What a beautiful day in terms of temperature today ! A perfect 30 C of the Australian sun. Not a cloud in the sky till late afternoon. And while many citizens would have headed out to sports stadiums, take bicycle rides, sun tanning at the beach or a jog, we had other arrangements.
In the morning, 3 devotees were initiated by His Holiness Veda Vyasa Priya Swami Maharaj. Just before the initiation, he gave a very enlivening lecture on the 10 offences. It was so informative and words that I will remember for a long time. I think this lecture would already have been uploaded at http://www.iskcon.net.au. Do give it a listen if you can.
And as usual They looked beautiful. A devotee mataji fanned them throughout the initiation session. Once the initiation was over, everyone proceeded to the prasadam hall. Once that was done, the devotees were preparing for the cars to take devotees for a picnic. My first picnic with devotees ! The chosen picnic spot was Burnley Gardens in Yarra City. This garden is of historical and heritage importance to the city and a part of the Victorian Horticultural Society. It possess an impressive collection of Australian rainforest and native trees. The construction of this park commenced in 1874, 136 years ago ! Upon setting foot on this park, the devotees took to the garden landscape like fish to water.
Devotee soccer match is always to watch. It’s a mixture of soccer, volleyball, cricket and Kabaddi. I do not play the game but prefer to just sit and watch. There is so much to laugh about ! This match featured Brahmacaris against Grihastas.
This is the only sport where all the rules were followed except for the white uniforms and sun screens. But the arguments, bowling efforts and sub-continent wrist work were in full swing.
Nityananda prabhu climbed up a native gum tree for better view of the Commonwealth games. The chanting added to the sweetness. He was surprised how a single branch can be so strong to hold his weight. Just like the infinitesimally small soul supporting the entire body.
Our temple president, Anirudha prabhu is back from India and he presided over the awards ceremony. Devotees won prizes for the highest number of books distributed during the book marathon efforts in December 2009. Daniel prabhu (next to the boy with his back and in white hat) took first prize.
And then there was prasadam ! Suddenly, silence prevailed over the landscape. Like moths attracted to light, we all moved towards the table and there was a feast laid out. Pastas, cakes, sweets, pizzas ! Watermelons too ! I took them all. Superb. Once all the honoring of prasadam was done, we all made our way home. And that is how we spent our Saturday.