Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nama-hatta Program

We left around 6:30 a.m. to go to a nama-hatta program about three hours away in a town called Arambhag. It started with a harinama, which they call nagar-sankirtana here in Bengal. Our vehicle got lost and took four and a half hours on some very bumpy roads to get there, so we missed the harinama. We got here in time for breakfast prasadam at 11:00 a.m. Then there was a snack of fruit at 1:00 p.m. and lunch at 2:00 p.m. It made me smile as I recalled that Ayur Veda recommends eating meals six hours apart! I practiced harmonium singing my Radhanatha Swami tune and another sweet tune with Caru Candra Prabhu playing the drum as the other devotees rested after lunch. The program started at 4:00 p.m. It was outdoors and it is estimated two thousand people came. We did some bhajanas and then several of us foreign students told a little about how we came to join the Hare Krishna movement and what our realizations were. I was satisfied to hear the variety of stories that the devotees told, thinking they would appeal to a variety of people. Some devotees warned the Bengalis not to abandon their spiritual culture and imitate the Western materialism, which we have personally experienced does not satisfy the soul. It was also nice to see the great enthusiasm of the Bengali audience for the chanting of the devotees. After the program, we had hot milk and some more prasadam, for the fourth time! You never go hungry on these programs. That is for sure. We returned home at 11:30 p.m.