BY HEMALAN, GAJEN, RASIKA MURARI DD
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (17/10/2008) – The much anticipated launching of Deepavali Damodara 2008 finally tookplace on Friday, 17 October 2008 (Krsna Tritiya, Damodara Masa) at KL Sentral in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Following the huge success of last year’s Damodara program, ISKCON Kuala Lumpur’s Sri Jagannatha Mandir took upon itself to relive the glories of Karttika month again this year on a more grand scale. The event was publicized both locally and internationally through newspapers, radio stations, e-mails, smses, and of course the ever reliable word of mouth.
The launching of Deepavali Damodara was to be held in conjunction with the Deepavali Carnival ‘08, which spans for 25 days, that takes place every year which is organized by a local NGO. This carnival is a one-stop shopping center offering an array of items for the Festival of Lights, which also includes our very own BBT booth and together with a booth for Damodar ghee lamp offerings. While you’d have to trawl through many a marketplace to find a treasure trove of trinkets, accessories and hand-stitched embroidery, u might just find yourself offering a ghee lamp to Lord Damodara, as did many who attended the carnival found out.
The cause of such a hype in publicizing Deepavali Damodara is simple, to understand the significance of offering ghee lamp to the Lord during this auspicious month. As stated in many of the Vedic Puranas, such as Padma and Skanda Purana, offering ghee lamp to Lord Damodara during this favorable month can eradicate sins and grant mercy of the Lord.
ISKCON KL was given the main stage to host the launching of Deepavali Damodara and that glorious night was witnessed by an audience and well wishers numbering in hundreds. The show began at 7.45pm to the dance of Bharatanatyam and continued on with ISKCON’s trademark Kirtan led by HG Gauracandra pr. whom, escorted the VIP, Dato Kumarendran, a leading and prominent lawyer to his seat. He is a well-wisher and has donated handsomely for our second phase temple building project fund.
A welcoming speech, addressing the significance of Deepavali Damodara was given by HG Simeshwara prahbu, by which this time, the number of audience and onlookers swelled to around 1000 people.
Mid-way through the show, baby “Krishna” was spotted surrounded by his Asta-Sakhis, led by the auspicious roaring of conch shells in song, he made his way center stage started to playfully dance with his “Gopis” and Yasoda Maiya proceeded to chase him, as per Krishna’s childhood pastimes in Vrndavana, with no place to run, he went to the VIP seat and pulled Dato Kumarendran up on stage to unveil the large poster of Damodara-lila., what seemed to be so spontaneous was carefully planed drama.
The Deepavali Damodara officially ended at 10.30 pm with 700 people presenting their ghee lamp offering to Lord Damodara on the stage and honored the delicious prasadam. The event was able to instill the significance of Deepavali and the importance of offering ghee lamps to the Lord during this auspicious month of Karttika.
Though we don’t have Govardhan’s mercy to protect us from the evening heavy downpour, which made the attendance dwindled for this year’s launch, nevertheless the sheer efforts of the organizer, ISKCON Kuala Lumpur deserved a huge applaud for continuously finding venues to bestow one and all to take part in the glorification of that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara Bhagavan.
Our exceptional appreciation goes to HG Srivas Caitanya, Sriman Raaj, Bhaktin Gowri and the VOICE team for an amazing show. We would also like to record our deepest gratitude to HG Simhesvara prabhu for gracing and blessing the event despite his busy schedule.