Rathayatra in Southern California

The devotees, using an address list of California Life Members & long time friends, & with the help of a Magellan made GPS unit (named “Meg’ by Jai Krishna) arrived at the home of Chandu Patel in San Bernadino early afternoon.

Krishna festivalJai Krishna, Caru and Prem Avtar left Utah at 4:30 am the following morning after the Youth Minsitry show on Tuesday evening. Caru rented a mini van for a week, anticipating the donations of boxes and bags and suitacases full of slightly used Indian sarees, salva kameez, and kurtas.

The devotees, using an address list of California Life Members & long time friends, & with the help of a Magellan made GPS unit (named “Meg’ by Jai Krishna) arrived at the home of Chandu Patel in San Bernadino early afternoon. They followed the standard prgogram of chatting, having 10 – 20 minutes of kirtan, using mrdunga, karatala, and a small portable harmonium, and taking little fruit served by the host or hostess.

Next they travlelled to and toured the 75 million dollar Swami Narayana temple which is under constrctuion in Chino Hills, and finally arrived at Chiman Bhai’s and Bhanuben’s home in Diamond Bar where they dined and spent the night in good company.

Manju Popat with Pranjivan’s grandson, Rittik, hosted the devotees for breakfast following morning. There was kirtan in the spacious temple room and fond memories shared of Pranjivan, His grandson played the mrdanga and even led one kirtan.

On two successive morning japa walks in Diamond Bar the devotees met Dr. Paul Anand. The second day, while the devotees were doing yoga in a grassy park, Dr. Anand approached them with a cash donation of $ 101.00. Everywhere devotees went, without even asking donations, every one gave generously, most notably Avdesh and Uma  (who were only telphoned) giving $ 5,000 dollars. Grateful thanks to each and every one, who shared their homes, their meals and fruits, time, finances, and guest rooms with such kindness and love.

Next afternoon, after Caru visited Jayashree and Navnit Sodha in the same condo complex as Chiman, the threesome caught KK Sodha at home, where they did kirtan and KK contributed singing ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” in his own inimitable style. KK took the devotees to a Juice It Up where Caru got his 4 ounzes of wheatgrass and others had acai smooties. KK’s family owns a coupke of these juice franchises in Corona.

That evening there was kirtan and dinner with Murari and Indira Gupta, and their daughted Anjana in Villa Park. Anjana is a lawyer working in a firm which represents Los Angeles police officers. She had one or two good stories to tell.

Friday morning devotees visited Rajinder and Usha Battish in Brea, followed by Mani and Nisha Ailawadhi in Yorba Linda.

After that Caru drove almost two hours in the traffic to reach Woodland Hills off Ventura Fwy to the home of Sohan and Krishna Dhir. Much of the Dhir clan was gathered – son Sunil and his son Amrit and daughter Arpana, Devindra, Anita, and their son Rajiv, Suresh and Nilam, Sam and Neeraj with their small daughters, Leena and Kayla, and newest son Sam Jr.. Jai Krishna led several nice kirtans. Caru did one kirtan as well as spoke couple of times on Krishna Consciousnes in the intervals. Dinner was outside under the stars,.

Spent the night there, had a japa walk in the neaby hills, and set out for Culver City. Caru dropped the devotees off at temple there for prasadam and evening Harer Nama in Santa Monica. He drove to Saddleback Church where he attended the 4:30 services (along with 2,000 others) and heard a talk on “Dealing with Change” by Rick Warren. He learned a lot from being there how to improve the Sunday services in Spanish Fork. More on that later.

After the Rathayatra next day Caru drove took Jai Krishna to the airport and proceeded to Roshan and Kulwant, Buchi Khandpur’s home where they refreshed in the jacussi and pool, dined, and sent the night. Roshan (initiated as Ram Kishan Das) is one of Caru’s dearest friends and visitng him is a high point of any Los Angeles trip).  After posting this bulletin and some video of the Rathayatra, plan is to visit Chandrer Mohan Srivastav in Yorba Linda, pick up all the clothes donated and stored in Chiman and Bhanus’ garage and then see Dr. Nanda and tour the beatiful temple he built in Apple Valley.

Posted in Temple Diary.