His devotees. So whatever service you can do for these new souls who have come to surrender to Krsna will be very much appreciated."

That quote made me appreciate whatever little running around I am doing! It made me appreciate the fact that how awesome and cool it is to be a devotee. Its something I probably never would want to trade :-)!!

Today, nearly a week after the Gaur Purnima festivities ended, I still get a smile on my face as I fondly remember tears in devotees eyes as they saw the 8 ft tall Caitanaya Mahaprabhu in the forest with the animals, the huge Hari Bols that greeted the extremely beautifully decorated Dieties, the thunderous applause as Pancha Tattva took stage in the shadows during the drama, the smiles on appreciating the fantastic prasad and the bliss on their faces as the kirtan faded into wee hours of night.

Who would ever want to give up such high?