Wednesday, March 28, 2007


"Everyone, please stand up," Indradyumna Swami announces. The initiation ceremony has come to a close.

Murmurs go around, "kirtan, kirtan", and although I'm standing at the back of the templeroom, Maharaj manages to catches my eye anyway. His eyes light up and he beckons to me, "Bhakti! Come sing,"

I exhale deeply and summon my courage to make my way up to stand next to Maharaj. Someone places a pair of brass karatalas (hand cymbals) in my hand. I adjust the microphone and begin to sing a simple tune while the two disciples of Maharaj circumambulate the initiation fire.

One day... one day.I pray, closing my eyes. One day I will circle my own initiation fire.

When the crowd shifts toward the altar, Maharaj smiles and turns to me and requests that I sing the formal evening arati song. "Sundar Arati, please,"

My first impulse is to refuse. Sundar Arati, for a crowd and occasion such as this, ME?? But Maharaj's encouragement fortifies me. So I sing. Maharaj sways in front of the Deities, chanting. Thank you for empowering me, my dear shiksha guru, I muse. Halfway through the arati, I untangle the microphone from the stand to dance with everyone else!

And then, the kirtan is coming to a grand crescendo with cries of "Gauranga!" and "Haribol!" When suddenly, Maharaj turns around from his placid place near the altar. He picks up his dear godbrother Sikhi Mahiti and grinning, begins to swing him 'round and 'round and 'round! Everyone goes wild, "HARRRIIIIIIBOOOOOOL!!!!"

My mind flashes with pictures of Indradyumna Swami swinging my own dear guru maharaj, Radhanath Swami, in the same way. I watch in total disbelief, and with a final note I call out, "Gaaaaura Premanandi..."

The voices of the devotees rise as they reply, "Hari Hariboooool..."

Indradyumna Swami ki.... jai.

1 comment:

Vinod said...

Have I have missed out on many gr8 experiences ?

To write is to dare the soul. So write.