Hanging Out at 26 Second Avenue
We’re in the storefront and there are noises on the street, but we’re sitting and listening to the Swami. We like to chant; we like the ringing of the karatalas. Everybody chants together: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. (Whoever heard of such a thing? – That you chant with a one, two, three beat and with brass cymbals? You never read about chanting in any book about Vedanta or Bhagavad-gita or yoga. It was far out.) The cymbals ring loudly, and the door is open and he’s singing.
When the chanting was going on and the karatalas were ringing, that would be more likely to attract passers-by to look in. But it was a time when they really couldn’t disturb because the chanting was so dominant. Their shouts and their remarks couldn’t overcome the chanting.
The Swami was more vulnerable when the whole audience was quiet and he was lecturing. But when there was kirtana, it was as if he had the upper hand. And yet more people did gather to look in at that time, and that was part of the adventure of going there. When you chant you are more on the Swamiji’s side, you are not just observing, but you are part of the kirtana – you were what people were looking in at. Yet you did it because you wanted to experience the kirtana, never mind noises from the street.
Jun 19, 2022
Nrsimhananda das, Devotee Care Committee Member NA
Jun 19, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium