Saturday, December 21, 2013

No Other Way

I write this in the midst if the 12 Hour Kirtan in Atlanta. The mridanga beats surround me in waves and pulse with the rhythm of my heart. I can feel the vibration in my chest. The kartals ring through the night. The singer's voice twirls and dances through the air and carries me down the river of the holy name. The holy name has swirled all around me all day; hour after hour after hour. Now that night has fallen I can feel the holy name in my veins. I'm surrounded by others whose veins also flow with the holy name.

I have danced all night - we ladies would put a disco to shame! Our skirts swirled, our feet moved in blurs, our grins shone.

Now the kirtan is drawing to a close, voices ring out from wall to wall, and the final note is hit. Applause arises. Quiet moments follow. Then someone calls out the sacred verse and we all join him: "harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam, kalau nastyeva nastyeva nastyeva gatir anyatah."

In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.

Then, the lights turn on and we start to mingle. I sit here and write this on my phone, and all I want is to feel the vibration of the mridanga within my chest, in my heart.

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