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)

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