Nobody Led Them — They Simply Chanted

by Bhaktin Rita

On Thursday, another group of 8-11 year olds from Wheeling’s inner city visited New Vrindaban. To my surprise, three children who had visited last week came back for a second time. They had such good time before, and they kept asking when they could come back – and finally they received permission. The attraction of Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha-Vrindaban Chandra is undeniable!

This particular group of children became very attracted to chanting the maha-mantra. They exhibited this quality right away. Upon entering the Palace, I introduced the children to Prabhupada. One boy raised his hand. He pointed to Prabhupada’s bead bag and asked, “What’s in his bag?”

I pulled out my own bead bag and showed the children my beads. I explained how to chant japa: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Later, in the Palace temple room, one child was very curious about the Panca-tattva painting. He asked me who each person was, and “are they all part of the same Person?” I answered his questions carefully. At the end of the explanation, I again pulled out my beads. I spoke the Panca-tattva Maha-mantra and the Maha-mantra, so that they could all hear.

At 12:30, the children attended arati in the temple room. They were first introduced to the Deities, and then to the musical instruments. Finally, the children sang kirtan. A handful of the children sang throughout the entire time. One girl who was visiting for the second time spontaneously clapped her hands, without any prompting, and then looked at me for approval. I smiled and nodded my head. One little boy concentrated so hard on playing the karatalas! His head was bent down, making sure he kept the beat: one-two-three, one-two-three.

After lunch, the children walked around the two lakes. They loved seeing the swans and peacocks. When they reached the large statues of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, they began climbing up onto Lord Nityananda’s dais. They spontaneously sang the Maha-mantra as they climbed toward His lotus feet: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Nobody led them – they simply chanted.

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