Out of Maya in Mayapura
The scenery isn't all that great for walks these days. How could it be? I've been mainly pacing back and forth on the floor of our building passing by pilgrims' doors at pre-dawn. In the distance I can hear the cry of the jackal. I can hear the sound of a rolling snore that penetrates through the door. I'm chanting softly in order to avoid prematurely awakening others.
Scenery is indeed limited, however, what a chanter hopes to achieve is to see through the mind's eye something sublime. Images of the guru, of Krishna, of devotional friends and devotional places or visions of anticipated acts of service are what you aspire to view. Call it inner vision, if you will.
Apart from the pacing along the corridor doorways the service of the day requires trekking from building to building. At each venue you can register a moment of what's grave or what's light. In one building on the campus as our meeting session began, we were told that there was a major earthquake that hit New-Zealand. The unfortunate news was that the beautiful deities of Krishna were damaged at our Christchurch temple. Moreover 65 people did perish and many are missing.
In another building one of our dear monk peers, Niranjan Swami, called me "Boogie-marga" after I led a chanting session. I took no offence. If anything it was an affectionate compliment.
All in all time spent in Mayapura is so well worth the visit. Once the sun does rise, the land, although ultra-flat, does possess the beauty only to be found in a rural setting. What a terrific break from urban concrete! May green prevail here in spite of the progressive construction going on to establish a city of a Vaishnava community.