Kumba Mela 2010 Haridwar – April 16-18, 2010

Posted on April 20, 2010 by Raghava

Book distribution report by Anita dasi

April 16-18, 2010

In deep concentration, balanced on one foot, a realization came to me. Maybe the art of holding yoga positions combining strength, balance and flexibility was perfected on Indian trains. Stretching and contorting, I maneuvered through the packed train towards the toilet; all floor space had someone standing over someone else sitting, packed body to body. Millions somehow came for this holy dip and now millions somehow have to leave. Reflecting back on the last few days in Haridwar, I am warmed to think of all the wandering souls Srila Gurudeva is reaching out to, myself included.

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The days after the maha snan we were mostly busy with following up with people we had connected with. We had met some Sanskrit teachers from a local gurukul called Kangari Vidyala Bharmacary Ashram. On the evening of the 16th we were invited to visit the school. The city was still completely jammed, so we had to walk and hour and half before the roads were open to rikshaws and we could complete our journey to the school. After all the crowds it was a relief to come to the spacious campus. The student band was lined up at the entrance to receive us. Students showered flowers on us as we walked past. They anointed our foreheads with paste and rice. Then all the youngest students lined up and touched our feet. The whole reception felt pretty embarrassing, but gave an impression of what a more satvic India must have been like. We were escorted to a shelter in the middle of the court yard where a fire yanya pit was set up. The students perform a fire yagna every morning and evening. We were seated in the front and offered grains to the fire while four-hundred students recited mantras around us. At the conclusion Caru Chandrika didi spoke about the meaning of Gurukul, the need for a self realized guru, and a personal conception of God. Then we presented a set of Srila Gurudevaa��s books to the school library. After the program ended I saw the students eagerly thumbing through the new books. If any of you out there in internet land feel inspired, you can make a donation towards the gift of the set of books. The cost was around fifty US dollars. You can make donations through Vasantia��s cause on face book or through the book sponsorship program. http://www.gvpbookdistribution.com/Sponsor.html

The next we day we set aside to take inventory and pack the books we had left over. We did not finish that relatively simple job until nine pm, because we had a constant stream of visitors throughout the day. Friends and contacts we made in Haridwar stopped by the matha to see us. We chatted, shared prashada, answered questions and discussed Krsna Consciousness. A few leant a hand tapping boxes and moving them to storage. At first I was feeling I had made a mistake in sending too many books, but then I realized it was actually the perfect excuse to come back to Haridwar soon and finish distributing the books. In other years Srila Gurudeva has gone to Haridwar in late summer for a few day program. Hopefully he comes again this year and we can go a few weeks ahead, distribute books and invite people.

Our last day in Haridwar we did not spend in Haridwar at all. We took a two hour bus ride to Saharanpura. When we came to Haridwar for Siva Ratri, we met a man on the train from Saharanpura and went to his home for a house program. When we told him we were in the area again he invited us to return. Rasa Mayi dasi lead bhajans with great enthusiasm; she got all the kids to clap to the beat. Caru Chandrika didi had already gone back to Vrndavan so the class I prepared on the conversation between Vidura and Maitraya muni came in handy after all. Ironically my complete inexperience in giving class worked in my favor. I had prepared very detailed notes (practically sentence by sentence). Only our host spoke English, everyone else only understood Hindi. At first he was struggling to understand everything I said and translate it, but then he began to follow along in my notes and I could see it made his translation easier and probably more accurate. There was one guest in particular who was so sincere. I remember her from last time. With practically tears in her eyes she said (though the translator) that she wants to serve Sri Krsna, but she is getting old and her body has so much pain. She was so happy to hear that chanting and remembering Sri Krsna was a great service.

Ia��ll sign off here. Please forgive my tongue in cheek style, it just reflects on my low class nature. But it has been nice for me to write these reports and reflect on the mini miracles our Guru paramapara sends every day. Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki jaya!