CARSON, CA - Over 250 youth from all over the U.S. including California, Texas, Minnesota and Alabama revealed their extraordinary talents and skills at the first ever Bhakta Youth Festival and Cultural Program hosted by the Shree Ramkabir Mandir, here and at the Marsee Auditorium in El Camino College in Torrance.
The highlights on July 25, included an hour long inspirational talk by Sajan Bhakta, a 19 year old youth activist, author, motivational speaker and philanthropist. Mature beyond his years, young Sajan’s work has been recognized by President Barack Obama, football great Eli Manning, and the cast of ‘Glee’.
After that, different groups ranging from very young children to college students recited prayers and sang bhajans in a variety of wonderful and complex styles and ragas, making a deep impression on the devotees who packed the temple to capacity.
The next day, drew youth in droves to an enlightening spiritual talk by Dr. Jagessar Das, President of the Kabir Association of Canada. After this, a five hour cultural program at El Camino College took center stage in the evening. The mood was absolutely electric. Featured were various youth groups, several of them enthusiastically performing garba with innovative dance moves in their brilliantly colored costumes and breathtaking backdrops. The Taiko drum ensemble of Los Angeles enthralled the crowd with their vigorous soulful drumming.
The cultural program was capped with an unbelievably action-filled mother-daughter garba, involving over 70 participants, which set a remarkably high standard. The final item of the evening was a joint garba by the youth of Shree Ramkabir Mandir and the Bhakta Cultural Center, delivered with grace, class and elegance.
Dhruti Ramchandani delivered a moving tribute to the memory of Lalinbhai Gokalbhai Bhakta, following which a plaque in his memory was presented to Lalinbhai’s children Hemali and Ankil and wife Roshni who were in the audience, by the President of Shree Ramkabir Mandir, Mukundbhai L. Bhakta.
Sajan Bhakta then gave a short but high octane inspirational talk, emphasizing the need to go beyond “me” and “mine” and to help others less fortunate in the world.
Attendees were entertained as much as they were inspired. And their generosity flowed both to the youth of Shree Ramkabir Mandir in terms of donations for future programs and activities, and also to Sajan Bhakta whose book sales monies he is donating to a hospital in Gujarat, to assist the underprivileged for urgently needed surgeries.
The event, attendees proclaimed unequivocally was a visual and auditory feast combining spirituality, culture, inspiration, entertainment and generosity.