Saturday, June 26, 2010

Offering Homage

My hair stood on end when I entered Tompkins Square Park. The Park was lush and green, but lined with derelicts on benches, muttering to themselves. Rollerbladers sped by, and children with balls ran past. Everyone seemed so relaxed, as if there was nothing remarkable about this place at all.

Deeper into the park, there is a certain tree that spirals into the sky. When I turned a bend and the majestic branches of that tree came into view, shivers rolled through my body. As if entering a temple, I slipped off my shoes and got down on my hands and knees to offer my obeisance to this tree.

Fresh and old rose garlands were strewn around the base of the tree. High up in the first fork in the trunk was a small, official green sign that read, "The Hare Krishna Tree".

This is where it all began.

I sat down on the uneven bricks and took out my journal to write:

Forty-five years ago, an elderly Indian gentleman sat down about where I'm sitting, right now. He sat under this tree with a little bongo drum and sang the mahamantra...

... and changed the world. 

People who sit on the benches in a ring around this tree have no idea that the young woman who writes in her journal is only here and breathing because of a man who came 45 years before. That he sat under this tree and changed the lives of millions upon millions of people by simply playing a bongo drum and singing an ancient mantra. 

Srila Prabhupad loves me so much. He thought of me and prayed for me before I was even born. He wanted to give me the gift of the holy name, and his only motivation was compassion.

Prabhupad blows my mind.  

I realize that there is no way to repay the debt of wealth Prabhupad has given me.

Well, there is a way: to chant the gift of the holy name that he came to the West to give. 

I offer my respects to this tree. It is a great devotee - it intimately served and associated with my beloved Srila Prabhupad.

Thank you, my dear tree. Thank you Srila Prabhupad. I owe you my life. 

1 comment:

Vinod said...

Thanks For enlightening me about this Hare Krishna Tree . I checked for the location and came to know that it is located in Manhattan .

It is a Pilgrimage site for me and must see and feel it .

But Before that I must visit Vrindavan and Varsana !

To write is to dare the soul. So write.