Sri Sri Guru Gaurangau Jayatah
| The First Weekend
|Two hours chanting in the streets|
of devotees filled the streets of downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday,
jubilantly chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. The broad sidewalks overflowed
with participants, and passers-by were sucked into the dancing crowd.
|Metro to the Ramayana|
evening program began with a drama of the Ramayana, depicting the pastime
after Lord Rama rescued Sita Devi from Ravana. Thinking she was tainted
after being with Ravana for four years, Lord Rama banished his wife to
the forest, where she gave birth to two sons. When they were ten years
old, the children went to the kingdom and discovered that Lord Rama was
their father. They challenged him to a battle, but Sita Devi intercepted,
pleading for peace and reuniting her family.
The production was presented professionally with elaborate costumes and makeup. Rama and Laxman wore red velvet vests lined with sparkling gold fringe and Hanuman sported a very realistic tail and monkey nose. A silver tiara crowned Sitas head, while beads hung down her forehead and long fake eyelashes accented her expressive face.
of the actors spoke with strong voices and almost melodramatic intensity.
The two children that played Sitas sons also acted as narrators
in monkey costumes. They bounced, spun and trod across the stage with
impressive gestures, artfully impersonating the many characters. Their
body language made their Russian lines understandable to the English-speaking
members of the audience.
|My love, affection and honor to you all.|
Gurudev warmly greeted and embraced the actors, telling them, "I
am astonished and extremely happy to see this drama of Ramas character.
I cannot understand the language but I can see the play and your divine