Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Profound Answer

Three days ago on the beach in Tampico, Krishna Kirtan and I took it upon ourselves to dress the Bus Tour Gaura Nitai deities. So I rolled out a sarong on the sand and we unfolded all of Their jewellry and clothes.

The warm yellow afternoon surrounded us, and the sea breeze brushed the air. We fell into a companionable pujari rhythm. Kirtan is fifteen, quiet and deep, and our rapport echoes much of older sister - younger brother.

Halfway through our service, I asked one of my hypothetical questions.

"Kirtan, if you were to die tomorrow, and you could go to one place anywhere in the world for your last day, where would you go?"

In his detached way, Kirtan shrugged. "I don't know," He continued to search through bracelets.

"Oh come on, Kirtan, just answer,"

"I don't know, why does this matter?"

"Come on," I cajoled, "The value of my question is that you consider what is important to you, and what you value in life. Just consider my question,"

Kirtan was quiet, and we resumed our puja to Gaura Nitai. And then, in his nonchalant, profound way, he said, "I would go somewhere where I would cry."

I froze and turned to look at him. "Cry?"

"Well, cry with love. For God."

I was quiet for long moments. His answer rung in my mind. Then I said softly, "Thank you, Kirtan, that is a beautiful answer."

He tilted his head and smiled a little, and continued with his service.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

No Bounds

Our first official day in Mexico, we had just finished an amazing kirtan program at the Museum of History in Monterrey. We were all super tired. Outside in the streets, car honks filled the night in exhilaration - the city´s soccer team had just won a match.

Some Mexican gurukulis asked me to show them the tune on the harmonium that I had sung during the program, so I gladly obliged. Another two or three people from the Bus Tour joined our little group. Then Akinchana started to sing; Goshi and I got up to dance, Gopal grabbed some tambourines, and our party grew.

Then Goshi grabbed the portable harmonium. Akinchana swung it over his shoulders, and we all headed out into the streets!

When our party hit the streets, it was like an explosion. The Mexicans waved and cheered and honked their horns, and spectators gathered like iron fillings to a magnet.

For a full half an hour, we sang and danced on that harinam. Enthusiasm knows no bounds when you´re on the Bus Tour with kirtaniyas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pinnacle of Devotion

Possibly the most beautiful photo of Srila Prabhupad I have ever seen.
I meditate on this picture every day.

"There is no vow like chanting the holy name, no knowledge superior to it, no meditation which comes anywhere near it, and it gives the highest result. No penance is equal to it, and nothing is as potent or powerful as the holy name. Chanting is the greatest act of piety and the supreme refuge. Even the words of the Vedas do not possess sufficient power to describe its magnitude. Chanting is the highest path to liberation, peace and eternal life. It is the pinnacle of devotion, the heart's joyous proclivity and attraction and the best form of remembrance of the Supreme Lord. The holy name has appeared solely for the benefit of the living entities as their lord and master, their supreme worshipful object and their spiritual guide and mentor.

"Whoever continuously chants Lord krishna's holy name, even in his sleep, can easily realize that the name is a direct manifestation of krishna Himself, in spite of the influences of kali-yuga."

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in Saranagati (quoted from Adi Purana) 

To write is to dare the soul. So write.