By Krpamoya Das
October 30, 2009…5:39 pm
I came back from India yesterday. Oh dear. I watched the golden sun come up over a bleak and mountainous Afghanistan, chanting my gayatri mantra while peering out of a small window in the back of the plane.
I came back from India yesterday. Oh dear. I watched the golden sun come up over a bleak and mountainous Afghanistan, chanting my gayatri mantra while peering out of a small window in the back of the plane. By breakfast time I was dipping down through the clouds into a grey, cold London.
Its not easy coming back from India. Over the past month, first in the middle of India, then in the south, the temperature has been around or just over 100F or 35C. I’ve come back to an England that is 64F or 17C. Its hard for my body to cope with the drastic change and now I’ve come down with a heavy cold and a cough. For the past month the sun has come up every morning at 5.45 and set every evening at 6.15. Now it’s not really light until 7.00 am and starts getting dark around 4.30!
During my last week in India, when I was living in Madras/Chennai, I was able to walk out of my door and purchase fresh jasmine, red and pink roses, and beautiful lotus flowers for just a few pence. And handfuls of tulasi leaves for even less. Today I looked in my garden and the very last of my marigolds were just barely hanging on.
And every morning, right outside my window, there was a musical, religious procession featuring a white horse, a black cow, chanting brahmanas, a nadeshwaram band, and a decorated chariot bearing the brightly garlanded temple image of a Vaishnava saint. This morning, right outside my house, there was the milkman.
I’m not complaining, of course. My Lord Shri Krishna lives equally in England and in India, and can always be found if I look for Him. Its just that its marginally easier for my mind to appreciate His presence when the sun is shining, ancient temple bells are ringing, and my neighbours all wear tilak.
Still, my raspberries are still growing – and you can’t get them in India. And the darkness can always be chased away by the lighting of candles and the burning of fires. No wonder the ancient Celtic people of these dark, northern lands devised celebrations like All Hallows Eve (Halloween) at the end of summer, when lanterns were lit and ghosts frightened away.
But, my dear readers, let us steel ourselves for the great darkness that will soon be upon us. Three months of cold and dark until the sun changes course on January 14th. Even though it is more difficult to chant the holy names of Krishna on the dark, cold mornings when you’d rather be in bed, still take heart and do it, for it will do you a power of good. By the chanting of the maha-mantra the sun of Krishna consciousness will rise over the landscape of your innermost heart and you will dwell permanently in the spiritual warmth of the eternal sunshin