Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Secret to Silence

I arrived into Mexico City silent, and I left silent. I had made a vow that for one day, I would devote my voice to Sri Krishna.

It was my third 24 Hour Kirtan; in each of these three events, I have committed myself to mauna vrata, or a vow of silence. And each time, my experience of the holy name goes one notch deeper. All day long, only the holy name cycles through my mind - over and over and over. In all shapes and forms and sizes, the holy name swirls around me - around and around and around.

By the end of the day, the power of the holy name has soaked into my skin, into my mind, into my heart.

Mauna vrata for a 24 hour kirtan is so beautiful and so powerful that I wish others would try it. Of course, the question is: How to only chant the holy names when I'm surrounded by such amazing devotees, by my friends? What if I have a service? What if I just need to ask for directions? 

I have several techniques which involve a notepad and plenty of hand gestures, but here's my secret to survive a vow of silence for 24 hours when you're surrounded by the whirl of a festival: stay in kirtan.

That's it.

Maybe you're immersed in a beautifully sung kirtan. Wonderful, stay there. Maybe the kirtan is off-key, or off-beat. Wonderful, stay there. Maybe you get up to dance, maybe you cry.

Stay there. Maybe the holy name will decide to dance upon your tongue.


Nirant Sethia said...

when would the tour come to Australia? Brisbane? I would like to experience it once ! my parents are members of ISKCON FROM MUMBAI

Aastra said...

Haha I wish I could have made it the whole day without breaking my vow of silence.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.