Thursday, September 7th, 2023
Halifax, Nova Scotia
A hockey skating rink called Centennial on Vimy Avenue became the venue for ISKCON's Janmastami, the birth of Krishna, in Halifax. It was already dark by 8:30 p.m. when I arrived, and the program was in progress. The first thing you see is a pile of shoes. Shoes, shoes, shoes! Then you are hit by a wave of heat and incense.
Many folks were sitting on the floor, some in lotus position, others standing, some in queue. While Mahadeva and Annapurna were setting up their sound equipment, I opened with a message.
"Today (by east coast calculation) the sacred calendar recognizes the birth of Krishna over five millennia ago." I then quoted from Chapter 4 of the Gita expressing the three reasons for Krishna's descent to this world, with the primary one being that He loves His devotees and offers them His full protection.
The crowd was attentive to the message and also to the kirtan led by our musical couple, Mahapurna. Their melodies are easy to catch, pick up, and retain. The technique of receive and respond is still a challenge though, but people are learning.
We also engaged the crowed in movement, more particularly, dancing. This was a very new engagement for them. They liked getting on their feet to sing and dance for God. I preceded this with a commercial tone voice. "Are you suffering from birth, death, old age, and disease?" I waited for the response, which was, "Yes." I thought so. Then you need this miraculous cure – the maha mantra. "Hare Krishna...."
MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU!