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Wednesday, May 22nd 2024

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The last time I came to this city was when I was on my 4.5. trek in 2016. I was on a trail in Indiana when the community in Minneapolis beckoned me to come for some Katha, wisdom talks. So my team of two and I, drove that 5 to 6 hour stretch to meet in the town where the Dakotas had once flourished.

Now, on our Vedic calendar we are informed that today is the Day of the Lion. The avatar, Narsimha, half-man half-lion, made a splash millennia ago and hence, we celebrate this great protector. And that was done at the new Iskcon Center on Minnehaha. What was once an old dairy outlet is now a place for bhakti yoga. The president of the place, Sauri, mentioned that in the future celebrations will be on the date, "But because you are here we are honouring today and not just the weekend."

Everyone was so sweet to me. When you enter there are shelves for shoes but like most temples, shoes are haphazardly placed outside of those slots. A gracious American devotee, Ram Kishor, introduced me to the congregation. From there we took off to chant, dance and a reading of the poem " Big Cat", then the 7th Canto, delving into the pastime of the trio, bad man, Hiranyakasipu, and two heroes, young Prahlad and the all powerful, Lion Avatar.

Do lions care for any flowers you throw at them? It is a Vedic custom to honour any VIP with a throw of petals. Those rose petals offered to a picture of the benevolent Narsimha are a devotee's way of appreciation and appreciation is what keeps culture in place.

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