Friday, 18 June 2010

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

At The Villa

Florence, Italy

Out of their kindness, hosts at Villa Vrindavan put me in their finest room out of all the 120 rooms of the building. It’s the former summer home of Macchiavelli, guru for diplomacy who promoted the philosophy “the end justifies the means.” The bulding dates back to five hundred years ago. My room is furnished with Louis XVI style chairs but most important is the Krishnaized state of the room. A murti (statue) of our guru ‘Prabhupada’ adorns the room along with a complete library of his books. The high ceiling is a break from the more clastrophobic planes and buses I’ve recently bean caged in.

Just outside, the room opens up to a lager cavernous room featuring original Iskcon art with one of my favourites, a huge oil painting by artist Jnanajana where Ram annihilates the ogre ‘Ravana’.

President of Villa Vrindavan, a gentle soul, by the name Parabhakti asked if I would speak for the morning Bhagavatam verse. This I considered a pleasure to do after a trek down the forested road in this rural property. I spoke on significant words and phrases that I plucked out of the verse and purport. I asked the crowd “ What it actualy meant by the term ‘touching the lotus feet of the guru’?” It is more than the physical gesture of putting hands to the humble part of the master’s body. The purport explains that it is a checking of false prestige and false ego.

Other words that were higlighted in the talk were “ flattery” and “ regretting one’s wrong actions.”
After the talk there was one thing I did not regret and that was eating a delectable pizza at mealtime. They are thin crusted masterpieces of goodness. As Madhu Sevita would say “ They are glorified chappatis.”

I couldn’t agree more.

3 KM

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