Friday, 16 February 2018

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Mayapura, West Bengal

In Bed and On Stage

What the other boys in our circle were suffering from, finally crept up on me.  Basically, it’s a cold but it did put me into the horizontal position.  It kept me away from meetings and walkings.  I sent an email to our chairperson, Bhakti Caru. “I’m sorry I can’t make it today,” exclaiming my illness and that I had to conserve energy for our final performance.

So, jumping ahead, we did perform.  We received a standing ovation once again.  “Many Mothers, Many Fathers,” on the life of Chitraketu, has received so much praise from all.  Some of our elders said the following:

“A good play,” said Hari Sauri.
“Brilliant!” said Suresvara.
“Wonderful!” remarked Sesa.
“World Class!” said Prthu.
“I loved it!” said Laksmimoni.
“Creative!” was author, Vishakha’s word.
“The best!” said Jayadvaita Swami.

After the performance, when the audience went to mingle with our actors, so much encouragement came our way.  The cast enjoyed an appreciation feast and then we went around asking everyone for their reflections.  The one main feature or theme that came out of these deliberations was the building of such awesome friendships.  Truly, we had become a family of bhakti yogis, loving, and learning so much from each other.

I believe that everyone’s spiritual propensity was enhanced by the hard work and the powerful product—a play that moved people.

May the Source be with you!

0 km

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Mayapura, West Bengal

Kill the Cold

On the 13th, Chaya got married.  It was also on the 13th that Anasuya from Mauritius was cremated in Jaipur, India.  Her son, Kirtan Das, just informed me about her situation.  It was cancer that took her life.  Here we see how janma (birth), mrtyuh (death), jara (old age) and vyadhi (disease) are in full swing in this mundane world.  We see it all around.

And as the yaksha had asked the sovereign Yudhisthira, “What is the most amazing wonder for you?”  His answer was, “Everywhere people are perishing but something within tells me I’m not going to die.”  That’s profound.

If anything, it’s the inner self, the soul, that insists on being constant.  We will die over again and again and the soul will persist.

With all the saintliness in the character of this gentle soul, Anasuya, I am certain she is on to a good journey.

Regarding vyadhi, illness, it is coming on, just a cold mind you, but it has taken me to bed for some extra time.  I was blessed to put effort into some writing about my walk in Israel but after some time desk-itis crept in.  I decided to put an hour into the final kirtan of the marathon.  The intent was to throw myself into the heat of it all.  A lot of dancing could put out the cold.  Sweat would do it.

We had a splendid time.  “A new way of dance,” remarked a couple of the participants.  Yes it was, and it did help.

Goodbye Stephen from London, Ontario.  Thanks for helping to introduce our play.

May the Source be with you!

5 km

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Mayapura, West Bengal

Chaya Got Married

I was asked to deliver the morning bhakti class.  The talk was based on a verse from the book Bhagavatam, Canto 7, verse 40 from chapter 4.  I was given a choice as to where to speak from.  Since today was the celebration of the Adi Vas, invoking a celebration of a five day chanting marathon, I thought it appropriate to explore a verse which highlights the feelings (bhavana) from chanting.

Now I’m not a scholar but I attempted to put out the best I could.  I employed the technique of charades (or pantomime as friend Suresvara put it) to engage the crowd in the reading of the verse’s purport.

My day began as such, with an early class to accommodate the start of the marathon.  My breakfast became a meeting.  That was actually pleasant.  Then a stretch of meetings of a more formal nature took me to three o’clock, followed by a drama practice.

One of our Canadian girls, Chaya, received her wedding blessings and tied the knot (equated to receiving a ring in a Western context) with Abhay, a fine young chap of Latina heritage.

The wedding and vows were held on a rooftop and I had to cut short my visit to attend to our drama.  A special feature of tonight’s occasion was the one hundred plus Chinese pilgrims who grouped together for a stage delight.  And delighted they were.

May the Source be with you!
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