ISKCON Crawley will be hosting the grand opening of the Bhakti Yoga Centre on Saturday 23rd March, 2013. It’s been a long time coming for the community of devotees situated in a small town, in the South East of England.
Crawley’s first ever event was held in 1999, with help from the ever enthusiastic youth group, Pandava Sena. These youth events would take place every other week, and ensured a healthy turn out at the time. Even though the first event took place during this time, every now and then there were recollections of how devotees used to come to this town for book distribution many decades back, as Srila Prabhupada would say, the seed had been planted.
As time went on and with sincere endeavor from the local devotees, the core members were inspired to arrange bigger events for the local community. As well as youth events, there were classes for adults to learn and open up opportunities to experience Krishna Consciousness. These events were very successful and lead to community growth, with families attending, where they in-turn started spreading the word to their friends and family.
The devotees then arranged Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha Yatra – Festival of Chariots in the town centre. The festival entails chanting, dancing, singing, drama, and a vegetarian feast, attracting devotees from surrounding areas as well as the local public. The local council were so enlivened by the day that they gave permission for it to carry on as an annual event. It was also a success in terms of preaching, as well as a wonderful opportunity to distribute prasadam, books and promote local events. This year they will be arranging their 6th Annual festival.
An inspired group of devotees also volunteer with Food for All to feed the homeless at the local homeless shelter.
The community started to grow and prayers for a Centre had begun, even as early as 1999 according to one member. It was inevitable that the merciful Lord would answer these sincere prayers.
On the 23rd of March, ISKCON Crawley will host an opening ceremony for The Bhakti Yoga Centre.
The aim of the Centre is to provide spiritual education based on the teachings of ISKCON’s founder – A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, this involves classes, kirtan, and a place where anyone can come and unwind from the stresses and strains of modern life. There will be an event every Friday evening from 7.30pm.
For the opening day, Radhanath Swami will be gracing the occasion with his presence. Radhanath Swami, who has inspired many thousands with his awe-inspiring book - “The Journey Home”, is a senior member of the worldwide ISKCON community, joining the movement in 1971.
The devotees from Crawley would also like to put forward an invitation to the rest of the ISKCON community for the opening day and ask for blessings that this new project can in some way provide the local people a source of spiritual inspiration.