Saturday, 4 March 2017

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Panihati/Sonaspura, India

Departing from Mayapur

I received an e-mail from a friend asking how I liked the “Swami tossing.”  The other night I snuck into the Kirtan Mela and a crowd of young men, knowing I go along with a little frivolity at times, pulled me in and tossed me up repeatedly, only to be caught in a human trampoline.

I saw it as good clean fun.  Everyone was chanting at the time.

An assistant and I left for the Kolkata area today.  Suta Goswami Das, a very good and caring young monk, arranged for our transport to a place called Panihati.  This is the place where, five centuries ago, the monk who inaugurated kirtan to the world, Chaitanya, with associate, Nityananda, honoured a huge, chipped rice feast.  The contents are of dahi (yogurt), rice—of course—some fruit and a moderate dash of camphor.

Panihati was a simple village at the time.  Situated along the Ganges, the massive food feast occurred under a large banyan tree, which is still there.  A modest temple and additional buildings form the foundation of a lively community.  Raghava Pandit, and his sister, Damayanti—two very devout contemporaries of Chaitanya—became masters at food combinations that sometimes spun out of this festival.

I sampled the prep with the camphor.  Loved it, but I am still watching my purine diet—low protein for gout.

Panihati is visited by monks, colleagues of mine, who are my go-bros (god-brothers) but it was at Sonaspura, after our seven hour drive, where I found out that no swamis have ever come to this village community.  I was treated like a superstar.  It was not necessary, and I asked the crowd to tone down in as diplomatic a way as possible.

Good hearts!

May the Source be with you!

6 km

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