Monday, December 29, 2008

An Ode to India

The last day of my World Tour, I hosted a going-away party at Chowpatty Govinda's - a good excuse to amass cool people in one place. A quite eclectic group, I must say: an African gurukuli, Mumbai natives, first-time-in-India American college students, seasoned bhaktas, European adventurers, and other odd specimens (such as myself, a bald American gurukuli). We kind of took over the restaurant.

At the party, I handed out a questionairre entitled "An Ode to India". So I present to you, my dear readers, a collection of responses from all those cool people (with their permission, of course!). 

My gratitude goes out to them for their sincerity and enthusiasm to share their experience of India with me... and thus all of you. 

 "An Ode to India" Questionairre

  1. What is your favorite place within India? Why? 

* Radha Gopinath Temple, especially Vrindavan Forest. It is Vrindavan inside of Mumbai.

* Mayapur, especially the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

* Varsana – I feel the sweetness of Radharani there. It’s beautiful, gentle. The natives there show me what Krishna Consciousness is about: sincerity and depth.

* Vrindavan – I love how it seems as though Sri Radhe is written everywhere.

* Banks of the Ganges.

* The gurukula [school] in Mayapur – the Maharaj there is helping to save the world. It’s a window to another, more Vedic, planet.

* Vrindavan – I feel Krishna there everywhere.

* The foothills of the Himalayas – I actually wept at the sight of the sunrise.


    What annoys you the most about India?
  1. * Pollution


    * Blaring horns as they speed past you.

    * Haggling.

    * Lack of personal space and respect for privacy.

    * Trying to wait patiently in line is impossible! If you don’t push your way onto the bus or train, it will leave without you – if you don’t push your way through the line, you will never make it to the front.

    * The monkeys. I was trying to chant in Vrindavan and one monkey stole my juice.

    * I love everything about India, otherwise it wouldn’t be India.

     What do you love the most about India?

* I love that people sit on the ground, eat with their hands, walk in bare feet… There is something very free about it (at least from my Western perspective, where I see people very attached to their shoes, utensils, etc.)

* Everything in India flows so well, it just works. The best example is the street traffic - it’s so crazy and there seems to be no order, but people work with each other. It’s beautiful.

* You can buy dhotis in any store.

* Temples and sadhus [saintly people].

* I love that I can meet so many people who are devoted in their spiritual practice.

* The culture of service.

* How everyone knows who Krishna is.

  1. Convince someone to come (or return!) to India in one sentence.

* Be open and your heart will change.

* If you want to fall deeply in love with Krishna – forever – come to India.

* If you want to step out of your comfort zone and expand your realizations about this world we live in, come to India. You will be surprised at how much you are able to let go and live!

* Lots of association with Radhanath Swami.

* Himalayan sunset.

* Relationships, culture, love.

 and my favorite:

* If you want to know how to serve, then come to India

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Haiku for Radha Gopinath

haiku is a poem which contains three lines of alternating syllables of five-seven-five

Mei Ghar Aagayi

I have come home

exhaustion plagues me
I seek asylum in you
for I have come home

Monday, December 1, 2008


(India + computers = late blog post. I think you get it.)

Little known fact: Today is Thanksgiving.

I found it refreshing to wake up here in India, write in my journal, and realize that today is the third Thursday of November, and in the United States of America it is a day reserved for giving thanks.

So I want to thank my parents who, from the moment I was born, have nurtured me to be conscious of Krishna. My parents are the foundation of my spiritual life, and without my spiritual life, I am a shell of a person, a ghost.

“Gratitude is not just saying the words ‘thank you’. Real gratitude means reciprocation, even if it is at a great cost to oneself.” – Radhanath Swami

I am praying to somehow reciprocate one day with my parents, who have given me the priceless gift of association with devotees of Krishna.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.