Happy In New Jersey by Bhaktimarga Swami


Haripada took me to Montclair, situated on the cliffs of the Watchung Mountains. There is a university and is a cultural hub for the area. There is this posh neighbourhood on Bloomfield Avenue and at Church Street Plaza, a unique juncture, with shade, where devotes sometimes go for Kirtan.

I first got the impression that people here are snooty and bigheaded, but on the contrary, we found folks are fairly fine  and thoughtful. At first, I had to remind that with just the two of us, not to come across too aggressive. "We don't need to pounce on people like some lion. Let's sound good and be peaceful and they should come to us."

Haripada is a successful business person, and is not shy to approach people. While I thumped on the mrdunga, and sang, he would catch the ear of the pedestrian. One after the other people stopped to hear him after the slight toning down. One fellow, middle – aged, by the name of Andrew, particularly came to me. “I’m Jewish. I like good music." He was actually enjoying ours. He pulled out his device and had me listen to instrumentalists, band called, "Oregon. "

“Listen to that tabla in there,” he remarked.

We made friends. Then Prem came, and I had a backup singer. Haripada was not shy to talk to the young guys, high school students, each who took a book. I'm sorry our allotted time for Kirtan and getting the books out, came to an end. 

From Montclair we moved on to to the Iskcon CNG, Central New Jersey for Kirtan, and class led by yours truly. I read some of my poetry about Rama and the Lion Avatar. Then, the longer section was spent in the Krishna Book, chapter “The Daily Activities of Krishna." I love it when listeners smile. At the end, we successfully sold, Jayadvaita Swami's book “Srila Prabhupada’s Kirtan Standards.”

Source: https://www.thewalkingmonk.net/post/happy-in-new-jersey

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