NV BA TSKP – The Lord’s Dance Kirtan Tour – East Coast 2006 – Day 1- WVU*


–By Chaitanya Das–

*Tuesday, Nov. 26. 5:37 pm-* The 4 of us (Balaram Candra, Gauranga Kisore,
Bhakta Chris, and I, Chaitanya das) beg blessings from Their Lordships and
squeeze into our stuffed to the max ’93 Honda Civic. Who would have thought
that 4 full grown boys, all their stuff for 2 weeks of travel, a mridanga, a
harmonium, 3 coolers full of prasad, a box of 100 carob chip substitute
cookies, and plates, cups, and spoons for a feast would all fit in this
miniest of all motor vehicles? Proof that Krsna really is Yogeshvara. As we
rumble out of New V, the odometer rolls out of 232,000 land and enters the
realm of 233k. Our winter East Coast kirtan tour thus begins. By the time we
return on Dec. 9 we will be in the 234k zone. (Assuming it makes it back,
that is.)

*7:10 pm-* After one and a half hours of windy West Virginia mountain roads,
we arrive at our destination for the evening, Morgantown, WV. Home of WVU,
we have been doing a program here for the past 3 years. Originally started
by BC pr., it has now been passed down to me (CD), as he is fully engaged
with his highly successful Athens program. Every Tuesday evening we come to
the mountain lair (WVU student union) and have kirtan, katha, and prasad
with a group of 10-20 students, many of whom are chanting and following the
4 regs to different degrees.

As we ooze our of our vehicle, right on time 10 minutes late, we see Rupi and
David (NV kulis) roll up just behind us in Chedys ‘stang. An auspicious beginning to an ecstatic evening. Fully laden with program paraphanelia, our posse walks thru the lair like we own the place, a cavalcade of ambassadors from a brighter dimension. The students sitting in the cafeteria venture a wandering eye as the sheet-clad, mud-nosed spectacle passes, but very quickly avert at the slightest inkling of eye contact. So much fear. They really need Krishna Consciousness.

When we arrive at our room, we are quickly reminded that we don’t own the place. Tonight it belongs to Jesus Christ, son of Krishna. It seems a group of
Christians have hijacked our room, despite our having reserved it. When
politely questioned, their obliquely officious leader makes it clear that
they are in no mood to move. We’re cool with JC, so we take the humble
position and look for an alternate space. Turns out just down the hall the
lounge area is almost completely vacant. It is big space, open to the rest
of the building but in its own distinct area. Replete with fake fireplace,
marble ledge and polished copper hood, we actually got a free upgrade. Jesus
ki jaya. He’s always looking out for his homies.

We circle up Indian style on the floor and begin kirtan. This week the kirtan
is not contained by walls or doors, so any and every fortunate soul on the main
floor of the union building gets a dose of Hari Nama. Some of the bolder kids even wander over to the outskirts our party, mystically attracted by the sublime
vibrations of Sri Krsna Sankirtana. A distant standing ovation erupts when
the kirtan ends. Seems they like it.

Garuanga Kisore Prabhu, our esteemed pundit, then speaks some edifying words about Bhagavad Gita. Everyone listens with rapt attention. After questions,
we bid a fond farewell to the students who will be leaving school to get
jobs this winter. As this is the last session of 2006, we won’t see them
again. Sad day. Again we have kirtan, their favorite ‘m-town’ melody, this
time everyone taking a turn at leading. Thanks to the assistance of BC’s
drum and Rupi’s kartalas, the place erupts a second time. Pure bliss. Prasad
is served vedic style and everyone is fully satisfied. At 10:30 we bid adieu
to all our good friends after some after Prasad sanga and head over to
Rupie, Chedy, Balaji’s place. Rupi has kindly invited us to stay the night.
Before taking rest, Dave shows us the latest stretching technologies, and
Rupi shows us how he will become a professional t-shirt artist. The kid’s
got skills. In the morning we chant japa and have melted cheese sandwiches
for breakfast courtesy of The Daily Kneads. Cram back in the Civic and head
to DC, completely forgetting about the parking ticket we got during last
night’s program (sorry, Janak).

(The photo is actually of the Athens college program, but it was the best I
could do. Our camera wasn’t working in Morgantown)

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