Nice Fest Despite
Oberlin College, situated in the town of the same name, hosts a mini-parade every year in the spring. Featured annually in this line of floats and other participants is the Jagannatha cart and the Krishna devotees. But unlike most years of all-day fun and glory, this one was a bit odd with drizzle and rain, dampness and cold.
You could clearly see a resilience in the whole presentation, however. Young artistic type of people, whether organizers or dressed-up as clowns and alien creatures, transcended the weather. And the devotees of Krishna, most notably Akilananda (69), demonstrated their admirable side. Akilananda is a multi-tasker extraordinaire, and the constructor and innovator of the cart, with its hydraulic lifting device for the cart’s dome-shaped temple. And with the means to raise and lower the vehicle onto a larger wagon at disassembly time, he astounds us all.
On top of that, he still does the physical lifting of the parts, but as usual, as in any of these events, he gets by with a little help from his friends. Those of us from Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and myself from Canada, were recognized by way of our chanting, and the featured cart, usually referred to as the chariot, was recognized by its presence alone.
I was quite impressed with the turn-out—although small—by the umbrella-ed forces. Nice people! College town! Community spirit! All that good stuff makes a difference in today’s world, where loneliness, depression, and confusion seem to have reached new heights.
By the way, the prasadam provided for the public by ISKCON members made a second difference.
May the Source be with you!