LA First Day
Los Angeles, California
California, nice weather. Relief! And in the City of Angels (sorry to use the word once again), we have the temple off of Watseka Avenue. Our busses pulled up, devotees greeted us with obeisance and hugs. We took a shower and some prasadam to eat. Off for a trek up along Hughes Ave, past the Kirk Douglass Theatre near Culver City Park. And Sony Studios? It’s huge!
I admire the trees, plants and flowers, and the neatness of the Culver City district.
Our troupe was poised to perform right in the quaint, ornate temple of Rukmini Dwarkadisha. The play is beginning to gel and going beyond the actors jarring their memories for lines. The audience was responsive to our show, but the audience was small. It was a let down. This low attendance for a large community must have been due to people being uninformed. Who’s to blame? I don’t know. Promotion is always important. Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, was a divinely empowered person who believed in the practicality of the world, and since maya (illusion) is highly promoted, promotion then to that contrary, is necessary. He used words like ‘propagate’, ‘broadcast’, ‘spread’, ‘expand’.
Before I lay down to rest, an explosive moment of inspiration came to me in regard to the promotion of higher consciousness. A young man who joined our society about 3or 4 years ago, and who has recently travelled throughout North America, has settled in LA for the last 2 months. You can certainly call him a monk. Being inspired by the life of simplicity, he spends his evenings resting, either in an empty parking lot, or behind some bush in a park. It’s always a different location, this is all by choice. By 4 AM he rises, comes to the ashram to shower, he attends the morning temple program, and fills up the rest of his day by selling books from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. He is not eccentric, he’s very normal, so when he told me of his program, that really moved me. To meet him and to hear of his program was very awe inspiring.