Wednesday 12th June 2024,
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Video : Ram Lalla Concert Cure For “Californication”

Video : Ram Lalla Concert Cure For “Californication”

After Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Californication’ single a forewarning of corrupt times to come. Well, maybe a cure has also come.

California came alive on May 18th with bhajans & kirtans of Shri Ram Lalla. In a ‘one-of-a-kind’ event,
this music concert drew 500+ Ram Bhakts to sing, dance, and experience a magical evening. The old, the young and the very young – they all came to immerse themselves in chanting God’s name and feeling blessed.

The entire venue was draped in auspicious bhagwa and Akshat prasad from the pran pratistha in Ayodhya on Jan 22nd was disturbed at this event. The bay area turned into Ayodhya on May 18th
Deepak

Hundreds Attend Ram Lalla Concert In Fremont

The afternoon concert was organized by the Ram Bhakts of Northern California.

On May 18, the Ram Bhakts of Northern California organized a Ram Lalla concert in which devotional songs about Lord Rama and traditional Indian dances were presented through the afternoon and evening. Akshat (sacred rice grains) from the Ayodhya Ram Temple consecration ceremony was also distributed among attendees at the concert. The concert took place in the outdoor amphitheater of the Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, and organizers estimate that more than 600 people attended the event. 

The Organizers

According to its founding members, the group Ram Bhakts of Northern California formed organically after the establishment of the Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya earlier this year. At the time, six Bay Area Ram-bhakts – Bimal Bhagvat, Daipayan Deb, Deepak Bajaj, Deepti Mahajan,  Param Desai, and Rohit Sharma – organized a car rally to mark the occasion in the Bay Area. The car rally was a success and the group decided to continue organizing other events in the Bay Area to unite Ram Bhakts and Hindus, often using Whstapp and door-to-door campaigning to mobilize the Hindu community. The Ram Lalla concert is the first event they have organized since the car rally.

Founding member Deepti Mahajan pointed out that apart from the six founding members, around 30 volunteers worked tirelessly to make this event possible. She also insisted that though all six of them are members of Hindu community organizations, the Ram Bhakts of Northern California is independent of those organizations, and works with the sole intention of uniting Hindus in the Bay Area. 

“Hindus are actually looking forward to unite,” said Mahajan, who is also on the Executive Board of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. “And given what we are seeing in schools and colleges right now, [Hindu] parents should make sure that their children think Hinduism is cool.”

The Performers

The main musical act for the concert was the devotional music band Kirtaniyas, supported by DJ Ananta Govinda. While songs they sang on stage were in Indian languages, the musicians themselves were not all of Indian descent. Instead, they are musicians from all over the world, united in their belief in Hinduism and their affinity to Indian devotional music like kirtans and bhajans.

 DJ Ananta Govinda (right) with the band Kirtaniyas. Photo by Tanay Gokhale.

“They are Caucasian, but they believe in Hinduism and have Hindu names. That is the motto, we want to deliver knowledge about Hinduism to the rest of the world, said Bimal Bhagvat. “When we do something like this outdoors in public, a lot of people will know!”

Apart from the musical performances, students of the Natya Tarang Dance Academy and the Abhinaya Kuchipudi Dance Academy also performed at the concert. 

 


Akshat
from Ayodhya

Organizer Bimal Bhagvat poses with a bhagwa flag at the Ram Lalla concert. Photo by Tanay Gokhale.

Another major attraction of the concert was the distribution of the akshat from the Ayodhya Ram temple consecration among attendees. This was part of the Vishwa Hindu Parsihad of America’s nationwide campaign, whereby they are distributing akshat from the consecration ceremony to over a thousand different temples in the United States. The car carrying the akshat also made a stop in the Bay Area earlier this month. Devotees who could not procure the akshat then were able to do so at the concert. Organizers estimate that around 640 people received the akshat at the concert. 

Though some considered the consecration ceremony of January 2024 itself as controversial, the Ram Bhakts of California emphasized that they have no political motivations and their only intent is to unite Ram bhakts in the Bay Area and give them avenues to express their devotion through events like the concert.

 “Yes, there would be a lot of noise from everywhere. If someone appreciates us, that’s good, if they find fault, we’ll try to improve on that, but if somebody challenges our intent, there is hardly anything we can do,” said Rohit Sharma, one of the main organizers. “Irrespective of that, what we can do is put in our pure efforts, and that is what we did.”  

Bhagvat also shared that after the concert, the group is now in the early stages of planning an even bigger event for fall or winter of this year, a Diwali procession – or Shobha Yatra – that thousands of Hindus in the Bay Area can join in.

 

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