ridewithin


surprise appearance.
January 24, 2007, 6:59 pm
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thats vbd in a headlock

Generally when we show up at places, it is fun to just appear with little to no pre notice. This trip we were surprised to see a few people. Manish and Nisha had to work in NYc this week so they happened to be at the 2nd ave program. We found out that we will be in Amedbhad at the same time and Vrindaban at the same time too! Wow, great timing. Patra and dhokla here we come! Eight thousand percent PRof showed up on the scence cleaner than ever and brought us great joy. everyone remembers the 28 days on the bus this summer! Enough KC, Newmans and dirt to get anyone hooked! Yajna Purusa Prabhu is always eager to have us around, even though the ashram is now holding 15 brahmacaris and the Universally famous Pradyumna Prabhu(ACBSP) also got to meet my two kirtan brothers AKincina Krsna Prabhu and Pragnesh Prabhu. fun times fun times.

Today is Wednesday, the Appearance of Sri Advaita Acharya. Some how or another they grabbed me and made me give class. I think that it was a first. They are very senior and usually i just hide. I am a fool in comparison to them. In all ways each of the brahmacari’s in NYc are superior to me and and I seek only their shelter and mercy.

Jason and i hit the NJ Transit back to Hamilton in the morning, ate a lunch of idli, washed our clothes and now waiting fo rthe evening to fall to do some pre travel shopping and end the eveing with a conference call Bg class. I really like doing these conference calls. I recommend all preachers start doing them. Its an easy ways to associate with many devotees at once no matter where you are or where they are. All you need is a phone. The other devotees in New Vrindaban who do congregation development have been doing them for years now. check them out at http://www.bhagavadgitaclass.com

Tomorrow off to India. Hare Krishna. Pray for us.

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NYc beauty.
January 24, 2007, 6:45 pm
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There are many things in NYc which are beautiful, but Govindaji is “Reality, the Beautiful”.



Mind your step.
January 24, 2007, 6:16 pm
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padam padam yad vipadam na tesam

mi familia

a little maya

like a rat that barks

chanting under mushrooms

NYc means Maya. There is danger at every step. Especially for me. Im attracted to it all. Luckily on this trip Jason, who is a perfect gentleman, accompanied me and gave all protection from my desires. Also it was really cold which curbed my desires to a small amount of inside activity.

We met up with my big brother Isaac (www.skullbrain.org)and his girl Kerri(http://www.urbancowgirlproductions.com) after getting the visa. They are very sweet to me and will do anything if needed at anytime. True family. We met up at the arch in Washington square park. I like it better with the Nyc rath festival of india overwhelming it. We headed to Red Bamboo soul food and filled up with veggie wings and soul chicken sandwhiches. Then we went to BH photo. That place is amazing. A NYC must see! better than ground zero. Its like going to Gan Eden, Jewish people everywhere. I had a good time. Reminded me of college life. Picked up some deep saturation color film for my new baby on the india trip, a titanium embodied contax g1! weve got the details worked out for the upcoming book, design, layout, graphic artist, and publisher. I just have to bring in the photos! Who is the demigod of photography? Is it Suryadev? I have to start worshipping quick. I havent touched a film camera for a few years. Lets see what happens.

We met up with the rest of the family- Cesar and the new baby, and the hairless Chijahua. Good times. The family experience is always needed sometimes. My brother is always appreciating KC so its nice to be with him. Some people dont get that.



Nyc-Visa Attainment
January 24, 2007, 5:52 pm
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January 22nd
Arrival was easy. Tara Dropped us off at the Ashram on First Ave. True Sanctuary from NYC life. We were greeted with a huge surprise of Advaita Acarya Prabhu(BTS) being there. After a long embrace we chatted into the midnight with Yajna Purusa Prabhu, Gadadhar Pandit Prabhu and Radha Vallabha Prabhu. Its nice to see our friendships being maintained and developed over the years. There are only a few of us out there and this team in NYc is definetly a stronghold. Any saffron clad boy in the Usa should take shelter in such a place. All glories to their Lotus like Ashram.

