Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Neverending Love Song

Have you ever sung a love song for 24 hours straight?

Impossible, you may say. Love songs get old after 24 minutes!

I beg to differ.

This weekend at the 24 Hour Kirtan festival in New Vrindavan, I took a vow of silence (mauna vrata) and committed to chanting only God's name. 8 hours or so into the festival I stopped singing a love song and started living in one. Every heartbeat, every breath, every movement - I lived in the world of the holy name.

Hour after hour, the holy name soaked into even the most forgotten crevices of my heart. I grew up in New Vrindavan with the deities of Radha Vrindavan Chandra, and yet during one kirtan especially (Acyuta Gopi's), I glanced over to Their beautiful forms and fell in love all over again.

At around 2:30 in the morning, I began to realize that this love song never got old - I only became more and more addicted. My room was upstairs above the templeroom, but I couldn't sleep. When I tried to sit down and write in my journal, the kirtan from downstairs thrummed through the very floors; I slammed my journal shut mid-sentence and ran downstairs to dance!

Even when exhaustion settled over me at around 5:30am and I somehow stumbled back to my room - still, the kirtan resonated through my body. Half-asleep, I listened to each melody as each person sang, and deep down I wanted to jump to my feet and dance.

And when the last kirtaniya sang the last kirtan, I felt a longing that this love song would never end... that it would just go on and on and on... and on...

 Bhakti Charu Maharaj

 Gatorade - the mridanga player's best friend

 Beautiful and soulful Jahnavi (violin) and Jaya Sita (cello)

 Gaura Vani - organizer of the festival 


His Grace Aindra Prabhu - the one who started it all


Rukmini said...

Beautifully written, Bhakti. I hope I can do the mauna vrata at NV one day.

And your photos are amazing, you're definitely getting better and better. I love all of your photos, each one captured such a special moment. The one of Jahnavi and jay sita was stunning!

Nishan said...

nice post!

Deepak said...

wonderful share mataji

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