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On the 26th of January this year, ISCKON Adelaide celebrated its 3rd annual Rath Yatra. Lord Jagannath took to the streets as a part of the Australia Day Parade, His rath being designated as one of the floats. But, true to form, He stole the show yet again. With His huge, delighted eyes and inimitable smile, the Lord of the Universe appeared to be in rollicking good cheer. He was primed for an afternoon of wanton mercy distribution and thousands of unsuspecting onlookers reaped the full benefit.

Amongst the vibrant parade participants, Lord Jagannath in His opulent and fetching regalia called for undivided attention. Veda Vyasa Prabhu and Yashoda Sakhi Mataji brought their decades of altar experience to bear. With consummate skill and artistry, they dressed the Lord of all lords in the manner of a true king. Regardless, the merciful Jagannath ensured that He was not the only reason His “float” turned the most heads. Around 50 devotees in their Vaishnava best took part in pulling the chariot through Adelaide’s streets. They were led by a troupe of matajis who captivated onlookers with their graceful, coordinated dance steps. The ladies moved to an electric Kirtan led by HG Adi Purusa Krsna Prabhu with the accompaniment of expert mrdanga, kartal and harmonium players. Adi Purusa Prabhu is ISKCON Adelaide’s President. It must also be mentioned that he is very nearly a septuagenarian and that his kirtan lasted five hours; in the summer heat no less.

With the transcendental calls of Jai Jagannath! Jai Prabhupada! and the Hare Krishna mahamantra reverberating through Adelaide’s streets, the 40,000 strong crowd was enthralled like never before. Everyone clapped and jived in sync with the kirtan and a good many rushed forward to shoot “groupies” with their eternal Lord. While simply enjoying a good day out, thousands unknowingly began their spiritual lives too.

By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, the anxiety filled weeks of ground-work paid off. Ratha Yatra 2016 was a success. But, this is surely not all Jagannath has in store for His beloved Adelaideans. Plans are in place to triple the mercy next year! Adi Purusa Prabhu is working hard to build a chariot that will accommodate not only Jagannath and Srila Prabhupada but Lord Baladev and Subhadra Devi as well. Adelaide’s devotees now impatiently wait for the day when their streets will be graced by the transcendental siblings!

By: Jaya Sada Gosai Dasa

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