Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My India Diary-Part 3

Day 7 12/12 Delhi
Made it through 18 hours in 2-Tier AC Rajdhani Express goodness from Mumbai to Delhi. Daydreaming of wandering as a babaji through the mysterious haze of the Indian countryside begging for rice as the sun sits as a golden disc overhead, giving pleasurable darshan.
Back at ISKCON Delhi overnight, awaiting the arrival of the rest of our crew, including HG Mauricio Prabhu from our Athens, Ohio Dham, and his presence will be as sweet as a fresh rasagulla. This city is completely hellish, with exhaust fumes and untuned guitars from the Bina Music Shop fillinf my lungs and ears. The beauty of the temple, of the gaze of Sri-Sri Radha Parathasarathi is an oasis and soothing balm in the middle of millions seemingly wallowing in their own filth, internally and externally. The brahmacaris here are super fired-up for the Book Marathon (a truck with 5000 Gitas was pulling up just as we were), so at least Prabhupada's mercy flows through the congested, noisy streets and avenues

Off to Vrndavana tomorrow, ready to roll in the dust.

Day 8 12/13 Delhi-Vrndavana

Today marked the auspicious arrival of our two leading superstars from Athens, Ohio Dham: Sriman Mauricio Prabhu and Srimati Jamie Prabhu. Mauricio is one of the most unique dancers in the history of sankirtan, and the Delhi brahmacaris couldn't get enough of his groove. I told Mauricio he better be careful. He'll end up prime minister or a big Bollywoo sensation before too long.

At breakfast I was blessed with the mercy of suddenly going all-out in eating with my bare hands rather than Western spoon-style. It was ecstatic. India is feeling more and more like home.

We spent the rest of the day visiting various sites in the mood of awe and veneration. The Lotus Temple, a Bahai place of worship close to ISKCON Delhi, where silent prayer is the modus operandi. Caitanya was nearly overcome with the urge to let out a big OM in the middle of this massive concrete flower, but he behaved himself. We also took a harrowing rickshaw ride to the Swami Narayana Mandir, of which the sheer size, audacity, and complexity provoked some vibrations of deja-vu and the like, but which left the assembled Vaisnavas a little cold in the feet. Even some folks from Switzerland that we met told us they were not exactly feeling any warmth in the soul from all the assembled gold. I personally got more benefit from observing the art of haggling with taxi wallas as performed by Caitanya on our way back to the Delhi temple.

After picking up the rest of our NV crew at the airport, we took a late-night drive to Vrndavana. We arrived at 3am, taking the dust of the Holy Dham on our heads.

O Krsna, I cannot imagine or remember the pious deeds I performed to earn the privelage of being here in Vrndavana now. Let me fully imbibe what is here for me to experience in love and devotion.

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