GM in Portland

Guru-nistha Das - October 24, 2008 4:54 pm

Yesterday we packed our bags and drove to Santa Rosa, to fly out to Portland. Guru Maharaja would go on a five-day preaching tour and I was lucky enough to go with him.


In the plane we mostly read, but we also had a nice discussion about the shortcomings of the western mindset of empiricism/rationalism, and what the consequences of the values springing from that kind of a world view would be in the long run.

Guru Maharaja was saying, "how does it make us any happier that we can fly from Santa Rosa to Oregon in two hours? How have all these things increased our quality of life?"


Haribhakti came to pick us up from the airport and took us to Guruseva's. She has a really nice house in a suburban neighborhood. Here I could appreciate the advances of modern technology: that we can get off-season flowers for pujas, that we can have a wireless internet for Guru Maharaja to make his service easier, that we can have electricity for the strong lights that enable her to grow dozens of big Tulasi plants in the winter. When these things are used in the right context, they become meaningful. I'm starting to understand why Prabhupada was so fascinated with technology.


Tonight we'll have a program in Haribhakti's yoga studio. Should be interesting.

Guru-nistha Das - October 25, 2008 12:10 am

This morning we went to the Japanes Garden of Portland. Guru Maharaja was very inspired by the beauty of the place, and wanted to see Audarya turn into something similar. If we only had the funds...








This sign caused some amusement among our group of spiritual practitioners:




Haribhakti and Rati looking at the map:


Madhavendra Puri Dasa - October 25, 2008 8:50 am

He, he, when I looked at the title of this topic, first I read "Guru Maharaja in Poland". That was exciting:)))

Syama Gopala Dasa - October 25, 2008 3:50 pm

thanks for the report, Gurunistha and the pictures!

Guru-nistha Das - October 25, 2008 4:50 pm

In the aftenoon we went to Haribhakti's place to have lunch. Gaura Krsna and Guru Maharaja were talking philosophy:




Guruseva preparing dinner:




The yoga program was a success. There were more than 70 guests and Guru maharaja held an indepth discussion on "Mystic poetry and the nature of enlightenment." He started off by talking about the nature of enlightenment and introducing the idea that there's more to it than stillness. It's always interesting to see how the yoga crowd reacts to these points and it seems like they are almost always taken well. Guru Maharja talked about the means to reach enlightenment and how although language falls short, the joy of experiencing the infinite drives the mystic to speak about it/him. After explaining how everybody wants to love and be loved, Guru Maharaja said that love directed to the absolute is true love, and just as poetry is the language of love, mystic poetry is the language of divine love.


After stressing detachment from matter and the necessity of divine love, we played Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite. Then Guru Maharaja explained the song that now stood on the foundation of vedanta he had given before the song. It was a great format, I thought: First a little kirtan, then talk, then another song that breaks up the program nicely and gives some time to diggest, then the second part of the talk, and finally a last song.


Haribhakti teaches yoga in the studio. The space was nice and the staff even nicer. A good evening all in all:



Guru-nistha Das - October 27, 2008 11:39 pm

We came back to Audarya today around 2 o' clock PM. It was a great trip, thank you for everyone who contributed in any way! And a special thanks to Guruseva and Haribhakti for great hosting.


Here are some more pics from the tour:


Japanese Garden (imagine Audarya looking like this):


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From Guruseva's:


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Pratyaksha got Guru prasad:




We had a really great program in an ISKCON affiliated but anonymous center called Sangha. The crowd was completely captivated and we sold a bunch of books afterwards. Look out for the MP3 collection for this tour: