for ISKCON News on May 17, 2013
This year, the Festival was indeed an inspiration according to many visitors to New Vrindaban (West Virgina, USA) on May 10, 11 and 12, 2013.
Before the Festival of Inspiration got under way, it was not without its tense moments. On Thursday morning, May 10, one never could have imagined that Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant at the Palace Lodge would be fully functioning that evening. That morning, the place was strewn with tables, paint brushes and out-of-place counters. But it all came together right on time.
This year there were some real improvements not only in the restaurant, but in the Palace Lodge rooms and the new New Vrindaban Welcome Center as well.
One pilgrim at the festival commented on the efficiency of the new Welcome Center. “I especially appreciate the enthusiastic and helpful attitude of the young ladies working there who greeted me.”
The opening of the fully renovated restaurant was a miracle in itself. “Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant looks like a high class dining room. The food was very good – not too spicy. And I felt very comfortable sitting in one of their booths. The cake was amazing.”
One guest remarked, “I really felt welcomed and I also appreciated the love coming from the devotees with whom I came in contact during the Festival of Inspiration.”
Another young woman said that she felt “very well taken care of by the ladies in the asrama. “ Her husband commented that, “The very artistically performed drama about the Bhagavad Gita was the high point for me.”
A disciple of Bhaktitirtha Swami who attended the Festival was remembering something that her guru had said. He always emphasized the importance of appreciating every devotee. In this same mood, the disciple wanted especially to acknowledge all the hard work that was put into this Festival of Inspiration by each and every devotee, from the organizers of the presentations down to the pot washers and construction workers, as well as so many others behind the scenes.”
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims: “I carry what My devotees lack and preserve what they have.” Rarely was this experienced more clearly than before and during the 13th Festival of Inspiration. The restaurant, the renovated lodge rooms, and the welcome center were all functioning right on time, and the residents and pilgrims enjoyed so much inspiring kirtan, classes and association.