No walking. No flying. Well, yes on the latter one, but the flight was delayed for Gainesville. The tire on the aircraft needed changing. Once we took off, passengers of American Eagle 3572 encountered a bumpy ride above the clouds. High winds creating a jerkiness forced me to pull out my meditation beads for the special protection needed. I was greeted by Anil and Vidya and two sons. The couple were to make their devotional vows in the evening. Also there was Yogendra, of Toronto, and Jagannatha Puri Dhama and wife, Vaikuntha Lila and their son. Jagannatha always sees to it that my liquid needs are met. He gets me the best of juices.
One of the primary reasons for my coming to the community of Alachua, situated about two hours walk from Gainesville, is to depart from here for a month’s trip on the Krishna Culture Ministry youth bus tour. We will travel the North-East of the US and then in Canada from Montreal to Edmonton. The party comprises of (it’s my guess at this point) 30 youths, two mature bus drivers, Manorama and Jaya Radhe, the program’s co-ordinators, and one monk – me.
How I fit in is as the drama director of the travelling road show that we’re putting on at various venues. The show will converge with the Festival of India on weekends and during the week spoil the crew by doing indoor venues on a stage with controlled lighting, sound effects and there will be adequate and comfy seating for audiences under those circumstances.
Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, was highly in favor of bhakti performances in order that the public could become more elevated in consciousness. Our group is not terribly professional, apart from the expertise of Anapayini’s dance school, but the kids are highly devotional. That’s where it counts.
Frankly, when you consider what’s out there in the form of entertainment, although highly professional in quality, much or most of the public’s exposure is boringly mundane. Its not what most people need. It’s time to elevate the consciousness, to make an adjustment in culture and attitude, to bring spectators to a realm of hope and happiness.
Anyways, that’s why I’m participating and wherever we’ll be on the road, I’ll take my daily jaunts. Sadly today is not one of them.
By the way, Anil accepted, along with his vows, the name Ananta Sesa and Vidya accepted the name Vaishnavi. Congratulations!