Walking ahed.

By Bhagavati Devi Dasi (Preacher at ISKCON KR Puram, Bangalore)

We are delighted to share the news of the successful completion of the first Mahila padayatra at ISKCON KR Puram(Krishnarajapuram) in Bangalore,the capital of Karnataka state,on June 9, 2024. The padayatra was a blissful and spiritually uplifting journey, made possible by the mercy of Guru and Gauranga and with the blessings of our spiritual master, Lokanath Maharaja.

Padayatra saw the participation of 200 Vaishnavis, all beautifully dressed in green sarees. Adorned with gopi dots on their faces and jasmine flowers in their hair, they radiated spiritual beauty and devotion, showcasing our rich Indian Sanatana culture. The Vaishnavis carried Gaura-Nitai deities lovingly named Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar by Maharaja, symbolizing divine grace and presence throughout the journey, and held banners displaying the Hare Krishna mantra, spreading the divine message as they walked.

The day began at Bangalore’s historic seventeenth-century Kote Venkateshwara temple and concluded at ISKCON’s KR Puram centre. With the cooperation of the traffic police, who provided the necessary permissions and escorts, the devotees walked safely and smoothly for about four hours. Throughout there was active distribution of prasadam and spiritual books, nourishing the body and soul of everyone involved and those they met along the way.

The air was filled with the melodious sounds of the mahamantra kirtan accompanied by the rhythmic playing of mridanga and kartal. The expertly managed sound system ensured that the divine chants reached everyone along the route, creating an atmosphere of joy and devotion. A central theme during the kirtan was the powerful sloka:bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya janma yāra, janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra, which translates as “One who has taken birth as a human being in the land of India [bhārata-bhūmi] should make their life successful and work for the benefit of all others.”

We were honoured to have as our chief guest Murari Madhava Dasa, and the event was expertly guided by Jayabhadra Devi Dasi whose wisdom and experience were invaluable. Padayatra was organized with the support of the ISKCON Youth Forum and the dedicated efforts of Rasheswara Krishna Dasa. The entire programme was supported by ISKCON KR Puram incharge Venimadhava Dasa who provided all necessary facilities. Special thanks go to the main coordinator, Mahabhava Thakurani Devi Dasi, for her stalwart endeavour and leadership. I also got the opportunity to serve as a coordinator.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the devotees who contributed to this momentous occasion: Murari Bhakta Dasa, Girivara Govardhan Dasa, Vaikuntha Pati Dasa, Manjunath Dasa, Kalyan Dasa, VenkatDevate Dasa, Ramanjaneya Raju Dasa, Bhakta Shamanth Dasa,Shyama Sridevi Devi Dasi,Paramanandisakhi Devi Dasi, Varadaini Devi Dasi, Chaitanya Devi Dasi, PallavviDevi Dasi, Pavani Devi Dasi, Saraswati Devi Dasi, Lakshmi Prasanna Devi Dasi, Divya Devi Dasi and team, as well as devotees from the Bangalore environs of Dommasandra, Hagadur, Chandapura and Bodanahosahalli. We also extend our gratitude to Prahlad Jivan Dasa for his crucial role in media management.

This first Mahila padayatra in Bangalore was a wonderful demonstration of devotion, unity and community service that brought together devotees in joyous celebration and inspired countless others with the teachings of Krishna consciousness. We look forward to many more such events in the future, continuing to spread the divine message of love, compassion and service.

Hare Krishna!