KL Vaishnava Sammelan 2

July 9, 2006 at 7:52 pm Leave a comment

BY JEYANTHY PILLAI 

Jul 9, PORT DICKSON, MALAYSIA (MON)

It was a sweet surprise when I read my e-mail that the 2nd Kuala Lumpur Vaishnava Sammelan (KLVS 2) convention was about to take place from July 7th – 9th 2006. I remember the first Kuala Lumpur convention in 2003, it was a small yet a cosy one since we got so much association with the devotees and Maharajs who were there. It was just exclusive for the Klang Valley devotees. Something that we cherished for long.

So, I was very eager to attend this one and I was the first to sign up. Also, this was the easiest way we could get non-devotees to catch a glimpse of what Krishna Consciousness is all about. The other thing that I like about the Sammelan is that you don’t have to worry about cooking and food while you are having a holiday.

My children were excited as well, counting the days to the actual convention. I managed to convince my husband, Vijay to come along as well. I have been depriving all of them of a holiday for so long.

We left around 3pm on Friday and reached by 5pm at the PD Country Golf and Country club. It is nestled in a golf course so naturally it is surrounded by lush greenery, plus it is serene. A few devotees were around. We wasted no time and checked ourselves into the club house which was three blocks away from the main hall. The children wanted to go to the swimming pool and raced to change.

The pool was inviting and we spend sometime there. We had a chance to see HH Bhanu Maharaj taking a swim there as well. We changed and went for the Sayana Arati. Only a dozen or so devotees were around. The children had a good time dancing there. Dinner was next on the agenda. It was longan fruits, bananas, boiled groundnuts and cauliflower soup since it was Ekadasi. The combination was delightful.

By night time most of the devotees had checked in for the event. We decided to retire early as we wanted to attend the Mangala Arati the next day.

Mangala Arati was at 6am. It was really nice watching the deities at this time. They looked so happy looking out the windows with a scenic view of the golf course. After the japa session, and Bhagavatham class, breakfast was next on the agenda and followed by the official opening of the Sammelan by HH Bhanu Maharaj. By now the crowd reached over 150.

The theme for this Sammelan was “ENRICHING RELATIONSHIP THROUGH VAISNAVA SEVA.” Thyaga Caitanya prabhu showed us a video about two friends walking in a desert and how this journey affected their lives. It was a touching story. It brought tears to many. It made me think of how we had taken so many loved ones for granted and hurt them, yet we almost always forget to appreciate them. I made a mental note of ensuring that I verbally appreciate more people.

Team-building exercises were next in store for us and we worked along three keys areas “Care, Association and Appreciation.” We focused on “Care and Association” on the first day. We were broken up into smaller groups and each team was asked to come up with skits based on scenarios that we didn’t like seen in the temple. It was hilarious as many were overly exaggerated, but the message was delivered. Something that I always felt missing came out of the skits. More care was definitely needed by devotees who were sick, troubled or burdened.

Lunch was simply superb. It’s amazing how just a small team of devotees cooked just a fabulous meal with just the right amount of ingredients. Kudos to the cooks and helpers from Port Dickson and Kuala Lumpur .

Although we were sleepy after the heavy meal, the very news that HH Jayapataka Maharaja was arriving kept us all alert. I just don’t know how he does it. Moving from one location to another and still looking very fresh. He reminds me of a young gopa ever ready to do some service for Krishna . He gave a short talk and the programme continued with “The Lessons From The Geese.”

If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong. I have always admired the geese and equated their community to the Christians. They seem to have a sense of community and can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. We have to work harder in this area. More Nama Hattas have to be stronger and be closer knit like the PJ Nama Hatta.

I didn’t participate in the group sessions as we had to do some rehearsals with the children from Gokul Garden . The children were tired and exhausted by the time we finished. I decided to get them all to have a short nap before we dressed up for the play.

Dressing up the children for the play took so much of my time and energy, and my sore knees and ankles were working up on me. They were getting impatient waiting for their turn, and the dhotis, or makeup would come off and I had to redo over and over again. At the same time, I was feeling a little low that I couldn’t hear HH Jayapataka Maharaja’s talk or be in his association. Anyway, I consoled myself, since this is one service that I could do for the devotees and the Lord as I am normally physically burned out for the other services.

Finally the moment they were waiting arrived. Very confidently the children went on stage and performed magnificently to the play “Nimai and the Brahmin.” And the best part was HH Jayapataka Maharaja actually saw through the whole play while having his dinner and gave his thumbs up and devotees heard him say “Superb.” It meant so much to me, more than I can explain. I felt that the Lord Himself had seen the play through HH Jayapataka’s eyes.

And the finale for the night was the campfire which started with a ball of fire that flew from the sky (tree) to a log of woods. Music was at full blast even though it was very very late. There were some games arranged by Ravi Iyakannu and Sivakumar prabhus and we had to re-enact episodes of drama from Narasimha or Ramayana pastimes.

Only a few turned up the following day for Mangala Arati. His Grace Yogendra prabhu president of ISKCON New Talavan in the US , delivered the Bhagavatham class. It was too hectic the previous day. Many had gone back. Some strolled in for breakfast. The last session was on Appreciation and Sharing. Devotees had a chance to appreciate each other and most were embarrassed pink. A lot of feedback was received during the Sharing session, however only three points were taken as a must to do by every devotee who wanted to make a change in their congregation. The points brought up were:

  1. Paying obseisances to Vaishnavas to be made a customary practice.
  2. Welcoming new guests in better manner.
  3. Instilling the importance of sitting in during spiritual discourses.

Unlike the previous conventions, this Sammelan had a new feel to it. It was engaging yet introspective. The main points “Care, Associate and Appreciation ” were instilled in us. It was a pity not many stayed back on the last day. They missed the cherry on the icing.

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Family Day First Varsity Convention

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