Here’s a very enthusiastic appreciation of the Ratha Yatra recently celebrated in Los Angeles. The gentleman who created this video is unknown to the devotees apparently. You’d hardly pick it! Well, apart from the fact that he jumbles the mahā-mantra at the end. What he lacks in technique he makes up for with enthusiasm.
kāmair ahata-dhīr kāmaiḥ — by material desires; ahata — undisturbed; dhīḥ — whose intelligence
his intelligence is never bewildered by material desires
a devotee never sacrifices his auspicious position of steady intelligence, even in the face of so-called material opportunity
The troops have been working on the hot house getting it ready for a spring planting. Beds dug over and topped up with compost. Old plastic stripped with new cover on its way. $500 for a big roll of plastic. Youch. Farming isn’t cheap. Thank you to the farm volunteers.
Here’s a dream of mine. I’m not sure if I’m in love with the idea or the reality of cycling this route in one day. Port Augusta to Quorn, then to Wilmington and back around to the Port! Six and a half hours, or thereabouts, according to Google. I’ve chosen some back roads which should be safer given there shouldn’t be much traffic on them. There are plenty of hills. It’s a 495 metre climb to the highest point just outside of Wilmington which would be a tad over 80km into the ride. That gives me plenty of time out in the bush and farmland to contemplate the meaning of life.
The real challenge will be putting in the effort required to be fit enough to go the distance. The logistics of riding that far are also a challenge. I’ve ridden from Port Augusta to Quorn and back on a few occasions. I was pretty tired after doing that. Going the extra forty km is not going to be easy.
These are roads I’ve driven on as a teenager with my family and later with Acintya Rūpa on visits to Port Augusta over the years. The Aussie bush is barren out here. It’s marginal land just above and below Goyder’s Line.
The first step is to reduce the number of instruments. In many kirtans, devotees spontaneously pick up instruments no matter how many are already in session. But Dvija Vara advises that just one pair of kartals and one mridanga (no whompers or gongs) are usually enough even in a large kirtan.
I know that the parents want to encourage the boys to learn the mṛdaṅga and one of the best ways to do that is in a live kīrtana. There’s nothing like struggling to keep up with the big boys whilst enduring their discouraging frowns. That’s how I learnt to play instruments under the loving scowl of say, Kūrma Prabhu and Govinda Svāmī’s sternness. But, as is mentioned above, there really is no need for more than one mṛdaṅga and one set of karatālas in the temple room. Maybe two karatālas.
The article referred to above has a few sensible recommendations.
This may be a bit wonky because my system is running low on ram.
Open Live Writer is a bit clunky. It is taking a lot longer to open and draw the screen which may not be its fault. I’ve got a lot of apps going at the moment. For the moment it is now uninstalled. Net Writer does it all and much more in a smooth and fluid interface.
We are now in Australia and I am very glad to report to you that everything is going extremely well here, and I am much satisfied with the progress being made in western countries like Australia. Now in India you must develop things also very nicely, especially for attracting overseas visitors to come there and enjoy Indian special atmosphere of spiritual life. Our Indian boys and girls are not very much interested to become devotees, but I am seeing that these fair-skinned Americans and Europeans are like angels by coming to Krishna Consciousness increasingly more and more, and that very soon the whole world will become filled with such angels, and so I am very optimistic that if we continue in this way by sticking very tightly to our pure standards that the Lord Caitanya’s prediction will very soon be realized all over the world.