9.25.2016

sri vyasa puja 2016



Dearest Srila Guru Maharaj,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to you on this most auspicious day.

It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. It feels like it was just yesterday that I saw you walking up the stairs at the home program where I first met you. And it definitely doesn’t feel like sixteen years ago that we were planning your 50th birthday vyasa puja celebration.  Sometimes I come across pictures from ten or fifteen (or more!) years ago of you, and sure, I think you look younger, but I’m always surprised, because you have always seemed the same to me. Your energy and dedication to your own sadhana as well as your preaching in Srila Prabhupada’s mission never falters. It never takes a break. Even when you “take a break” at Govardhana for Karttika or go to your place in upstate New York, you’re not really taking a break. You increase your chanting and your sadhana. You somehow do more even when you seem to be doing less! Year after year I have seen you continue to keep the faith, walk the walk of a true guru and sadhaka, as well as adapt your preaching approach and style based on your audience without ever compromising your message, intention, or loyalty to the parampara. What more could a person ask for in a guru?

I sometimes make jokes or complain about how bad my karma is or how I have the worst planetary alignments and I am always suffering so much. But when I think about how lucky I am to have you as my guru, I realize how ungrateful I am. Krishna has given me the best guide for spiritual life and I all too often squander His gift – the gift of you as my guru. I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to you because somehow you got stuck with me as your disciple. I am clearly getting more out of our relationship than you are and for that I will be eternally sorry. I can only hope and pray that you will continue to tolerate my nonsense and that the burden of me will not become too heavy. I know that it is mostly you dragging me along this path of bhakti, but I promise to try to get up and jog behind you more often.

Always and eternally your servant,

Kadamba Mala devi dasi

8.23.2016

perry farrell is my vartma-pradarśaka-guru

I realized the other day whilst showering that is was august 2016. that might not sound very earth shattering, considering calendars exist and whatnot, but it dawned on me that the very first time I ever met the devotees was in august of 1996 - twenty years ago! it feels like twenty years ago for sure... but also, not. which is weird. you know, time flying but also being slow all at once and everything. 

I'm kind of sad that I missed the anniversary of the exact day, but then I realized I couldn't remember the exact date. thank god for google and the infinite time capsule of the world wide web (thank you for inventing it Al Gore!), so obvs I googled it. well, I mean, I googled the date of the festival that I went to where I met them. and there it was! august 17, 1996 - the day perry farrell became my vartma-pradarśaka-guru.

I don't remember much surrounding the actual event - other than it was a music festival (called the enit festival) that farrell was putting on that was supposed to be like lalapalooza, but different or something. anyway, my boyfriend at the time like worshipped perry farrell and he was playing with porno for pyros...and it was at (what was called at the time!) the garden state arts center, so we were for sure going! 

I remember entering the festival site, which was in front of the actual concert center - on the lawn (not like lawn seats there... like the giant lawn that's almost on the parkway)...and walking down some steps or something and that's where I first saw them - these white american people... dancing and singing... in saris!!!...under a tree, and flowers were like literally showering down on them. it was out of a movie or something. and I looked at them and thought (or maybe even said out loud, I don't remember) "that's it! that's what I want to do with my life!" they had a giant picture of prabhupada in the center that they were dancing around, which I didn't pay too much attention to, or think anything of. I just remember it was him (though I didn't know who he was at that time) and not krishna... like I wasn't really making a connection to krishna at that point... just that it was hindu-culturally to some degree, and it was non-indian people. I want to say I bought a soft-back bhagavad-gita as it is, but I don't really remember that for sure either. ha! I do remember signing my name and phone number on a guest list (which led to me being contacted later) and I feel somewhat certain that it was dhanishta mataji (from brooklyn) at the table... but I can't be sure of that either. then I remember turning around and seeing perry farrell, in the flesh, gliding down the steps, looking like he had just gotten off a bus from heaven. I'm not saying that because I was in love with him or thought he was sexy or whatever (I was more of a trent reznor girl), but because he had all of these markings on his face and a jewel on his forehead and (in my memory) this crushed velvet suit (though I feel like I'm making that up) and he was all lanky and just god-like looking. it was all just so magical, all at once. I wanted that same paint on my face, so I went over the the little face painting they had and this girl (who I remember finding out later was named saranam, and I believe was a disciple of bhir krishna goswami...I think?) give me red gopi dots with an om in the center. from there, I just remember watching everything... going to the actual show. half naked girls dancing and getting set on fire during the porno for pyros set...and going to the ocean queen diner at like 3am or something crazy like that.

I assume this is a photo of him from that day.

most importantly, a few days later I got a call about a "hare krishna program" literally 1/2 a mile from my house. and I went. and it's all history from there!

of course, krishna had been in my life in tiny ways before that day... a copy of sri isopanisad that a different boyfriend had given me (but I had no idea what it was about), posters from east meets west, a sari given to me by my one and only indian friend, a beta fish I named "krishna", a natural affinity to all things hindu...but it had never come together all in one place like it did that day. it literally all came together at the right time and in the right place.

so today, I honor sripad perry farrell... my vartma-pradarśaka-guru. krishna operates in the weirdest ways! ha!

(link here to an article about the enit festival)

8.21.2016

once more with feeling, starting tomorrow, and this time I mean it



this is it. I have to get it together, lose 15lbs and stop the insanity that is my crazy, emotional, and emotionless eating. so yes, tomorrow I will start. for real.

obviously, I can't start without a plan. it's in my head and it's reasonable. no crazy juicing or fasting (though I don't knock it)... but no counting/weight watchering. a simple plan, with some restrictions, but it's doable and my goal is attainable.

I think I'll write more about the details of the plan tomorrow. I kind of just want to chill out... plus my stomach is full of pancakes (which are obviously not on the plan) and it's hard to think. honestly, I don't know why I always wait until like 8:00pm to write... I never feel like it! ha!

anywho, I'm going to couple my plan with some good reading... I was going through my amazon list the other day trying to decide what to dive into next and I came across a different book, which led me to women food and god. it felt right as soon as I saw it, so I clicked and shipped and here I am. I'm only through the first chapter, but so far, so good. I feel connected to it and hopefully Roth will give me some deep insights to help me along this journey. because seriously, this is it.

I mean it. seriously.

8.20.2016

when all else fails, saris

today is my eleventh wedding anniversary. jd and I went out to dinner and ate an insane amount of gluten. that's about it.

since I don't really have anything interesting to say and the fullness of my stomach won't allow for any level of intelligence, here are some beautiful saris. just for fun. #eyecandy #sariporn


totally my pallet. here.
simple, subtle, hearts! here.
pinstripes? yes please! here.
birds!!! here.


elephants! here.

not my usual color pallet, but I love a kalamkari. and this is so unique! here.
that texture though. here.


omg. from here.



I probably could have linked like 20 more. everything on parisera is so amazingly beautiful... but also cha-chinggggg expensive! anywho, it doesn't cost anything to look! 

8.19.2016

poem: moon rising

moon rising

the moon rises
faster than you'd think.
shining strawberry
over the ocean
waves crashing,
it stops people
in their tracks.
a lady complains -
she can't get a good photo,
as if the moon
isn't posing for her
properly.
disappearing
behind the clouds,
another woman
is astonished -
where did it go?
as if
it could just
fall
out of the sky
and sink,
caught in the
undertow.