Thursday, July 22, 2010

A note on HG Aindra Prabhu's departure

In the summer of 2006, this blog was created when several of us decided to go to Vrindavan to participate in VIHE courses and live in the dham for several months. I can't speak for the others, but for me that was only really a cover reason for going as my main motivation was to participate in HG Aindra Prabhu's kirtans. I had been fascinated with his kirtan for several years before that, eagerly awaiting any new live recordings or videos that would come out of Vrindavan. Back in those days there were hardly any ISKCON related media sites so these tracks were just passed person to person, and they became something to treasure. When I arrived in Vrindavan, what struck me was how simple the kirtan was. What I really mean by this is not the kirtan itself, but everything that seemed to go into it. Aindra Prabhu would sit right down on the floor with his little harmonium, mridanga and kartal players and a mind blowing melody would result from it. For over four months I had the fortune of being able to participate on a daily basis, and it is an experience that I will treasure my entire life.
While in India, I was also fortunate enough to get Aindra Prabhu's association and what struck me about him was just how humble he was. He viewed kirtan as his upmost service, and if anyone asked him to perform it, he would take every possible measure to do so. I remember going to do kirtan with him in several home programs, a jail in Agra and several new temples in Vrindavan and other areas. When Gopal Prabhu had an extra "aindra" harmonium he told me I could have it, and that I should just get it from Aindra Prabhu when it was delivered in a few weeks. When I went to collect it, Aindra Prabhu was sitting there with the harmonium wala demanding that every note was perfectly in key. The wala eventually gave up, but Aindra Prabhu wouldn't give it to me until he was satisfied, so he said that he would just have to tune it himself and told me to come back in a day or two. I couldn't believe that he was putting so much time into this harmonium for me especially when it seemed as if he had a never ending list of things to do. While he did kirtan, Aindra kept two things on his harmonium. Fisherman's Friends which are lozenges to strengthen your throat while singing, and necessary if you sing as much as he did, and a small picture of the pancatatva. It was so simple, yet so perfect, for me a simple reminder that he was just carrying out Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission in chanting the Maha Mantra to as many people as he possibly could. When I was last in India in January of 2009, I was standing against one of the pillars in the KB mandir after Aindra's kirtan, staring at the wonderful forms of Krishna and Balaram during aroti when I felt someone come up behind me and poke me in the back. When I turned around, it was Aindra Prabhu asking me how long I was there and telling me that when I graduate university I should come for longer.
I was looking forward to the next time I would have the opportunity to Vrindavan and take part in his kirtan again when I received news of his tragic departure this past weekend. I am upset now because I will never be able to do this again, and I cannot imagine Vrindavan without him. Anyone who has ever been to Vrindavan with me knows that it is almost impossible to go do darshan of any of the presiding deities of the dham in the evening because I made it a priority to be in Aindra's kirtans. While I am upset for selfish reasons, I know that Aindra Prabhu is now with Radha-Syamsundara where he belongs. From Krishna Balaram mandir, Aindra Prabhu affected the way kirtan is performed all across our movement as many of our tunes can somehow be traced back to him. He was a legend and he will be missed in ways we still do not know today. I will miss him dearly as well.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lokanath Swami at Towaco tomorrow - streaming live here

HH Lokanath Swami will be at ISKCON of New Jersey in Towaco tomorrow thru friday and if you can't make it, I'll be streaming the classes live here starting at 7:30 each night.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pizza for Krishna

The pizza stone made the crust perfect.

I recently got into Pizza making. I don't know why (I think its because I free'd up a lot of time from being off of facebook :) ) I researched a bunch of recipes online and here is the finished result. I originally was so passionate to make it for myself but then calmed down after i remembered I should make it for Krishna. It was a great experience. I'm so happy with the outcome (with a borrowed pizza stone from my sister) that i needed to show these pictures to everyone. Please come over for pizza prasadam! :)

Here are the recipes I used (Minus the O-G). The crust is partially semolina, which is very nice:


Nama Rasa das

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tulasi Maharani's New Light

I know a lot of devotees who have trouble keeping Tulasi Maharani healthy during the cold seasons of Northeast America. Our family has had that problem for many years.
Finally a solution!!!
If you don't already know, theres a wonderful light fixture on the market that is pretty cheap, reliable, and emulates the sun's rays so your Tulasi will be green and healthy through those cold months. Although it hasn't gotten that cold over here, its beginning to, and Tulasi Maharani is staying green and beautiful.
For about $150 you can get this Sunblaze T5 Florescent setup, thats what I have and it is working really well. This light uses only 96 watts!, and does not give off much heat. There are two types of bulbs, one is cool and one is warm. You can read up more on the website.
I hung it from the ceiling with chains and hooks that I bought for like $10 from Home Depot. Took me a long time to find the ceiling joists (I had to go into the attic) but when I did I screwed in the hooks. The light is pretty heavy so the guy from Home Depot recommended I don't use a toggle bolt, or it might rip out the drywall...I kinda already found that out the hard way...oops.

If its a cloudy, cold day, I keep this light on for 10 hours. I bought a timer and set it up . If its sunny and warm outside, like today, I put her outside.
I will update this when it gets really cold outside so we can see if it works. I hope.
If you have any questions, let me know through the comment section.
your servant,
Nama Rasa das
(previously known as Amul)

ps. All credit goes to Muralidhar Priya das from the 26 2nd avenue Brahmachari Ashram who informed me of this light and how to take care of Tulasi Maharani properly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008