The Children Knew…

by Bhaktin Rita

On Tuesday, fifteen six- and seven-year olds from Wheeling’s inner city visited New Vrindaban. They were absolutely charmed with their visit. Throughout the afternoon, the children kept asking the supervisors, “Where are we?” and “Are we in India?”

This group had a lot of energy, so they needed lots of room to run and play. They loved walking around the garden and visiting the barn. But the highlight was definitely feeding the goats! The children were so excited to have the goats eat right out of their hands.

Right after lunch, they hit the playground. They swung on the swings, slid on the slide, ran around in the hot sun, and made a lot of noise. But they never ran out of energy! Soon they found a new game — climbing the trees outside the temple. They really shook those branches!

After tree climbing, we started walking toward the lakes. Our first stop was the big elephant. All the kids took turns ringing the bell. Our second stop was the cows. The children climbed atop the white cow for a group picture.

Finally, we reached the lake. The children climbed down the steps as far as they could go, without getting wet. Almost immediately, the swans started swimming toward us. All the children started whistling and calling out to the swans, trying to draw them near.

It worked! One boy especially attracted the swans with his whistling. The children sat on the step closest to the water, and the swans swam right up to step beneath them. We were so close, we could have touched them if we had wanted. We all stayed there for over ten minutes, until the children had to board their bus.

Our scriptures tell us that swans possess a very special quality. Swans can separate milk from water, and drink only the milk. Similarly, humans have the intelligence to distinguish spirit from matter. All day, the children kept asking the adults over and over again, “Where are we?” They were never satisfied to hear that they were in West Virginia. In their hearts, the children knew they were in the spiritual world. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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