Appearance of Lord Balarama was easily the most celebrated event of last week. It’s not as big as Janmastami but Lord Balarama will always have a special place in out society – our Vrindavan temple is dedicated to Krishna-Balaram, after all, somewhat breaking up the tradition to have Radha-Krishna as the main deities. We’ve had our celebration in Bangkok and there are reports from around the world, too, mostly in the form of photo-albums. Here is the slideshow from Bhaktivedanta Manor and here is an album from New Mayapur in France. As you can see, Lord Balaram had no shortage of food. On that New Mayapur page there is also a twenty minute video about victory over Gorilla Dvivida. It wasn’t a particularly elaborate production but everyone had a lot of fun. From looking at these photos we can see that French devotees are not so strict with face masks and social distancing. On this subject, last July we wrote about a virtual Ratha Yatra festival organized by devotees in Berlin (and joined by London and Radhadesh). However, the week later, on July 25, devotees in Munich held a proper Ratha Yatra, pulling the carts through the streets and singing and dancing as usual. Here is a three minute video. One could spot a mask here and there but most people were out and about having fun as if there is not epidemic at all.
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