Rosa Parks at Govinda’s in Detroit




BY: BHUSAYA DAS – 26/10/2005 – sourced from The Sampradaya Sun

As the world mourns the passing of the “mother of the civil rights movement”, Rosa Parks, the Detroit devotees are reflecting on the gentle soul who would often dine on Krishna prasadam in Govinda’s Restaurant at the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center at the Fisher Mansion.

Rosa Parks often took prasadam at Govinda’s in Detroit.

Back in the 80s and 90s Mrs. Parks could often be found with a few close friends at the corner table next to the leaded glass doors. She especially liked that table because a dancing peacock would often show up outside the door – to the delight of her party!

Although her courageous action of refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955 powerfully changed the social fabric of America forever, Rosa Parks stood out as a very humble and graceful lady, never taking credit for herself, but always giving credit to God.

One day after dining in Govinda’s, my wife Lekhasravanti dasi and I took Mrs. Park’s party onto the balcony of the Temple Room to take darshan of our benevolent deities, Sri Sri Radha Kunjabehari, Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva & Subhadra and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai. They were all very respectful and spoke of the serenity and joy of the experience.

ISKCON Detroit

After darshan we spoke. My wife’s father, Walter Reuther, had been instrumental in the fight for civil rights and was known as Martin Luther King Jr.’s most influential white supporter. Walter Reuther marched hand-in-hand with King in all the dangerous civil rights marches, and gave a rousing speech urging equality, just before King delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial.

So after taking darshan of their Lordships from the balcony, Lekhasravanti and Mrs. Parks spoke for awhile about the civil rights struggles. What struck me was Mrs. Park’s mood recognizing she was only being used as an instrument of God. Perhaps it was the Temple atmosphere, but all she spoke about was the greatness of God. Her voice was soft, almost a whsiper, and her eyes smiled beautifully.

At first it was amazing to me that such a small and gentle woman could have such a huge and lasting impact on the world, but when I witnessed her absorbtion in glorifying God I realized where her potency was coming from. And she loved prasadam!


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