Saturday, June 29th, 2023
Mill Woods, Edmonton
Comfort came from seeing people at the book table asking for Bhagavad-gitas in the various languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati. The festival site for the finish line of the chariot procession was at the ISKCON location of the Radha Govinda Cultural Association, and their attendees gravitated to the various stalls. I would say it was a marvellous turnout, perhaps just under 4000 people, young, old, and in between.
The procession was lively with chanters and dancers led by a couple of Clydesdale horses and the chariot, of course, which shelters beautiful deities of the threesome, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – divinities of God. We were blessed with great weather, not too dry, not too hot or sticky. The predominant theme was 'happy service', thanks to the cooperative efforts of a devotee named Bala Krishna, and his team. Devotees from Calgary, Red Deer, Vancouver, and Toronto also pitched in.
By 5:30 pm, the festivities were thinned out to the point of disassembly and going home, and even our team, emcee Vallabh Hari, his wife, Khati, Mahadev, Annapurna, and I were preparing for our next stage of travel. Tomorrow will be another chariot experience, and with a six-hour journey ahead of us, I had the opportunity to walk at break times, for instance, at Lloydminster, a border town landed in the middle of two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan. I took to flight on my feet on the Yellowhead Highway. Human interaction was minimal. One motorist yelled out, "Hey, Buddha!" During that gainful walk (as drivers and pedestrians had a bite to eat) I reflected on the Gita which is getting so much attention through the blockbuster film, Oppenheimer.
MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU!