Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Space and Next Year

Mayapura, India

The Russians arrived. As each year passes hundreds and hundreds of
them fly to India and then flock to the various places of pilgrimages
in the surrounding area of Mayapura. Many pilgrims arrive from all
over India as us for the same reasons -to hear from great speakers
about the spiritual science of the self. There are Chinese devotees,
people of Hispanic origin, east and western Europe, Aussies, even
North Americans.

To accommodate the multi-cultural reality, pilgrims are divided as
English-speaking, Hindi and Russian. Promptly, pilgrims board a bus or
just walk to their respective places for a days experience of
purification. Some have prepared their backpack arrangements for a
five day stretch.

Our last performance of "The Three Lives of Bharat" in Mayapura was
last night. That makes today tidy-up wind down day before our drama
crew leaves for Gujarat. It means I have some time to meditate on
future projects. It also means I'm a pilgrim today. It does involve
looking at my personal use of space in this dhama (sacred space) in the
most relevant way. In particular I'm holding a keen interest on the
place that I spend the most time -the samadhi.

In the morning I attend the arati at the samadhi and often end up
leading the chant. With the acoustics being what they are (an absolute
disaster for musical instruments) I am considering why not put a
positive spin to the use of the facility? The cavernous dome is highly
non-conducive to drum, harmonium or cymbals but when singing with a
soft and slow pace we could perhaps realize that here is a sacred
space fit for the beauty of the human voice only.

I was speaking with Vaiyasaki, a celebrated kirtan leader, who travels
the globe on a concert circuit. We both came up with the idea of using
the samadhi space as Gregorian chanters would do, only here we could
call it "Gaurian" chants named after the golden avatara Gaura or Chaitanya. The
name sounded right and so now we will experiment with mantras in the
space without the echoing musical instruments.

My last point about the samadhi is the lower level where the
auditorium is situated. This place is under used and under-rated. It
has turned out not to be a bad facility for our dramas. I've been
considering using the auditorium to do matinee session hosting all
school children in the area to see our dramas leaving them with an
impactful message. That's for next year. What do readers think?

7 KM

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