The day after Pretoria Ratha Yatra, Lord Jagannatha decided to bless the citizens of Soweto, a less affluent region of Johannesburg inhabited by African people. Its name is an English syllabic abbreviation for South Western Townships.

It was a nice parade and the local children constantly followed Jagannatha’s chariot as devotees generously distributed Mahaprasadam in the form of candy and lollipops. The Ratha Yatra procession was well received – many people were watching, some clapped their hands and others even danced.

At the festival site, a huge initiation ceremony took place as the main event. Eight devotees received first initiation from HH Kadamba Kanana Maharaja. A nice kirtana started the ceremony which was followed by a powerful lecture by Maharaja, HH Bhakti Caitanya Maharaja and HH Bhakti Nrsmha Maharaja. The initiates were blessed with wonderful names like Ujjvala, Candrasekhar and Rasaraja. It was a truly transcendental event which ended with another roaring kirtana.

Maharaja stayed a further two days in Pretoria and then traveled to Cape Town for a week-long visit.

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