A Spiritual Homecoming for the ‘Ekatva Kids’ at Radha Madhav Dham
“To spread ripples of love and oneness through the world,” that is the intention of the Ekatva ‘experiment’ of Manav Sadhana.
On Saturday,June 10, 40+ volunteers, promoters, and 16 remarkably bright and bubbly kids from the Gandhi Ashram of Ahmedabad were welcomed by the resident family of Radha Madhav Dham; over 50 of our Austin community families and campers from the youth camp in full-hearted support with lots of smiles.
Hearts overflowed during the welcome in the Prayer Hall. Siddheshwari Didi led everyone in a devotional meditation with chanting, while the spectacular darshan of Radha and Krishn opened for them.
Later, the Ektava kids were ceremoniously presented with t-shirts, goodie bags, money and malas by Didiji, our resident sanyasi teacher. Then, to our surprise, a drum began to be played by one of the adult Manav Sadhana volunteers, drumming beautifully on behalf of all the other Ekatva kids who stood up on cue and presented us all with heart pins, necklaces, and warm hugs of gratitude.
The ceremony was followed by a golf-cart tour of the holy places on Radha Madhav Dham’s 200 acres of beautifully flowering grounds. On the way, residents told them the leelas of Radha and Krishn at different places, and sang lively bhajans. After the tour, everyone enjoyed a welcoming meal and ice cream Towards the evening, the Ekatva kids went out to the grounds and played basketball, cricket and volleyball with the visiting youth and those who attended the one-week Youth Camp.
PreyaPatel, one of the main organizers of Ekatva’s Austin visit, said, “The whole Ekatva gang, the volunteers and myself had an AMAZING time at Radha Madhav Dham. The welcome, the tour, the food and just being in the presence of so much love was amazing. A few of the staff members of Manav Sadhna said, ‘This was just what we all needed’. A relaxed, loving, spiritual environment was just what the doctor ordered .”
These sixteen children are from some of the largest slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They were selected through a nine-month audition process, and were trained by mentors from Manav Sadhna and teachers from Darpana Dance Academy for two years. Currently, they are travelling to the U.S. and U.K. to perform a 90-minute dance-drama production sharing Gandhiji’s message of ‘Oneness’.
Following their visit to Radha Madhav Dham, they performed in Austin, which was attended by an audience of over 1000 from the greater Austin area, as well as a large group of Radha Madhav Dham members who came out to applaud and cheer them on.
“There is so much love here!!! What a memorable experience this has been for us all. All I can humbly say is thank you,” exclaimed the emotionally touched tour leader, PreyaPatel.
Yes, we couldn’t agree more. This was a truly memorable experience for every one of them as well as for all of us here at Radha Madhav Dham as we welcomed them to their spiritual home in Austin.
To read more about the journey of 16 kids from the slums of Ahmedabad and their inspirational story, please go to: : ekatva.org I f: facebook.com/ekatva I b: ekatva.blogspot.com I y: youtube.com/ekatva1 I t: twitter.com/ekatva2012
JKP, Radha Madhav Dham is one of the largest Hindu Temples in North America and is situated in the serene Hill Country 16 miles southwest of Austin. It has been established as a pilgrimage place depicting the holy land of Braj. The Ashram and Temple grounds is a peaceful location for weddings, meetings and yoga retreats and it serves the community with our satsangs, family camps, celebrations and we can easily accommodate guests for overnight stay.