Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Installation

"So, the confirmed date for the installation of Sri Krishna Balaram is... May 30th!" Mukhya dasi, the temple president of Alachua, announces.


"This will be the most amazing installation ceremony North America has ever seen!"

I want to jump from the floor and do a jig. At last. After seven years of dreaming and planning, and the more recent fundraising with sweat and blood, the temple of New Raman Reti dham has set a date to welcome Sri Krishna Balarama. Like our namesake of Raman Reti in Sri Vrindavan dham, the deities of Gaura Nitai, Radha Shyamasundar, and Krishna Balarama will finally all reside here.

And the news is greeted with scattered applause??!?

And I realize, with a laugh to myself, that this community has set over a dozen dates to install Krishna Balarama. We've been in doubt for the past seven years, so I empathize with the silence of disbelief. But something in Mukhya's tone tells me that this is it. This is it.

You see, the hitch has been that the only way Sri Krishna Balarama could be installed was if a new kitchen was built. A very big, very expensive new kitchen. There was simply no way the current kitchen and pujari facilities could facilitate the growth of this community if we welcomed new deities. To cook festival feasts for two or three thousand in the current kitchen is pretty excruciating as it is.

Then Mukhya dasi took the reins of the management here about a year ago and the tide began to turn, the dream to become solid. She pushed for the fundraising drive, and I believe we were all still suspended in disbelief that it was actually happening.

But this community has raised nearly a third of a million dollars.

And so at last, over a month later after Mukhya's announcement, the kitchen is nearly finished and the reality is sinking in, Sri Krishna Balaram are coming, and the anticipation and excitement is spreading like a deep, intense fire all over the world. People from every corner of the world will be flying, driving, and walking in to welcome Sri Krishna Balarama.

So at last, May 30th. Where will you be?

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