Friday, 3 September 2010

Janmashtami 2010 Watford Bhaktivedanta Manor

Before I got there I first went to see Aatri at the BAPS Mandir in Neasdon. My little boy who normally does not know what the word still and quiet really surprised me. He sat there and clapped away to the music and was pleased to see Ganesh. It had been a long journey it said an hour and a bit on the sat nav. However my friend tom does not calculate London’s traffic well
It was an easy drive from the Mandir to the Manor and I was shocked at the scale of it all. It was massive I had to cue to get in and park and there was so much Land. In side there were some fantastic Rangoi. The cows where the most healthy and friendliest I have ever encountered there were many stalls spread out around the areas.

I chose not to wear a Saree. I could see my son at some point pulling it off. I was kicking my self, as I did feel a bit of the odd one out! There were so many sarees there, of all ages. I don’t often see young women in Sarees and it was so nice seeing them all out in force.

I’m not too sure what I was expecting I do not know much about the Hare Krishna movement and how it works with Hinduism. What I was expecting were thousands of white people doing the stereotypical kind of thing. But I felt quite ashamed of even thinking that, as this was simply not the case. I was there very early and sadly I could not stay too long as I did not fancy the long journey home with the home time London Traffic.

There was a garden with stepping stones where you take the beads and walk 108 steps with 108 chants. Of course my son bounded from one to the other and then ran off leaving me stranded in the middle, what could I do! I did not mean to offend any one by abandoning it, hope no one took offence.

I did feel like a outsider because basically I was, I went to a Hare Krishna festival not really knowing what it is all about. I have read chapters about Krishna and I’m half way through the Bhagavad Gita, which if I’m honest, I am really struggling with, but still I am a bit clueless. What is wrong with me, why do I have this inability to stop and ask?

Does a hare Krishna great Ganesh first? Why is Rama in the chant also? What are those little bags everyone had? Always questions. Was everyone there are Hare Krishna or is an event that involves both communities that is assuming there is a little bit of segregation. Please, teach me?

But yes, I did have a good time, but not a good opportunity to find out more about it. It was hot my son was running circles around me. But it was the lift I needed after the past few days of up set, which is another Blog altogether!

I will return to the Bhaktivedanta Manor during a more quieter time were I may find the courage to put my hand up and just ask!

So another outing with out a saree. Never mind. The next one is in the Diary to the theatre to see The People Romeo. Can’t wait.

For now I shall continue to read my books Hindu Gods and Goddesses and the BAPS book Hindu Rites and rituals!

I only took one Photo, this was the entrance
sorry about that!


  1. The bags around people's necks hold prayer beads. I didn't even notice them but my husband did and we looked them up on the internet. ;)

    Rama is a previous lifetime of Krishna. In Ramayana he is Rama, the perfect king who follows rules perfectly but has no fun. In Mahabharata he comes back as Krishna who plays around a bit and sometimes bends rules. There is a mythologist named Devdutt Pattanaik whose website is all about Indian mythology and I highly recommend it (devdutt dotcom).

    Also I recommend the Mahabharat series on YouTube. Type in Mahabharat Episode 1 English Subtitles. There are 94 episodes and it rocks. It will explain more about the Gita than trying to read it alone (Gita is a chapter of Mahabharata).

    I think we will return to the local Hare Krishna temple here as well. I'd heard strange things about them (they have an odd reputation in the US) but when we actually got there it was nothing like what we'd heard.

  2. So glad you enjoyed the trip. Don't worry about you son- kids are welcome at Hindu functions and are not expected to follow the same rules as adults. As for as Ganesh- they consider deities other than Krishna to be "demi-gods" and do not pray to him first as most Hindus do. This is a actually a major breaking point I have with their philosophy, but it does not stop me from enjoying their celebrations :) With a big event like this there will be people visiting from other temples that are not Hare Krishna. We visit our Hare Krishna temple about 3 times a year for events but prefer a more "universal approach" ourselves. I feel it is nice to expose children to different strands of our faith as well.

  3. Next year you'll be completely confident and ready to wear a saree to it! :)

  4. If you want to wear a saree go for it. Don't think about what others think. From the pictures you look great.

    What does your boyfriend think of this?????

  5. My boyfriend loves it, however, he is quick to remind me that I am not infact Indian so some reserve is to be shown. He likes me wearing them to Melas and festivals however, I don't think he would appreciate it if I did my shopping in them!

  6. Why not?. Try wearing one to work and see what happens! See what others think.