Today was the celebration of the annual Los Angeles Ratha Yatra AKA The Festival of the Chariots in Venice Beach.This vdo was taken last year but it captures the bhava & bhakti that always flows during the event . It was special for me as I got to drive Maharaj to & from the yatra. Very auspiciously , the temperature outside rose to 108 degrees as we sped through the 101 Freeway.Nitai Gauranga !
21 June 2012 (First day of Ratha Yatra). Usually by sunset, the three chariots of Baladeva, Subhadra and Jagannath would reach Gundica Temple on the first day. This year however, none of the chariots reach Gundica Temple on this day. So our sankirtan party led the crowd in front of Baladeva's chariot to a blissful 6-hour dancing and singing of the Lord's names and glories. Baladeva almost reached Gundica Temple while Subhadra and Jagannath are just about to reach midway. This video is just a little fraction of today's ecstatic sankirtan
Jaya & thanks to Susan von Seggern for the warm email re Bhakti Fest 2012. Much appreciate your visits to the blog & all the love. Here's a video of Bhakta Ayush Prabhu from 2010 with Gauravani , the Mayapuris & more all blissed out in bhav , chanting the Maha Mantra. Hari Hari !
The Festival of Colors held annually at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Dham in Spanish Fork UT is the largest Holi celebration in the Western Hemisphere. They will be extending the celebration in 2013 to the new Sri Sri Radha Krishna Dham in Salt Lake City. I was blessed & made it to darshan there on Tues. afternoon. Then dropped-in at Jeff Silverstein's mellow Wed. PM Led Class at the Shiva Centre in Sugar House. Salt Lake City & Park City can be amazing places. Jai !
I have posted this video before but on the heels of the previous post regarding Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , it deserves a re-feature. The Sri Siksastakam is composed of 8 verses in which the mission , the Sankirtan movement & precepts of Sri Krishna Chaitanya are revealed. " Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam "
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois talks about his Guru Sri T. Krishnamacharya. I never got to study with or meet Guruji but his parampara is kept alive by his grandson Sharath & all the teachers that continue to share the system & practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. And on Guru Purnima , we will honor & express gratitude to all the teachers who have helped us dispel the darkness of our own ignorance & illusion. Blessings !
A day in the life of bhaktin & yogini Lila Padma Devi Dasi AKA Loren Russo. I am loving the Beatles soundtrack & the portions of the video featuring artik & devotion at New Dwarka Dham Los Angeles.Jaya & Haribol !
It has been several months since I last dropped in at Chad Herst's Mysore class in the Mission SFO.
However , he does keep his blog updated regularly. I enjoy keeping up with it as he addresses questions & topics that have been bandied about in the blogosphere .
The difference being that he writes from a very scholarly , erudite & calm manner ( i.e. no sensationalism or profanity necessary to drive home points ). Pretty much the Chad I have known from the couple of times I have seen him in SFO.
This particular post sheds light on the curent dichotomy between what was the classic Indian yogi , the new India & the West.
He describes Classical Indian Dharma versus the Western Path as : " In India, the sense of individuality and uniqueness is not valued in the same way it is valued in the West. From a very young age, what is valued is one’s relationship to one’s role in society. If you are a brahman, then, indeed, that’s what you are. That’s the role you are to play out in society.
Relatively speaking, life tends to happen to people in India compared to the West. It isn’t chosen the way it’s chosen here. And while that is starting to change, now, the change is slow. So, for example, it wasn’t until recently and in certain very small pockets of Indian culture that one would even think to choose one’s partner in marriage. That was determined by the caste of the individuals, the parents, and often with the aid of a family astrologer.
One’s role is called dharma, or duty. A major theme in The Bhagvad Gita, is performing one’s duty to caste. If that means fighting one’s family members for the sake of upholding the universal law, or santana dharma, then it must be done, like it or not.
The essence of the training of the yogi in India is the elimination of likes and dislikes, of the overly identified sense of self, called asmita in the Yoga Sutras. And, in turn, identifying and surrendering to the role the society has put upon him or her.
What we in the West think of as the creative faculty to be at choice in how we live our lives is completely eliminated. Surrendering to one’s role-be it one’s role in society or in the family unit-is the transformational breakthrough that’s asked of the aspirant. "