Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Magic of The Simple Temple

In 2003, Radhanath Swami invited me to Chowpatty, India.

So. Five years later, I have finally come. I don't know what the next five hours will bring, what to speak of tomorrow, or a week from now. So I simply live in the moment, step by step.

I breathe in the rich, musty air. The roar as waterfalls of rain drench the world - people dashing from cover in their saris or dhotis. Orange cloth (lots of it) billows from bamboo rafters high above, drying in the sun. Rain patters through the fresh green leaves, and there, the pujari is a silhouette from the candlelight inside the little Laxmi Narayan temple.

Chowpatty works a slow magic. I knew it would take time, I knew I needed to be patient - this is a community based on relationships, and relationships take time. And so day by day, the petals of this community blossom for me... so very slowly.

A staggering number of people attend a morning program infused with devotion. This is not simply the dazzled observation of a newcomer. The kirtans are melodic and sincere; everyone dances together, and everyone raises their arms when they sing Hare Krishna. I sense a deep, deep connection with Krishna Consciousness here. And somehow, SOMEHOW, their enthusiasm remains fresh, even after so many years.

Ah... I sense the hands of Radhanath Swami here.

And have I mentioned that every single kirtan is beautiful? The singer, the mridanga, and the kartalas are all eloquent and expert with so much heart. And when everyone sings in response, voices flood the templeroom. Okay, I know, I've mentioned this, but kirtan is a big deal for me, and I am deeply impressed.

I don't know how I will ever attend a morning program again without remembering the soulful kirtans and japa of the people here in Chowpatty.

To those who have given their prayers and assistance for me to come to India, I offer my deep gratitude to you. The blessings of the Vaishnavas allow me to taste the magic here.

Note: The DVD on this community, The Simple Temple, is available from I guarantee you, it does not exaggerate. This place really is that amazing.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to order it. Or, better yet, click here.

1 comment:

Rasikananda Das said...

or better yet click here:

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