The Realize America Tour spent a wet Friday, Jul 29th in downtown Washington DC distributing flyers, giving realization and hoping for better weather for the next day. Unfortunately, the forecasts read out descriptions of isolated thunderstorms for all afternoon on Saturday as well. Yogis started giving bandhans and it turned out to be a beautiful day for our program in Baltimore, Maryland.
This is McKeldin Square at the Inner Harbor, the busiest thoroughfare in the multi-ethnic city of Baltimore. The Square had never witnessed a event like this before and it was just going to get ready for one. Yogis from all over the DC Tristate Area had converged near the venue on Friday night and had begun assembling the equipment for the musical performances and the realization workshops.
The musical performance was going to be bolstered by Sahaja yogis from New Jersey who reached early in the morning. The Realize America tour van rolled in at 11am for the big event.
Once the team got together, the ganas started powering the event ahead. Within an hour, the stage had been set for the musical performance, booths were set up for the seekers and the Square was beginning to look festive with US flags, Sahaja banners and Yogis milling around in brightly colored Realize America t-shirts.
The biggest challenge for the set-up team was the giant Sahaja Yoga banner asking seekers to come and discover their destiny.
Two hours of slips, falls, adjustments and knots later, the banner was up and looking proudly over the Inner Harbor.
People had begun to take realization at the two meditation stations set up, but more was yet to come.
The Baltimore Yogis had sent out requests for Nabhis to be well taken care of and huge coolers of chilled beverages, cartons of lasagna and salads started turning up just as the heat began to take its toll.
As the Yogis settled down, meditated and established themselves at the Square, ideas began to develop and teams of two spread out all over the Inner Harbor to distribute flyers and direct the traffic towards the Sahaja camp. The Baltimore crowds responded well, snapping up the flyers and asking for their realization as well.
The Realize America Team then decided to add some color to the proceedings by starting an impromptu dance in front of the Sahaja booths! That got the crowds tapping and cheering to the beat of 'Jogwa' and 'Adi Maya Ambabai'.
Drawn in by the bright colors, songs and dance, seekers asked how this was the only free destination at the Harbor and how such pristine knowledge could be attained so easily. Sitting out in the open, with a pleasant breeze blowing, they could feel Mother's Love playing on their palms, tingling at their fingertips and swirling up their spines. Sahaja Yogis started keeping track of their own count of souls realized and relishing the looks of amazement on the faces of the seekers.
While the crowds thronged the meditation tents, the music picked up as well and hearty renditions of 'Jago Savera' and 'Bathe in the Waters' rang across the Harbor district. The music was also interspersed with short stories, pitches and anecdotes about the Tour that kept the traffic engaged and attentive towards the Sahaja signage.
By this time, couple of hundred had already taken their realization but the momentum was still building up.The baseball game finished at 4pm and thousands moved over to the Harbor inspiring the musical team to start on a second wind! None who passed could escape the cool vibrations and the atmosphere setup by the yogis. In fact, people were calling home telling their families not to miss this opportunity!!!
Finally, the crowds began to ebb and the Yogis looked upwards to see vibrations all over the Baltimore skies - almost as if Shri Ganesha was smiling down upon the camp as they finished a wonderful Saturday's festivities. Almost 400 people received their realization by Mother's Grace and more than 4000 went away with Sahaja Yoga flyers, but everyone else (over 15000) still left with images of Shri Mataji and Sahaja Yogis implanted in their memories.
The Realize America Tour went home to relax and enjoy their final evening in the DC area while the local Yogis stayed back to pack up and enjoy some pizza out in the open. Once the packing had been done and there was time to sit down to some collective pizza out at the Square, we looked back at how lovingly the deities kept the rains away and tended to all the tiniest details, enabling the seekers receive their realization. It was time to enjoy the collective dinner, look forward to Shri Krishna Puja and sing about our loving and magnificent Mother.
The Realize America tour will now continue on to their final stop in Virginia Beach along the Atlantic Ocean.
Jai Shri Mata Ji!
The Realize America Tour Website
Sahaja Yoga in Washington DC / Maryland