Vaiyasaki is a well known singer in the bhakti yoga genre of music. As a boy growing up in Winnipeg, Canada, he would sing in the Jewish synagogue. As a young musician he played in a rock band with Neil Young. We were talking about his musical past and present as we were sipping on dob (coconut) juice on our way to the samadhi of our guru Srila Prabhupada.
"The Guess Who were the biggest band in Canadian history and they came from Winnipeg. Neil made it big and so did the Guess Who."
Vaiyasaki explained, "They had the right connections but I had the best connection- Srila Prabhupada." Neil Young is a big icon in the music world. He's got to be about the same age as Vaiyasaki, in his sixties but Vaiyasaki uniquely (for musicians) went the full nine yards in the spiritual musical field.
We climbed up the stairs to the Samadhi with his wife, Kishori. As we entered we heard much chatter, from visitors. We sat ourselves down in front of the glorious brass deity of our guru and began to chant in a capella, without instruments. He led and I responded. The chatter tamed more into a chant. People came to join us. It was beautiful- a Nitai Gaurian chant like the monks singing in a Christian cathedral. No music, just voices. And if you've ever heard Lady Smyth Mombasa singing "Amazing Grace" and just about anything else they do with their harmonization sans instruments we were going in that direction with our mantra sounds.
The room which we call the Samadhi has that potential to be an appealing space with the emphasis being solely on mantra vibration in addition to the building's own architectural draw and the beautiful diorama displays inside. Our visit there ended with the honoring of prasadam, spiritual food, and especially our favorite the sukta, the local greens. From here Vaiyasaki and Kishori were to leave for Vrindavan, Krishna's childhood playground.