The Next day we headed off to the Indian embassy in the ice cold NYc street life. A few trains later we made it to the long line out front of the embassy pre 9 oclock opening. After soemtime we headed inside to obtain number one million something. I left to purchase some NYC bagels and chai. NYc sucks the money right out of your pockets. But thats just the way it is. Jason got called up and in a moment he was told to return in two hours and pick up the Visa. The next two hours we roamed about Central park freezing our japa fingers off. We took the blessings of Alice from Wonderland and returned to the mbassy to pick up the Visa. No problem all cleared and stamped! India here we go! Jason is establishing his determination to enter the Holy Dhama.



Narasimha’s mercy.
January 22, 2007, 10:36 pm
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Narasimha’s blessing

Prabhupada’s Mercy

Balaramcandra is not in control.

Lacie

walking break.

So we left on Sunday to catch our train in Pittsburgh. Right when we left a blizzard hit and covered all the roads with snow. since it was sunday morning everyone being most pious people were at church so they didnt get out and plow the roads. If any of you have been to Nv you know West virginia is not a place for a Ford Focus to drive arround in the snow. Better you stay home. I came down stairs with my bags and Json asked are we actually going? With a confident yes we said a few good byes and headed to the car.

A few of our friends from Athens drove three hours to pick us up and drop us off another 1.5 hours to Pittsburgh. Great friends. While they were in New V. I showed them the temple and took them to the Palace. We had a great time playing in the snow, until we realized that we would have to drive to Pittsburgh in the same beautiful blanket. Amanda, JC, and Mark, interviewed us and grabbed footage to make a short documentary for Current Tv which is a popular tv station nowadays for youth.

On the trip out we had a few slide outs, a few out of control chanting sessions, and one getting stuck on a hill. Four of us jumped out and pushed the little car up the hill while we peeled out and slide somehow or another all the way to the top! It was video taped so maybe we’ll see it on google video some day.

One interesting point was practically the whole ride we happened to be speaking all about Narasimhadev. Our friends were very interested our particular worship of thiis interstign personality. I think that His katha protected us from all danger.

We were late to our train. Lacie called us at 1:30 and said,” Where are you I just watched your train leave without you? ” She had secretly showed up with pizza Prasadam for our lunch while travelling. Nice. We got dropped of at her Bead shop oakland and made jewelry and chatted with the customers. I forgot how fun it was to work in resale. All day talking nonsense. Thats my style, and get paid for it.

Shyamasundar Prabhu had a program that evening so he mercifully arranged for us to get picked up by Gopal Prabhu. He even allowed me to speak, despite my hoody and pants outfit. We stayed the night at Pradumnya Prabhu’s home adn his father Prasad dropped us off just intime in the morning to catch the train to New Jersey.

Train ride was normal. chanting, eating, reading, sleeping, chatting etc. Nothing as dynamic as a Greyhound ride and not as quick as a flight.

Right now were off to NYc for a day of Brahmacari sanga, Visa obtaining, lunch with the brother Isaac, and Tuesday evening program with the Manhattan vaisnavas!

Wish us luck, our last rip to NYc was very interesting and a little longer than scheduled.



Off to India!
January 20, 2007, 9:32 pm
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On Thursday January 25th
Jason and Balaramacandra head to Mother India. A big trip full of travel and purification. The itinerary looks like this…

Ahmedabad, Dwarka, Palitani, New Dheli, Vrindaban, Bhubenesvar, Jagganath Puri, Mayapur, Kolkata, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Then back to Mayapur for festival, and then off to Mumbai for Gaura Purnima, then to Udipi, Goa, and the Eco village in Karnataka, then back to mumbai and off to the USA. -Hare Krishna.

Jason spent a good part of December month working at a mall in California to raise money for the trip. Its a great austerity being trapped in a mall for three weeks. Jason is a mountain man built for the rural environments with little to no interest in Jingle bells and the mall spirit. Desiring to make his first trip to India he went all out and worked hard to raise more than enough money. Now he can spend three months of prayer in the wonderful embrace of Mother India.

