Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Searching, Searching

When I was in India and I got homesick for America, I would have a very specific daydream:

The library.

Wander into a beautiful library with vast ceilings, shelves filled with books and books, immerse myself in the mystical mood of knowledge and inquiry. And of course, AC. Then, I would settle into a nook and read lovely children's picture books. 

So yesterday I caught the F train to the New York Library on Fifth Avenue, one of the most famous and magnificent libraries in the world.

(photo by flickr.com)

I wandered vast marble halls and passed giant oak doors with gilt metal handles. I made my way to the children's section and read lovely children's picture books. And there was AC!

I stayed for awhile.

Nice. Yeah. I wandered back out onto Fifth Avenue, the buildings stretching to the sky, rivers of people moving along the sidewalks. I walked into Zara to admire clothes. Within minutes, I walked out. I picked a direction and eventually came to a bookstore, but even there I felt the fever of everyone around me to buy, buy, buy.

I felt the energy pulsate in the air of everyone searching for something, searching, searching

Including me. 

At last, a little dizzy, I took the F train back to the Bhakti Center.

Recently, I received brahmin initiation, which allows me the responsibility and privilege to worship the Lord in His deity form on the altar. That evening, I was scheduled to receive training to put Radha Murlidhar to rest.

When I came back from my city sojourns, I showered and put on a sari. I entered the templeroom and a whoosh of quiet fell over me. Soon, my teacher greeted me with a smile and training began. We prepared a tray of cookies, fruit, and milk in shining silver bowls, and I offered a short arati of incense and flowers. Several people came to sing evening lullabies for the Lord.

The cold and hard edges of the entire day seemed to soften.

We closed the curtains. I moved to place the small brass deities of Radha Murlidhar into Their wooden bed. I moved Them with such tenderness, like a mother tucking her children into bed. I stepped back to look at Them sleeping and I sighed.

How many times must I lose Krishna to realize that He is to be found within my own heart?

(photo by Alex Vaishnava)

1 comment:

coolascucumber said...

Welcome Back to US Bhakti. So, you are going to show us around NYC when we visit you.

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