Friday, September 23, 2005

The start of Aarti - Archna ...

At around 6 PM I was able to watch a very devoted person listening to the Chanting and not able to hold himself started to dance on the sides of the hall behind a pillar so as not to disturb the gathering. By 6.15 the atmosphere started changing.. the guards from outside came in and demarcated a place in the adjacent hall by ropes and the Tulsi plant was brought in (This is the first time I have seen anywhere in India that a Tulsi plant was planted on a planter with wheels) and then most of the ISKCON’ites gathered around it and the chanting began with Tulsi Puja. .. this slowly built in to a religious fervor and ended after 2 hours of devoted Aarti by most of the devotees. I find two very small kids on boy and another girl in the gathering who were so well involved with the whole ceremony that it was a real pleasure watching them dancing with chanting. As the women folks were I guess not allowed to join in, the Aarti, it was heartening to watch them to gather outside the arena and form their own group to sing the songs of Lord Krishna.

The whole ceremony was involved with many types of songs, many types of instruments and many lovely singers. And then it ended with parikrama which allowed many other people to join in with the ISKCON devotees. Finally the good part was that some one realised the earnestness of gathered crowd and take them into the fold by teaching them the basics of Krishna Chants and the steps the ISKCON’ites take in the Aarti.


My experience in the place, specially at the time of Aarti was amazing. The moment those devoted people came into the religious fervor the whole atmosphere changed. I usually have a very good take on the energy in the atmosphere... and I could feel the transformation happenning then and there.

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