Balaramacandra is now taking up the often recited mantra of Sankirtan devotees, “every year one must go to India to get recharged.” With a yearly schedule of full time college outreach, festival organizing, Guru seva, and being 26 and having all his material desires hit him in the face full force, some how or another Krsna is bringing him back to His holy lands for parikram, bathing in holy rivers and taking shelter of the holy name free of any other responsibility. This will be best for all who he has to deal with on a regular basis in the Usa. His temple authority, his guiding teachers, his students and those Vaisnavas in his association have given full sanction, permission and blessings to travel once again.

We seek all your blessing and prayers for good health and the best of consciousness while travelling abroad. Please pray that offenses stay far away.

we’ll post photos and stories as we obtain the chance.



Side route: New Vrindaban College Outreach
January 20, 2007, 9:17 pm
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Side route:
New Vrindaban College Outreach
This last Tuesday I had to say good bye to many students. Im leaving to India for the rest of the quarter and many of them will graduate while I am gone. They will leave Athens for good, get jobs and continue to grow into the wonderful people they are meant to become. I love them dearly, as i have known them for so long. I’ve see them each week and observed their personal evolution from their freshman year to now graduation. I’ve seen their ups and downs and they have seen my ups and downs. It was an emotional evening. My friends are leaving. I’m going to miss them, they have taught me so much!

In reciprocation, Krsna consciousness has effected so many of their lives in various ways. Some of our students have accepted Gaudiya Vaisnavism as their religion, some have taken up sadhana, some are living according to principles of purity, some just love to chant, some read Gita each day, some ask us for guidance in their life choices, and some hate us but can’t figure out why they have to keep coming back each week.

Its been four years since we started college outreach from New Vrindaban. It started in 2003 under the guidance of Kuladri Prabhu. It was a lone brahmacari in New Vrindaban. Anada Vidya Prabhu our, beyond comparison book distributer, took me out to the colleges for book distribution the previous months and rekindled my desire to share Krsna Consciousness with the youth. He had left to India for his yearly trip so I was left all alone in New Vrindaban winter months to milk the cows, wash dishes, and mop the floors with my mind just thinking about those local colleges and sharing Krsna Consciousness. I meditated on old stories of my Gurmaharaja hitchhiking, driving beat up vans, chanting in the grass, giving lectures, distributing prasadam and opening centers. I heard how he used to travel to colleges each day of the week in a large circle through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. I learned about all the details of his travels, how he preached, how he started programs, how he slept, how he studied, how he chanted, and how he cooked and served each and every student with love. This is what I wanted to do and meditated on throughout the day.

Kuladri Prabhu would meet me each day and talk about Krsna. I remember we would just sit back with our arms resting over our heads and talk about what we’ve been reading and he would always tell stories about my Gurumaharaja. He always made sure I wasn’t feeling lonely and that I was satisfied in my service. One day i asked him if I could start to travel and preach in colleges. With all the love of a kind father he was hesitant and discussed all the glories and difficulties of such a service. Especially being alone. He was all for it but was desirous that I find a partner to go out with, as that was best for a young brahmacari. Unfortunately there was no one. We even posted ads looking for others but no one showed up. Within the last year all our brahmacaris with the exception of Anada vidya had graduated ashrams and moved on to school, work or married life. Soon He gave a consession, that I could go but I had to be based out of Columbus and be here in New Vrindaban on the weekends. Nice arrangements were made that i stay with Krishna Balarama Prabhu, and Krishna Das Prabhu as they were single men and had a house near the temple. Kuladri allowed me to use the second sankirtan van which roared like a tank, got 10 miles to the gallon and which I loved and called Bhumi devi.

I had no Idea what to do but was confident that the Lord and Kuladri Prabhu would guide me. I sat down one day with Karnamrita devi and we looked at a map of colleges and we circled all the sweetest ones which my Gurumaharaja used to visit. I filled the van with books, instruments, bhoga, a table and flyers. I got all my warmest clothes, signed up for a cell phone and hit the road.

