Friday, October 24, 2008


dedicated to Radhanath Swami
on the occasion of his Vyasa Puja, 2008

burning for air

For millions of years
I was swimming
I was desperate
for refuge.

One day
by grace
someone saw me.

He reached out
and clasped my hand.
He pulled me to shore.
And when I could breathe
he placed
a seed
in my trembling hand.

let go
of this seed
of devotion,
he told me.
Tend to it
with love.

He began
to walk
and I began
to follow
in his footsteps.

brahmana brahmite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru krsna prasade bhai bhakti lata bija

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The King of Kirtan

Lifted from my journal:

The kirtan is building. People are amassing. The hands on the clock tick towards six o'clock.

The king is coming. Soon.


He's late. The crowd is growing more and more massive. Crazy. Amal is rocking the kirtan right now.... building, building... I'll see the famous Aindra for the first time any moment now... any moment now...

Aho! There he is! In tattered white, he entered the center of the kirtan from behind in a very quiet, very undramatic way. Such an unassuming man. This is Amal's hero.


Wow. Live at last. For years, always recordings. Now I am immersed in the spiraling voice, the mridangas, the crowd, the tumultuous clapping hands, the soft yellow light from the chandeliers, a faint breeze on my back from the fans. The rhythm of the drums reverberates in my chest.

Krishna Balaram smile upon the King of Kirtan.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Incandescent Moments

The Incandescent Moment is soft. It happens when there's no planning and no expectation. For me, it's like capturing one moment in the billions of ways the universe blossoms and unfolds.

Mumbai awaits.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Arrival of a Saint

From up here on the balcony, I observed the crowd of people who gathered below in the courtyard. Their black hair shone against white marble and caramel sandstone. Kirtan filled the hot yellow air.

Suddenly, everyone rushed towards the gate, like drops of water sliding down the inside of a basin. My heart drummed in my chest. Cries arose from the crowd, and many fell to the ground to offer obeisance. But I couldn't see anything yet, so I gripped the banister and riveted my eyes to the gate.

And then, an unassuming man wrapped in orange cloth entered through the gate. I could see his smile from up here.

In the most magnificent moment of all, this man - who everyone had come to greet - fell to the ground to offer his respects. And like a drop of water falling into a basin of water, everyone offered their obeisance in return in concentric waves. Even the kirtan halted for several breathtaking moments.

I didn't fall to the floor of the balcony. My astonished eyes would simply not leave the small figure of orange bowing down on the floor, in the center of the whorl of people.

Radhanath Swami had arrived to Radha Gopinath Temple.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.