Friday: Radhanath Swami at the Radha Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn, NYC. Orginally scheduled to be at the Astanga Yoga studio in SoHo, it was changed at the landolord's polite but firm request -- it turns out that when they say "maximum occupancy 80", they don't actually mean "cram in 150 to 200 people and have them all chant and dance along until 10pm." Hmmm, go figure.
I was a bit bummed about the change, because I've noticed that Radhanath Maharaj is so keyed in to the atmosphere and mood of the place where he speaks. When he gave the talk at the yoga studio on Tuesday, for example, he spoke on a topic and in such a way that would connect with any thoughtful open-minded New Yorker. Personally, I love those types of classes. So my fear was that at the ISKCON temple in Brooklyn, Maharaj's mood would be more in-house.
I have to admit that my fears were not entirely unfounded. Maharaj did give more of an in-house class on Friday, and went into a considerably detailed (but relishable) history of the original Govindadeva deity. But it was really good for me to appreciate that other side of him, and I have to say -- the class was just as exciting, enlightening, and generally mind-blowing as anything else Maharaj speaks about.
After a rocking kirtan and prasadam, I got to have a few precious seconds with Maharaj in the hallway of the temple.
Radhanath Swami: So tomorrow your mother will be re-born.
Me: Maharaj, is it okay if I still call her Mom?
RNS: Of course. Did you know that even after Lord Caitanya took sannyasa, He still called Saci Mata "mom?"
Maharaj has this amazing sense of humor and this way of giving me transcendental come-backs that leave me speechless!