#93 - finally arriving in vrindavan
Vrindavan Travel Blog› entry 93 of 113 › view all entries
April 17th, 2009 – by: radrockyd
there's a guest house right next to where mark lives, so i'm staying there & it's all good. i'll have to take a picture of my room....very basic - but really just perfect. and i have AC! (thank you SOO much mark!)
now i'm sitting in mark's apartment & he's cooking something that smells ridiculously delicious. i am so excited for the food in india! for some reason i was thinking i may lose a bit of weight on this part of my trip, but i'm already guessing that's not going to be the case!!!
today we're going to explore vrindavan and the many temples that are here. this is one of the holiest places in india & i'm really excited to get out & start experiencing it.
today was really special. it started by sitting with mark in his apartment as he did his daily seva. he basically has a morning ritual of preparing food and offering it to krishna/radna. (please note: i am learning a LOT about his practice and vaishnavism so i may get some things wrong - it's a lot of info - but i will do my best!) he made havalah (the thing that smelled delicious), banana lassi (yogurt drink) and cut up some fresh melon. after he offers it by placing it in his temple for krishna/radna (krishna/radna is basically god & it is believed that god is in everything and that god lives in the home) so he offers the food to this deity first & then we eat it.
after our morning snack, he also made lunch. we had quinoa & yogurt - with all these wonderful spices. he did the same thing - offered it first and then we ate.
we had lunch with govin, the man who helps him with all sorts of tasks. he's from vrindavan & has a really nice energy around him - just seems like a really good guy.
then, we eventually made it out into the town.
i saw the temple that is across from where mark lives...it's a hare krishna temple. very interesting to see all of the people, how everyone was dressed and what they did at the temple. there was music and chanting and lots of colorful outfits. we left our shoes outside & i couldn't help but think of slumdog millionaire (we did get our shoes back when we came out!)! the surrounding area is definitely very dirty.
we went to another temple and had a very special experience. the swami (i think that's what he's called!) summoned mark and i up to come & sit with him, which is a big honor. we went up on the altar where he was sitting and sat with him for awhile. mark told him that it was my first day in india and he said how lucky i was and how special it was that i was here on this day at this temple. this temple has been there for 500 years with people praying for all that time.
i need to run, but i will write more later....
okay, i'm back. we went to dinner at this cute little outdoor restaurant with shaymdas & tulsi...friends of mark's. then, back to mark's to hang out for a bit before heading to bed.
so two cool things that happened tonight - one, when i was reading my book i read a quote that said, "nothing happens that is not first imagined" (i felt this way about being in india...and my whole trip for that matter) and two, on my short walk back to my guest house room, i saw a shooting star! so cool!
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