Mayapura, West Bengal
Dogs snarl at each other at about any time of day. Their lifestyle is such that in their stray existence lots of play and lots of fight constitute their 24 hours. There seems to be a drama within their adventures.
A few years ago these wild canine creatures were abundant in Mayapura yet more lately numbers of motorbikes have replaced them as nouveau menaces. The consolation to such apparent aggravations is the many cuckoo birds, doves, jackals and inanimate entities. There are mango trees, eucalyptus trees, tall ashok palm, date and banana trees. Pilgrims are sweet. They carry looks of either wonder or smiles. To them kirtan, deities and well-maintained gardens are a delight but so are we, international pilgrims, a curiosity to them. You've got people here that are white, brown and black, from every continent.
A big plus for today was meeting Bhaktisiddhanta, an American artist and sculptor who had been serving as a priest in Vrndavan, Krishna's childhood playground, and living in the sacred town for thirty-five years. He had come to our creative arts session, VANDE. He told a little about himself. He had friendship affiliation with trailblazing artists such as Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol.
Bhaktisiddhanta is 74 and he is a storehouse of information in Vedic arts.
The mandate given to various committees including our VANDE arts team was to prepare key result areas for next year's festival. The work executed by all committees was to embrace the theme of urgency. We are not getting any younger and the second generation of Krishna devotees deserves to be handed a legacy of spiritual vibrancy.