Durban’s taste of devotion in celebrating ISKCON’s 50th anniversary

Durban

The Sri Sri Radha Radhanath temple in Durban, South Africa embarked on a rather sweet campaign to celebrate ISKCON 50. On Thursday, 28 July over 150 devotees distributed 5000 cup cakes all around Durban. The campaign began two weeks prior to the main distribution date, when temple president Vibhu Caitanya dasa, who personally steered and organised all aspects of the campaign, invited devotees and well-wishers to place orders for cupcakes to distribute at their places of employment, schools, universities and other institutions.

In true birthday style of celebrating with friends and relatives, this was the temple’s way of giving back and reaching out to the community of Durban. As hosts to the celebration, the temple took care of purchasing the ingredients and the logistics of baking the 5000 treats.

On site, the Govinda’s restaurant bakery came to a stand-still as all restaurant production came to a halt. Devotees took over the bakery to prepare, which were then cooled and packed by a separate group of over twenty devotees. The vanilla cup-cakes, decorated with sprinkles were then individually placed in a clear packet, wrapped with colourful ribbons with card attached highlighting the 50th anniversary of ISKCON.

Smiles, laughter and love filled the temple on Wednesday afternoon, when the Taste of Devotion Campaigners collected the cup-cakes for distribution. Vibhu Caitanya explains, “Everyone was so happy. From the bakers, to packers and those who went out on distribution were all delighted to participate in celebrating ISKCON 50 in this way. Essentially, it was a team effort from so many devotees, as everyone lovingly came on board to assist. We have received many photos from those who have distributed the cupcakes to various areas, and found that we have touched the hearts of many through this gesture.”

The birthday spirit spread all through Durban as devotees were enthusiastic to share their joy by handing out these cup-cakes to their friends and colleagues. These included medical professionals, engineers, construction workers, teachers, court-houses, South African Police Services, travellers and employees at King Shaka International Airport and even the Mayors Parlour. The campaign featured on the front page of The Mercury (a national newspaper) as well as on national radio stations.

Festivities continue at the temple this weekend. On Saturday, 30 July, devotees will participate in a Monthly Sankirtan Festival where Srila Prabhupada’s books and prasada will be distributed at over ten strategically selected spots in Durban. On Sunday, the Love Feast will be dedicated to the ISKCON50 celebration wherein Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Radhanath will be offered a new outfit. His Holiness Partha Sarathi Dasa Goswami will deliver the main talk and Vibhu Caitanya will present on the goals of the temple as an offering to Srila Prabhupada. The program will conclude with Guru Puja to Srila Prabhupada followed by a sumptuous feast.