Monday, November 4, 2013

Why We're Alive

Here at the Bhakti Center, we have a community meeting every two weeks to simply connect and cultivate relationships. Last Friday we gathered. 

With each person who spoke into the open space of the circle, I could feel something special build. Then Ghanashyam shared his reflections on living here for the past decade - that the building was nothing without the people. Nothing. Even though people may come and go, relationships formed here in the fire of service to God are somehow different, special, eternal.

After he finished sharing, a long silence fell. His words seemed to hang in the air like spun glass. 

Later that evening I walked up to the rooftop to chant my japa meditation. Manhattan sprawled around me in every direction in all of its glittering, silent splendor. The cold air chilled my skin and I pulled my shawl tighter. I chanted the holy name and Ghanashyam's words circled through my mind in quiet spirals.  

The entire world looks to New York City for the next trend, the next wave. Srila Prabhupad knew this - that's why he came to Manhattan, and that is how the entire worldwide movement of Krishna Consciousness began.

When I reflect upon that night of walking on the roof of the Bhakti Center, I realize that although I was surrounded by the glory of buildings of the most powerful city in the world, they were nothing without the people inside of them. Nothing. They were just cement, steel, and glass.

It is so easy to get lost in the insanity of New York City. But within a certain building on First Avenue, I have found shelter within the people who have devoted themselves to God, to Krishna. I am coming to realize that there is nothing more of value in this world than these relationships.

Whether we're in Raxaul, Nepal or New York City, this is why we are all alive, this is what we're all searching for - purpose, service, love. 

(photo by

(photo by


Tyler said...

so nice. thank you for sharing :)

EN said...

Nice post. We saw you in New Vridhaban during October 24HK singing, dancing and nudging other devotees to dance (including my wife), too :). You are doing a marvelous service to Krishna.

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