Last weekend we went to visit a nice place, the ISCON temple in Wheeling, about 150 miles away from Columbus, Ohio. I am not a Religious person so the choice was not natural and we were only looking for some refuge from the everyday life. Thus we needed some destination and the weather was warm and perfect for a long drive.
The place is far away from the human habitation and in the midst of a breathtaking natural beauty. The whole place is very well-maintained as well. It is a huge area with a Temple of Radha-krishna and a Palace, The Palace of Gold. They had accommodation for overnight stay as well in individual lodges or in dorms.
Other than the nature we met some interesting people there. The first one to mention is Pravu Keith. He is a Bramhochari there after finishing his Bio-Engineering. He is a very cordial and intelligent young American. At the same time very honest to his GOD. He asked why I don’t believe that GOD exists. To him it is so much TRUE as the Sun, the air and the water. According to him the existence of human being is because of GOD. Behind our every action there is GOD. He was continuously chanting verses of Sri Krishna Mahapravu in Bengali. Even though the accent was weird but his honest try was amazing. The most interesting part was the contrast in him, so rational and so religious. When he asked ‘Who am I’ – it was really tough to give a good answer. He also believe on a nice quote from his lawyer father ‘No good-deed goes unpunished’.
Then there was ‘Abhaycharan Das’, an amazing and talented Bengali Kirtan & Bhajan singer in the Temple. He is an American with this Bengali name. His father is also a Bhajan singer and named all his sons in Bengali. He cannot speak Bengali nor does he understand but his songs are perfect.
Then Mataji, the busy and friendly President of the Math. She was always working as long we were there.
We spend some quality time with the Peacocks who had no fear and were coming to us for food. They also had presented us some stunning display of their spectacular tails.
In that perfect world I was really questioning my material requirements. If I don’t see the glossy magazines or if I am not coming back to this everyday competitive life, then what I need exactly? I need some food and a place to sleep as I have enough clothes to go for the next 10 years. Then the question comes-what I am after? What will I achieve exactly after all these years of tensed and un-satisfied life? If I have to come back to nature to fill up my tank and again get ready for run again, then what’s the need? I am confused.
That apparently peaceful world had some violence as well. The pair of swans who live in the pool were not allowing the tired migratory birds to take some rest. One of them was protecting the nest with eggs and the other continuously driving out the refugees.
May be the nature is not so pleasant and serene as we see from outside. But for me it was a great retreat from this artificial life.