Dhanurdhara Swami August 14th, 2003
New York City
When New York Turned Into Vrndavana
When I was a young child, not more than six years ofage, my father would occasionally show up at my door at bedtime, poke his head in, and ask in a fatherly manner, ?Where was Moses when the lights went out?? Whether I responded reasonably??In the dark!??or remained silent in protest, the result was the same: I was soon in the dark. And no matter how much my desire to stay up late was foiled, deep down I enjoyed the affectionate exchange with my dad.
Affectionate exchanges are life. Without them, the heart closes and the soul dries; neurosis consumes us. Therefore, the perfect place is Vrndavana?an anti-psychotic world where everything moves for the purpose of selfless intense affection, called rasa.
In contrast, New York is devoid of rasa. Here, the selfless loving spirit is overwhelmed by the vain pursuit of wealth, fame, and sex appeal. Even those intelligent enough to escape this frenzied passion are certain to be distracted from meaningful relationships by the lure of the lonely world of computers, the busy chatter of cell phones, or the insanity of multimedia. How unfortunate to mistake such loneliness for real community?
Today I sat peacefully on the Upper East Side as the plug of passion was pulled in New York and much of the Northeast?something to do with a malfunction on the Northern Grid.
Factually, however, the Northern Grid is a glitch on normal life. I thus celebrated today as the day when non-electricity was restored to the world. With great relief, I observed:
* A peaceful and quiet environment
* With people sitting on their stoops
* Talking to their neighbors
* Helping one another
* Sharing meaningful relationships
* Manifesting community
* Enjoying real life as New York turned into Vrndavana
A final thought: Today?s power outage ironically blossomed with rasa?just as the ?lights off? of my childhood incongruously flourished with affection.