Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

We All Were Hippies

San Francisco, California

The JFK Blvd runs through Golden Gate Park, the route for the 47th Annual Ratha Yatra, the Festival of Chariots. This is a milestone. Approximately that long ago hippies (young with flowers in their hair) danced in circles around Swamiji and his faithful followers, the Hare Krishnas. To be more precise it was 1967, the summer of love, when San Francisco was the world hotbed of free and alternative thinking. "Turn On," "Be Grooving," and "Let It All Hang Out," were cliched to the max. At the top of the hill (Hippy Hill), our guru, Srila Prabhupada, known affectionaly as Swamiji drew the crowds to take them to a higher consciousness.

During today's chariot parade, I was personally or physically thrown back to that precious time when leading the chanting kirtan. The crowds came, some of them from that era I'm sure, but in general more diverse in age. At one point I walked the great grand-children of Anavadyangi, a personal student of Srila Prabhupada.

It was with some dismay that the route to the standing point of the parade was my only walking for the day. My guess is a mere 4 kilometres. But yet a sweat was worked-up. It happened to be a sun-filled day.

Our local drama trope, with Sing Lung added on did stupendously on the stage. We got everyone off their feet and having at the story's crescendo. It was a rewarding feeling after putting the hours in its direction and the actor's hard physical output.

There was warmth and kindness from all in those expressing their appreciation.

I will not fail to mention the joy in the heart when seeing a group of middle-aged guys beating at their djembes just outside the festival's zone. The principle drummer constantly threw in this "Govinda Jaya Jaya". The other drummers were focused and reverent in the practice of their mystical beats.

It was heart-warming, just heart-warming.

4 KM

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