On January 16th, 2014, a three-day festival began in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, with the themes of self-sustainability, cow protection, living in harmony with nature, and devotion to Lord Krishna. More than 50,000 guests participated, extolling these Vedic ideals of “simple living and high thinking.” Radhanath Swami addressed the participants and guests during the Ratha Yatra, a traditional chariot festival, on the second day.
Around 40,000 people from all over the state of Maharashtra attended the chariot festival and heard Radhanath Swami speak on the topic of “Unity in Diversity.” The deity of Krishna as Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings Balaram and Subhadra, graced the altar. The theme of the stage was based on a traditional Rajasthani village.
The guests were also enthralled with the Odissi dance performances and sand animation.
In his brief address, Radhanath Swami explained how a garland is composed of various colors, textures, and flowers. Because they are all strung on a single thread, the diversity increases the beauty and the value of the garland. He compared this to the amazing diversity in creation, citing the example that not even two snowflakes are alike. “The unlimited souls are each unique and have a specific personality and character. But there is one Supreme Absolute Truth, the source of everything that exists—God—who is the father and mother of us all. When we understand and develop this relationship with Him, it creates a sense of unity despite the amazing diversity in creation,” said Radhanath Swami. “When we realize our own relationship with God, Krishna, then we naturally can perceive how every living being is our brother and sister.”
A large number of organic farmers and local NGO’s working in the field of environmental welfare enthusiastically participated and served during the festival. Also, prasadam, or spiritual food, was served to all 50,000 visitors.