Sunday, June 24, 2007

First Full Day on the Laxmi-Nrsimha Festival Tour

Tribhuvaneswara Prabhu led the second half of the guru puja kirtana playing the accordion and getting everyone to dance. It was very lively and went on for nearly an hour. There are so many enthusiastic chanters and dancers here, the kirtanas are always very upbeat.

Since I often sit in the reincarnation booth during our festivals, Jayatam Jaya Sila Prabhu gave me a project of researching good ways to present reincarnation to the Polish people. I recalled on instance back in 2003 in which I felt successful in this.

One time a lady in her 30's came by the reincarnation tent, with her mother and daughter. She said the idea of reincarnation made her feel uncomfortable. I replied that because it is not a widely accepted idea in this society it is understandable that it would make you feel uneasy, but it can explain many things. Then she asked what it could explain. I described how some people are born into a situation of great suffering, while others are not. If God is all powerful, all good, and equal to everyone, and this is our first life, everyone should get an equal start, yet some have to suffer from the very beginning of life. Knowing about reincarnation and the law of karma (action and reaction), we can understand the people must have done something wrong in a previous life to deserve the disadvantaged situation in this life. Otherwise, we may conclude, as many do, that there is no God or that God is unfair. The lady ended up buying a book, and so did her mother.

I stopped by the school gymnasium, which serves as our temple room and prasadam hall, to get my bead bag which I left there at breakfast time. There was a play rehearsal going on and as I was leaving, the ladies directing it encouraged me to play the role of a sannyasi in it, probably since I was already wearing the right color clothes and they didn’t have anyone else. I just have to give blessings to four people, chant some mantras, and pour some imaginary ghee into an imaginary fire. We will see how long I last. . . .

I encouraged a couple of Vaishnava youth boys to chant the evening arati song with me. One had nice mrdanga playing ability and the other a great voice. The one with the nice voice led the Nrsimha prayers. Just as we ended a Russian devotee, who had played with Aindra Prabhu in Vrindavan, came by and sang some very sweet Hare Krishna tunes which he accompanied on the harmonium. I enjoyed dancing as the others played the instruments. Then he sang a very nice Hare Krishna tune that Village of Peace, our tour reggae band, played at our concerts on the summer tour and the Woodstock festival, and I felt happy recalling how all the young people had chanted and danced with us when they played. It is wonderful that devotional activities can be relished forever.