I traveled almost 100 miles each day visiting colleges, distributing books, setting up book tables, meeting students and professors. In no time I was invited to give lectures in classes, visit students in their homes and was distributing hundreds of books. Going out each day was not easy. At this time I barely knew anyone. So i camped out in the van by myself, ate by myself, drove myself, chanted by myself, distributed books by myself, ran book table by myself, and dreamed of the future by myself. All in the blizzards of the mid west. It was too much. I missed the dieties and the devotees. I lasted a month. Even though it was the number two thing which I wanted to do in this life, I knew I wasn’t strong enough to do it by myself. I felt lonely and was getting disturbed. I didn’t want to quit but I had no other choice, It was too difficult or I just saw it as too dangerous for me. Everyone warned against it but Kuladri Prabhu just said to try it out and see what happens, you can always come back. I wasn’t a paramahamsa but just a young boy trying to stay engaged and please Srila Prabhupada. I called up Kuladri Prabhu very distraught and almost crying. He immediately just said to come home as soon as possible.

When I returned to New Vrindaban, my old friend, Atmanada Prabhu had just came back from India. I told him what I was doing and he was filled with excitement. He immediately wanted to join the fun and serve in this way. We spoke with Kuladri Prabhu and he explained that it must be Krsna’s arrangement and that the college outreach must be meant to go on.

So in a few days we hit the road again and started actual programs in various colleges. We had no idea what kind of programs to start doing so we just tried a different type of outreach style at each college. We went to six different colleges in a week and Saturdays we stayed in New Vrindaban. We really wore ourselves out. But we were experimenting with how to communicate Krsna Consciousness with College Students and Professors. We held Bhagavad Gita classes, we utilized Radheshyam Prabhu’s books for teaching, we held Kirtan nights, we held meditation groups, we held cooking classes, we tried so many things and everything we tried worked. Each type of class attracted certain individuals and each event was a success. Any problems came about due to our own limitations.

In due course of time, Atmananda Prabhu had to stop travelling, and I was left alone again. Fortunately by the end of Summer Narasinghachaitayna Prabhu, Gauranga Kishore Prabhu and Jagadish Chaitanya Prabhu also moved to New Vrindaban. Soon Bhakta William came, Chaitanya Prabhu, Jason Prabhu, and now Bhakta Chris have now come. Yugala Kishore Prabhu is also here. Some have left, some have come back and some will be back. Many more will come to help us. Gradually, with much pain to my heart, but with all neccessity others started to take over the various programs and some programs we have had to stop. With a gradually growing ashram of sincere and educated brahmacaris we have had to adjust our activities to spend more time with each other and serve in New Vrindaban.

After four years, other than the occasional programs about America, I mainly visit Athens Ohio. Each week, another devotee and I will travel the two and a half hours to Ohio University. We hold a cooking class each Tuesday night. We arrive at 6:30pm and leave at about 11:00pm. We usually sleep at around 1am after a full day of mangal arati, japa, diety seva, class, cooking for a hundred students, driving two and a half hours, teaching a cooking class, speaking with a hundred or so students, cleaning up, kirtan and driving to our house in Athens and calming down a bit with a few intimate friends. Its a full days sacrifice. One which I love and do not ever want to give up. I love the students and community which has developed around our cooking class. The students have called it Vegan Cooking Workshop, acronym VCW. I call it Vaisnava Culture Workshop-VCW. A place where one can learn to serve, learn to love and dedicate your every action to the Lord. Association with devotees is powerful. The process of Bhakti is inconceivable, and Mahaprabhu has his plans to purify everyone associated with this process. We hold a morning program of Japa, Gita, kirtan and breakfast each Wednesday. We spend the mid day with students for lunch at their homes, resting, studying, preparing lectures, and cooking dinner. Each Wednesday night we hold a discussion group which about 15 students attend. We gradually guide the students beyond their misconceptions of spiritual life, provide them proper Sastric based philosophy about themselves, this world, and God while teaching them how to apply knowledge to their lives. Students take up lives of purity and apply Sadhana to their daily routine. There are many things to say about each of our programs, but mainly it can be summed up by saying that I accept each of these students as my master and thank them again and again for providing the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada’s movement. I am indebted to each of them. I am crying as I pray that I will see them again and that Krsna remains within their lives in some way or another.