Monday, 22 November 2010

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Consider the Best

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Last evening's kirtan (chanting) was just from another world. Led by Ajamil of Bengali origin the locals gave it the Spanish spunk. It was preceded by a second presentation of our play, "El Testigo." The actors were marvellous in their performance. Imagine, they were given their scripts two days prior to Saturday's presentation. Lines were to be memorized, dance steps to be learned and stage blocking was also from scratch. It's a 50 min play. They were empowered.

I again was asked to speak from Canto One of the Bhagavatam centered around the story of a bull, a cow, a king, and a culprit. Basically you get a good notion of what is the primordial Kali-yuga from the text. The age of the present time, Kali, is dark. I saw symptoms of it on the last two morning treks. Not far from our temple, in a very decent neighbourhood, outside and under a condo's awning was a baby, a mother and father all fast asleep on the sidewalk. They had blankets and little else. I almost stepped on them accidentally.

Yesterday I saw families with cardboard boxes and fires being lit just outside a massive fortified cemetery wall. They live there. I'm still having a hard time getting over my very sheltered 50's up-bringing to wake up to this reality of Kali-yuga. These images are creeping up more and more. On my last visit to Mumbai a local man told me that 50% of the population there lives in these conditions.

It simply makes you feel grateful that you have such wonderful prasadam to eat every day. Still you wish you could do something about the deplorable conditions of others.

I didn't bother to mention about the images seen during the class. I only stressed the need to appreciate, to be grateful and counter non-productive habits of complaining and self-imposing harm. So much can be said about the self-indulgences of today. Sure it feels good when you indulge. It feels just great! That greatness eventually gets crushed like powder and gets tossed into the air and into oblivion.

Please! Please consider the rhapsody of kirtan. Por favour! Please, oh members of the age of Kali!

5 KM

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