by Premanandi Devi Dasi
one thing i have to say is that i came to the realization that preaching is my one and only true life in i think it was '96 or '97. and somehow or other have always kept preaching in some way through kirtan mostly. but this one time of realization...
i was pushing the old shopping cart down the pot holed street of east village ny, going to tompkins square part, for sankirtan.
cart full of buckets of prasadam, kitchari, halava and lemonade drink, for 150 souls, ladels and spoons dangling, mrdangas hanging off the side of it, kartals clattering, tambourines, etc... bumpity bumpity... and i realized that i had never felt so happy doing THIS!!! i felt, THIS is my JOB, FOREVER! this is it. this is what i am meant to do, forever! i mean, forever. not just this lifetime, but forever, for prabhupada. anywhere. i don't care. any lifetime, i don't care.
i've had some other moments of timeless bliss during preaching, that proved to me, prabhupada was sitting there in front of me, i told the other devotee dancing, get out of the way, you're right in front of prabhupada! and i was dancing for him, on the street, sidewalk, and i was jumping weightless, playing kartals, sari wrapped around somehow not dripping off, i don't mean that in any sexual way, many times i danced for nitai gauranga and i couldn't keep that damn thing on, i think i did not know how to put it on right. drove me nuts. i love them but sometimes it's so much darn material and i just felt like my soul was unraveling and so was the damn sari. anyways, whine whine. i was dancing on the sidewalk and prabhupada was there soaking it all in, i was singing hare krishna, and there was no ground, gravity was different, my whole body was my heart, my soul, my whole body felt different, it was sort of out of body, like my physical body felt like... like it was just vibrating, JUST for prabhupada, and the dancing was bliss, the singing, the kartals on the beat, everything was effortless, the motion, the beats, the dancing. it is inexplicable actually. it was a gift from prabhupada. like others, to keep me staying and keep me knowing that HE is the real deal and PREACHING is my life and soul. more than anything else.
so we go out always on sundays after sunday love feast, sometimes it's only 3 of us, but mostly it's around 6 or sometimes up to 12 or something, and people walk by and dig it, digging the vibes, and we give out books and mantra cards inviting to slfeast, if someone extra can do that and the chanting keeps going, and this is my favorite time during the week that hold me through, i mean, when IN kirtan, krishna is letting me sing for him, create for him, prabhupada is letting me IN. if only for an hour or 2, outside in the air, in the open vibes. i love it so much more than inside, but of course, singing for the deities, that is first, and THEY say, now go out there silly! and to feel that way sometimes, if i'm lucky, i get to just melt into kirtan, and float around and express those feelings... they just slide out, one after another, and this musical kirtan bliss is my bliss. so, how honored i feel that there are other devotees who also love to do this. who want to engage the instruments including themselves ourselves... and i keep having visions of the book table , which kapindra swami goes out with little book table during the week and we go out and chant around the blocks and sometimes, not like in the years past, i get to preach with my words to people, and once i get going, forgettaboutit! i LOVE IT!!!!