The Best Joy Days Ever? Southeast Asia Rising | Inspiration Sun
- View Sourceby Sanjay
Goa, March 2008. No offense to the mighty German Centres, whose Joy Days have set the bar for decades, nor to Australia, where people drive for 3 days through God-forsaken desert wasteland to reach Joy Days, nor to the Centres of the UK and France, which manage to meet in such simple, humble places of sensory deprivation like the South of France, but I am terribly afraid the gauntlet has been thrown down by, of all groups, an unassuming coterie of Nepalese and Indians who met in Goa from March 28th to April 1st.
Apart from the fact that few places on earth hold the allure of Goa, with sun-soaked beaches rivaling Bali's Nusa Dua, or the fact that these Joy Days are the only ones held on the fertile soil of Mother India, few could have expected the reverie of shared spiritual discipline or the emerging oneness, beauty and power of the Centres on the subcontinent experienced during this Joy Days celebration. Nearly two dozen Nepalese disciples traveled by plane, train and automobile, some journeying over 40 hours, to meet another two dozen Indians and international visitors at the Goa Centre, lovingly and painstakingly
maintained by Centre Leader Uday and his wife Arpana, with additional service from Ashok, who spends the year shuttling between New York and India. Now joined by Hiyaphul and featuring Indian boy-wonder,Prakash, whom many may remember as Bijon's dancing side-kick in Kaivalya's Langkawi play extravaganza, the Goa Centre is bursting at its seams with enthusiasm, dynamism and promise. They were joined by disciples from Mumbai and Chennai as well as European guests, Kritartha and Adesh, who were wrapping up visits for Madal Bal. Aparajita and Sanjay traveled from New York for the occasion, Sanjay having been a part of the first Goa Joy Days in March 2006.
Each day unfolded in a similar fashion, with a 6 am meditation held either in the Centre or 200 metres away on the city beach, followed by a breakfast of coconut-based Goan curries and soups. Late morning sessions consisted either of manifestation meetings or games of Frisbee and soccer on far-away beaches, shaded by palm and mango trees.
Afternoons were held at the Centre, where disciples struggled to finish meals of 3 or 4 curries with chapatti and some sort of Goan specialty or another that seemed to transcend everyone's experiences of earthly eating. Late afternoons were spent resting or eating ice cream at local cafes. In the evening, the group meditated and then enjoyed master-class-caliber performances of Guru's music by Vijay Mishra from Kathmandu (sarod), Adesh (sitar), and Pavel, visiting from Moscow, who had trained for three years in Delhi with a bansuri flute Master.
The locals and guests killed another hour or so enjoying the same comedy that Guru used to watch to end many an earthly evening, The Honeymooners. Watching a new generation of disciples become introduced to this serial, which was a mainstay of Guru's outer life, thrilled the older visitors to no end as did, of course, their energy, enthusiasm and dedication to manifesting their Guru's Light in Southeast Asia. Highlights of the celebrations included the second-ever Goa Sports Day, held on a grass-surfaced 400 metre track (think Wimbledon meets Bislet). As in 2006, the games were dominated by the Nepalese, who, having come from altitude, seemed to savor the sea-level environment. Inspired performances by 12 year- old Shivani (third place in the girls' long jump, second place in the girls' 800 metre walk) and 3 year-old Prerana (who ran 200 meters of the girls 400 metre race, got lonely and ran back to the start) rounded out the
morning meet, with Medha and Krishna taking the overall girls' and boys' titles, respectively.
"I was deeply moved, inspired and energized by the pure aspiration, devotion and dedication of everyone, especially of the Nepalese disciples," commented Aparjita who had decided several weeks earlier to spend his birthday (March 30th) in Goa. Although Aparajita had taken a 6-week tour of India in 2006 to give lectures, he had never visited Goa.
"Goa is heaven ï¿½ sweetness, charm, tranquility and beauty," he mused in between bites of his birthday cake. Besides strategizing and coordinating efforts to conquer the mind, vital and body of India, the Indian and Nepalese disciples devoted considerable energy to planning their next gathering, tentatively scheduled for the fall, to be held on top of the earth, under the behemoth peaks of Nepal's Himalayan mountains.
Now firmly poised on the pinnacle of the Joy Days circuit, the Indian and Nepalese disciples realized that only they could outdo this incredible festival of delight and mirth and are striving to reach heretofore unheard-of heights at Joy Days: Himalayan Edition this coming October.
From: Inspiration Sun Edition 2