Saturday, March 11th, 2017
Get Ready for Gaura
My walking is strictly indoors right now, and that is very embarrassingly limited. The gout can’t, at this point, handle the squeeze of the shoes. I was driven by Nakula, the young son of Umesh, to his home. Umesh was with me in Cuba. We swam off the bay in Cienfuegos, where boldly he would grab palm-sized jellyfish and toss them out of his way. Brave!
Umesh had deities installed in his home in Milton today—deities of Gaura and Nitai. The entire world of Vaishnavas in the line of Gaura (the golden avatar) is gearing up for his birth anniversary tomorrow. In lieu of this, we are also basically preparing for the celebrations tomorrow with a bhajan/dance presentation in His honour.
Gaura, also known as Chaitanya, was quite the chanter, and quite the walker. He roamed throughout the countryside, going from village to village, encouraging the culture of song and dance. His mission was unofficially inaugurated in the first decade of the 16th century in Bengal and then beyond. It spread throughout the sub-continent of India. Kirtan is the word affiliated with Chaitanya.
Not everyone is fully aware of kirtan just yet. For instance, Greg, a good friend of mine, who arrived during our practice time for bhajan, recently met a girl with an OM tattoo on her arm. He asked her if she knew what OM meant.
“Something to do with yoga?” she guessed.
“Yes, but you’re not familiar with kirtan?”
It looks like Chaitanya’s influence still needs expanding; a little extra push from adherents like us perhaps?
May the Source be with you!