In Vrindavan...

I would rise before the sun at 5 am to make the two-hour walk around the village, called pakriti, with a young Peruvian monk.  This is what I saw.

 

 

In Vrindavan the sand sparkles like stardust,

 

Naked children tug at the hem of your shirt, their hair matted by

            The grief of years far beyond their own

 

            Passerby’s are greeted with the name of Rada Rani,

                        The name of the divine feminine

 

In Vrindavan faces on the street look at you with eyes that See, gleaming with

                        The glint of kindness from

behind bushy beards

           

We suffocate from the stench of human waste running in

open channels along the street and

              Trash clutters the dirt roadside beside the homeless

 

           

The sacred cows roam the street and

            Krishna’s devious monkeys fly in troops over rooftops and

                        Through the trees

 

In Vrindavan each of the five thousand temples is honored and tended to

 

 

            Plastered posters for this guru or that guru form

            A faded wallpaper on the decrepit, crumbling concrete

 

            Vegetarianism is enforced by law because life is sacred

 

In Vrindavan, the painted Deva statues stand with a rigidity that has upheld

                        A culture for millennia

 

            The uniform of the town mandated, perhaps, by Krishna or

Or, perhaps, by structural poverty

     is bare feet and dirty robes

 

            The faithful from young children to elderly dadus perform

                        Highest form of worship

            Dragging themselves for miles through the dirt in           repeated   prostration

 

BY: Tomás Quiñonez-Riegos