Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ramanavami 2006

Well, it didn't go as great as expected, but it was still pulled off in quite a way! First of all I was unable to take the day off and spend the day at the temple due to work commitments and also an essay was due in today which I had to complete. I had planned to complete it and then head off home for a change of clothes and then straight to the temple. Unfortunately one thing overran another and I ended up leaving around 18:30. :-( I managed to jump on the bus around 18:50! :-(

I knew that I was going to miss the Sandhya-arati and was very disappointed about that, but considering the Shayan-arati after the feast and things didn't seem so bad. A small consolation. And so we partook of the break-fast feast and I headed straight off to the temple room. Of course my main motivation was to take some nice pictures of the Deities as well as pay Shri Ramacandra (actually, Sri Sri Sita-Rama Laxman Hanuman) respectful obeisances on His holy appearance day. The line was pretty long and I managed to enter the temple at the exact moment of Shayan-arati! There was no kirtan as such because Gauranga das (from the Chowpatty temple) was still giving his lecture so I was alright to take pictures without too many people pushing and shoving me. Here are three of the pics that I took:

And here's a pic of the charming display of Sri Sri Sita-Rama in the forest:

What was interesting is that when Dinesh's nephew (i always forget his name!) came out with the maha-prasad tray, he was advised to go and leave it in the prasad room. However, Bhakta Peter informed him that the table was full and that he should serve it elsewhere. As I was following the nephew around to get first dibs on the maha-prasad (!) I suggested that they should serve it outside the temple room as on a normal Sunday. I even offered to do it myself. "Shall I do it?" I couldn't even believe that those words came from my mouth. I had absolutely no intention of doing any service; primarily because everyone else was engaged in it and they had been doing the worship/festivities the whole day and so I didn't want to deny anyone. But yes! Somehow the words came from my mouth and they agreed! So to top off a nice holy day, I was allowed to do a small seva by serving the Vaishnavas with maha-prasad! :-)

Usually when I do it the maha-prasad is all finished, but I don't know what happened today: There was still quite a bit left over by the time the arati had finished, and I managed to get a paneer-pakora for myself as well as a cupful of matar paneer! Wicked! And I love paneer too! Such holy prasad, made even more holy after having been touched by the lips of Krishna Himself.

Interestingly I also managed to have a small chat with an old schoolfriend of mine who I hadn't spoken to since she got married a few months ago. I asked her where she had been and she replied she's only been coming to the temple for about the last month or so. I joked with her about how her honeymoon was that long and we both laughed. I saw another old friend of mine that I hadn't seen in years, who is something of a TV star. Wow, that was something I was not expecting! She tapped me on the back to say 'hi' just after Dinesh's nephew handed me the maha-prasad tray. As it was obvious that I was occupied with this task I said we'd speak a little later. And so I did. Wow, my friend the TV star. Apparently she was so surprised to see me there and how I knew everbody, and I informed her that I'm a regular visitor to the temple and go there practically every week. Apparently she's coming again for another meeting in around 3 or 4 weeks time, perhaps then we can catch up properly. Such strange things are happening these days.


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