By Krishna Kishora Dasa
July 17, 2013
Paramatma woke me up before my alarm and it felt good to have some nice japa in before the kids got up. We had a rip roaring Kirtan and a devotee from New Zealand really appreciated it because of his rare chances for fired up Kirtans.
His guru, Devamrta Swami, ordered him to help in Gita Nagari for a few months since he is a handy man and the lumberjack type. We offered our services to him and he gladly accepted our offer because of his project overload.
Manu Prabhu gave a wonderful class about Prahlad Maharaja and had all the boys thinking on the appropriate ways to utilize their intelligence and not waste time, especially when young.
How much time can we save when someone who cares tells us that the fire is hot and not to touch it. Then accepting that lesson and moving on to the next. But our stubborn and sometimes wickedly curious mind needs to learn by touching the fire and getting burnt. We pleaded to the boys that if they happen to utilize this 3rd class of intelligence, to at least not be 4th class, which is to not learn and repeatedly get burned by the same mistake. We obviously promoted 1st class intelligence the most, which is learning by hearing. We also encouraged them to be good listeners and be empathetic with one another.
We all expanded on the different classes of intelligence and concluded on the importance of having faith in trusted advisers in our life, which share truths from the bonafide scriptures of God written by his empowered servants or expansions.
They gave him a round of a applause and they all rushed off to breakfast, their favorite part of the morning program.
Laxman setup the slackline between some trees and taught us how to balance on a thin rope with confidence and finesse.
We got the green light for going to a nearby Amish farm so we can learn about their lifestyle and see their farm animals. When we arrived we were greeted by the father of the family and he welcomed all of us into his home, and invited us to ask him anything we liked. The kids surprised me with their questions and how they asked them, very respectful and in a thoughtful manner.
This kind man was very honest and happy with his way of living, and it was also nice to embrace our differences which were put on the table,
“Yes I’m a meat eater which is a contradiction to your beliefs, we do eat meat and its a part of our diet but we eat other things too which you eat as well,” the father lovingly said.
His wife showed us a quilt that she and her friends have been working on for quite a while. Vishnu was really impressed how everything was made by hand and how they seemed not to rush things in life. A very simple lifestyle they have. They don’t use electricity and stray away from modern technological things as much as possible.
“What do you guys do for your recreation?” Asked one of the boys.
“Well, our recreation really is work. Work is a major part of our lifestyle because our livelihood is a result from the work we do, so we try to have fun doing it. Sometimes we go to auctions or picnics with the family and other times we will all go bowling, but mostly we work on the farm.”
He spoke about education and the subjects his children focus on. 10 kids they had. 6 boys and 4 girls.
Then he took us outside and first showed us all the baby chicks. Kids were holding them and giving them lots of love before they were used for their eggs or for their meat. This was the sad reality and one of our boys even asked him,
“So these baby chics, you will kill them?”
“Yeah, when they grow up we kill them, and i am aware this also against your beliefs, but yes we do,” he politely said.
They brought out a cute pony and let the younger boys sit on top of him. This pony was auctioned off to another family so it was the last day it was on their farm, so the kids were happy to give him love before he got sold off.
We went to the barn but it was quite empty because the cows were grazing, but the calves were there and also two large horses. One of them had long gray hair and he was known as the breeding horse, the kids were in awe around him, like it was a royal carrier of some sort.
Time was running short so i had to intervene and wrap things up because we had to eat lunch and move logs from the forest to the temple, so they could be used for cooking and fires during the winter.
We energized our bodies with a delicious lunch and took a walk into the forest to where Nandisvara Prabhu had cut the fallen trees. We piled up wood with two monkey chains into the bed of the truck and the attached trailer.
Some of these kids aren’t the working type at all, they wore sandals in the rained out forest and were complaining every other minute. Other kids were comfortable in the woods, not noticing their muddy feet and making dams between the overflowing puddles of water made by the rain showers that came earlier in the day.
We finished with a job well done and ran back for dinner. We promised the kids an outside game in the dark, so as we waited for the night to darken we wrestled and played a few games of blind chicken. Now it was pitch black outside, perfect for an outside game.
We played one round of Bloody Murder and had to bring it to an end because the kids were being too loud and we didn’t want to wake up the ashram devotees. The boys complained of course,
“They sleep late anyways!”
“Last night i saw an ashram devotee watching the office till 1am”
“The ashram is empty!!”
“Ok boys, go to your rooms, I’ll be there and will tell ghost stories tonight,” I confidently negotiated.
We all crammed in to one room and I told them 4 stories in 1. The younger kids couldn’t sleep in their rooms without the older boys so they all packed into one room. I thought the older boys would tuck them into sleep but instead they told them more ghost stories through out the night.
Gosh these kids love scary stories.