Mayapura, West Bengal
Today, there were eighteen of us — sanyasis or renounced men at lunch together. We were huddled together in the quarters of Bhakti Caru Swami of Bengali origin. Not enough could be said about the excellent prasadam and its presentation.
Equally good is the company. One of the main purposes for travel from so many corners of the world is so that we could come together and to walk down the red royal carpet of encouragement. There are marvelous things going on spiritually in many parts of the world and the major influence, in a Krishna Conscious context, is coming form the people in this room.
We sat on mats set out at the edge of the room with a low table in front of each of us. A banana leaf was placed on top of that. To one corner of the leaf was poured out a small pile of local salt, strips of ginger and some cut lemon. A porous clay pot was placed just off the leaf at the side of the low table for drinking water.
Bhakti Caru led the prayer before honouring the prasadam beginning with “Sarira avidya jal…” “Oh Lord, this material body is a lump of ignorance…” The prayer starts off on a negative note but then eventually thrusts hope and optimism.
What wasn’t positive about this experience, the people, the edibles? Nothing really, although I found the panir, the organic curd chunks fried in mustard oil a little strong.
After the meal you just have to nap. Only my extra take-it-easy-today program which I scheduled to fight the cold became interrupted by multiple visits. The day ended with a very free-style dance to the Kirtan Mela (chanting festival) going on.
Overall, what could stop me from shouting out “Jai!” the big victory cry.