By Antony Brennan for ISKCON News: Sri Sri Jagannath Gauranga Ashram is an ISKCON temple in Denpasar, on the Island of Bali, Indonesia. The temple recently celebrated a 24-Hour Kirtan, which also included a ceremony for the installation of Srila Prabhupada’s Murti form.
ISKCON gurus Kavicandra Swami and Ramai Swami attended the festival, along with Purnaprjna Dasa and many local devotees as well as others from across Bali. During the course of the event hundreds of Balinese devotees took advantage of the opportunity to join in the kirtan and to officially welcome Srila Prabhupada to Bali.
“All the local ISKCON leaders where there,” says Kavicandra Swami. “Our local priests, headed by Sukadeva Dasa, carried out the installation ceremony.”
Talks were given during the festival to motivate the devotees in their spiritual practice. “Ramai Swami, myself and Purnaprajna Prabhu spoke,” Kavicandra Swami says. “The topics were about service to Srila Prabhupada, especially by reading his books.”
“There has previously been a small murti of Srila Prabhupada at the temple but the new life-size version makes a stunning difference,” says Kavicandra Swami. “We have to thank Balaram Dasa, of ISKCON Honolulu, for arranging the donation of the beautiful murti of Srila Prabhupada.”
In describing the event Kavicandra Swami says all the devotees were very blissful throughout. “It was a wonderful event and very well organized,” he says.
When the murti installation began, the mood turned to ecstasy, as up to 1,000 devotees crowded into the temple, dancing and chanting the names of Krishna in a kirtan lead by Ramai Swami.
The 24-Hour Kirtan started at 6pm on Saturday, October 10th. Haricharan Dasa, one of the devotees attending the festival, says, “The Kirtaniyas played all through the night. There was a roster, a list of who would sing and who would play.”
“The devotees are very happy about having Prabhupada present in his murti,” Haricharan continues. “It was actually a suggestion from our GBC Kavicandra Swami to hold Srila Prabhupada’s installation during the 24-Hour kirtan. There were many flowers, many devotees, and much, much chanting of the Holy Names.”
“Sri Sri Jagannath Gauranga Ashram is a combination of Balinese and modern styles,” Kavicandra Swami says. “It is very beautiful.”
Situated about twenty-five minutes from Bali’s international airport, the temple was opened in June, 2009.