There has been so much going on the last few days. It feels like since the end is near, things just keep getting busier and busier. I always feel like I want to lay down and take a nap, but there is never enough time! That is probably a good thing anyway because you know what they say, I can sleep when I’m dead!
This week has been a little bit different that the last few school wise. There was a citywide bus strike that called for school being cancelled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I’m sure if I was a student in elementary school or high school I would have loved it if school were called off. It’s funny how now I feel the exact opposite! I really did miss the kids at DPS-North after our majorly extended weekend. However, just because we didn’t have school doesn’t mean we were not just as busy.
On Tuesday morning Abby, Jill, and I met Sowmya Ma’am and her parents at the ISKCON temple just 20 minutes from where we stay in Richmond Town. From the street below you can’t tell much about the size but once you climb the stairs you realize just how massive it is. The process to get into the temple took a little bit of time as we had to form a line and chant a verse praising Krishna on each stepping stone until we reached the inside of the temple. Sowmya said she thought there were probably around 51 step stones so we were chanting for around 15 minutes! The verse we chanted on each step was,
“hare kṛiṣhṇa hare kṛiṣhṇa
kṛiṣhṇa kṛiṣhṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare.”
This is known as the Great Mantra and is chanted in the honor of the Hindu deity Krishna. According to the Hindu religion Krishna was a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. ISCKON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness also known as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas. The ISCKON temple in Bangalore feeds students in need all over the city because they believe that no child should go without education because of hunger. They also feed everyone that comes into their temple a meal for free. Sowmya told us that she and her family have eaten there many times because the food is delicious. Apart from the delicious food the inside of the temple was absolutely incredible. Sadly we were not able to take pictures as it was against the temple’s policy but the pictures would not have been able to do the place justice. It seemed that everywhere you turned there was a gold plated statue or a colorful scene to look at. Even the ceilings were painted with murals of famous Krishna stories. As we were visiting the temple we sat down for a little while in the middle to just stop and look at all the beauty that surrounded us. Sowmya’s mother told us that she once took a trip in northern India, near Delhi, that stopped at all of the famous places that Krishna had once visited.
After we spent some time visiting the inside we all had lunch at the restaurant on the temples grounds, right outside. The restaurant is called Higher Taste and all of their food is made without onion, garlic, and eggs. Hare Krishnas do not eat these foods because they believe it makes the body impure and these foods cannot be offered to Krishna. If you are looking for more information on that, this is a good website: http://food.krishna.com/article/why-no-garlic-or-onions
The food was absolutely delicious and we were all stuffed by the end of it. We are so grateful to Sowmya for always making sure we have an amazing experience whether at school, or around town in Bangalore. We had such a fun day and learned a lot in the process.