Venables Valley, British Columbia
Here and There
They are just short jaunts from the home of Mahidhara and Nandini to the school in the valley. Every time I come to the village of Saranagati, I make it a point to attend their morning program, where a dozen children meet to greet the deities of Krsna-Balarama.
A recording of the song, “Govindam,” is played, and each student brings forth, one by one, a small branch of a sapling with blossoms, leaves, or both, to be presented to Krsna-Balarama. The item is offered with the right hand and waved in a circular fashion, clock-wise, around the two forms, and then placed by the feet of the two images as an offering of love.
When I attended school in rural south-western Ontario, we stood up and sang the Canadian anthem, “O Canada.” There was also a period of time, when we would stand in allegiance to the Queen and sing, “God Save the Queen.” My goodness, she’s been around for a long time. Her coronation was in 1952, the year I was born.
Back to the students of Saranagati—I led them in a song, “Nam Kirtan,” by Bhaktivinode Thakur, whose message is to implore the soul to surrender to the Supreme. No particular social status is required. Anyone from any background, from any mood or attitude is encouraged in the joyful submission through chanting.
So chanting I did, with the students. Eating lunch with the group was also included and play practice of the presentation they will make in Vancouver this weekend.
I completed my blissful day with an extra stroll to Yoginath’s home where we read about the contemporaries of Kirtan King, Chaitanya.
May the Source be with you!