Planting the seed… in more ways than one.

The Garden of 7 Gates

Hare Krsna!

Yesterday morning Tapahpunja Prabhu organized a blissful harvesting at the Garden of 7 Gates. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know more about our surrendered temple devotees: Bhaktas (ins) Cosmo, Justin, Bridget and Jerome and myself. We all packed up in the garden van and floated through one of the 7 gates with our green thumbs.

I’ve been a “city boy” most of my life having been raised in San Diego, California and later spending time in places such as  Kansas City and LA. Gardening for me always seemed like something I would like, but I probably would never do. However, by taking to Srila Prabhupada’s process of gradually returning to my natural position as a servant of the servant of Krsna, I’ve always known it was only a matter of time before I would be developing a green thumb.

Under Tapahpunja Prabhu’s guidance we harvested 8 boxes of chard, 3 boxes of amazing lettuce, greenbeans, zucchinis and parsley.  It was amazing to see the other side of that produce, which I had always taken for granted, while cooking in the kitchen or enjoying prasadam. Tapahpunja waved his hand across the field and said, “think of them all as new bhaktas.”

As I began snapping the leaves of lettuce between my fingers a flood of realizations began to come in. It felt so natural to be there amongst friends, working hard for Krsna in the pleasant morning air. As I heard Cosmo Prabhu laughing throughout the harvest, and trust me it was a lot of laughing, I could see how being in this rural setting really brings out the mode of goodness. Small and large spiders, crickets of various shapes and colors, the tiniest little bee I ever saw, all were rushing about deeper into the greens as I loomed over their temporary homes and “snap”… removed the illusion of security.  I noticed that I could not help but watch a variety of bugs fall into the box I was working on and wondered, “is there a sastric injunction for the various insects that must be dying along side the vegetables and grains we eat everyday in the form of prasadam?” I began to see the bigger picture of the balance of life and the food chain here in this material world. I also began to think about how important it was to wash thoroughly the vegetables that we prepare for Krsna. Then I thought about what a difference this organic field must be compared to one sprayed with abominable pesticides and other poisons. What a blessing to be free of that.

As we collected our share of the harvest Tapahpunja Prabhu took pictures of us all. My dad will certainly get a kick out of seeing me when I send a copy to him (sorry I couldn’t include one yet). When my boxes of lettuce were full, Tapah lead me over to three tight rows of interspersed, newly sprouting greenbeans. He showed me how to plant seeds a second time between the ones that were already beginning. I wondered why all the seeds hadn’t grown and Tapahpunja Prabhu explained that one of his helper students had planted these and showed me another set of rows nearby which he had planted. What a difference! Nearly all of his seeds had grown almost like magic in comparison.

I thought to myself, “now here’s someone I could learn from.”

Your Servant,
Arya Siddhanta dasa

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