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Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Moundsville, W. Virginia

It's always a pleasant ride to the Appalachians where trees are now giving a hint of fall with orange and green tones. Five carloads of bhakti yogis were off for the journey from the Toronto area all in preparation for this years 'MAN-tra Retreat'. This is our sixth year for the gathering, and we did survive during the pandemic, fortunately, by going online. Back we are again in person. Hurray!

In the vehicle that I was in, we were remembering Krishna, Prabhupada, and it came naturally to recall Bob Denver's song, "Take Me Home Country Roads," which notes the charm of West Virginia. At one point, our Google GPS led us to a river (creek, maybe) which you are forced to drive through just before arriving at New Vrindavan. Yes, it gets rustic here. Finally, at the Welcome Center, we are greeted by a kirtan party. That was sweet. And, of course, we meet some of the stalwarts of the community.

I was sure not to forget to be faithful to the weekly followers of the Zoom Gita Chat. This week, we zeroed in on three of the 26 qualities of an evolved human being – charitable (danam), sense controlled (damah), and sacrificial (yajnah). These traits are especially significant to householders or money makers.

We also touched on svadhyaya (study of the Vedic texts), mostly linked to the life of a student bachelor/bachelorette.

An autumn leaf fell on the page. It seemed to say, "Get serious. Life is short."


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