To: "Diane Marie Chan"
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 16:01:18 -0800
Please accept my most humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Today a really wonderful thing happened. Hansadutta Prabhu attends a
weekly pain management session at the local health clinic here in
Cloverdale. A few minutes before it was scheduled to begin, he came by
my house and invited me sit in on the session. "I'm going to suggest
that we have a kirtan today, so please bring a pair of kartals.
So, I excitedly drove down to the clinic. When I came into the room, he
was explaining the Hare Krishna Mantra to the group of about 12 people.
Some of the people were very tentative about the idea of chanting, but
others appeared relaxed and interested. So, he began with the standard
Vande Ham invocation, and then proceeded with the kirtan. The
man seated directly to my left, named Guy, immediately started chanting
Hare Krishna as if he had been doing it his entire life! It was so
enlivening to hear a complete stranger who had never heard or been in a
kirtan before just launch into the mantra.
Right away I thought to myself, "He has had a connection to this from
his previous life, and now he is ready to come back into the orbit of
After the brief kirtan ended, Hansadutta wrapped it up with
some more simple explanations of the nature of transcendental sound,
how kirtan is not like an ordinary musical "performance", but a
reciprocal, participatory experience. The session leader, Dr. Murphy,
then asked the group what they thought of the experience. A couple of
very nice people had very favorable responses to the idea of chanting.
One woman remarked that it immediately made her feel spiritually
connected to the Divine energy of God. She recalled that the most peace
and tranquility she had ever experienced was when she was singing
Gregorian Chants in her church many years ago, and that this chanting
of the Hare Krishna Mantra was reconnecting her to that blissful
feeling. Guy said that he totally embraced the idea, and said that it
"Removed me far away from the bodily pain I've been suffering from."
Overall, it was a very enlivening and uplifting experience, and a few
people followed us out to the car and took some books. Hansadutta gave
Guy a chanting kit, complete with a recording of Srila Prabhupada
leading japa mala, a bead bag and a set of simple wooden japa
beads. Guy also took a couple of books. Who knows, maybe this will grow
into an ongoing event? Next week, we want to bring a nice prasadam
preparation like Halavah.
It is always a joy to see others become exposed to the one remedy that
can cure all human ailments, disturbances and miseries: "Ancient
Medicine for Modern Man": Kirtan!
Your aspiring servant,