Monday, July 31, 2006

Dancing, Old School



Here is a picture of me dancing. It was in a get well card from Pavitra and Meghamala. Pavitra is a photographer who has a lot of old photos. I have been threatening to write about dancing, and here is photographic proof I have danced. It is taken in the current Sri Sri Radha Vrindavan Candra temple. They moved there in the summer of 1983. Chedirajah is in the picture and he left his body in late 1985, so that dates the picture.

The guy in white with the mrdanga is Premarnava, so the baby would be Abhay. I am the other guy in white. Behind me, head showing, is Kumar. To the right is Chedirajah with both arms raised. Behind him is Garga Rsi, head shot, and in front of Chedi is Radha Gopinath. Now, trust me on this – between Chedi and Radha is Candramauli. How, you might ask, would I be able to tell that when we can’t see his head? Do I remember this exact instant in a kirtan that happened two decades ago? Had I meditated on those feet? No, but I do remember styles, and that is him. He had a distinctive dance style of bringing his nonsupporting foot up behind him. No one else did that. There is also the Hari Nama chadder. He commonly wore one. In case you were wondering, yes, THAT Candramauli.

Chedi left his body on traveling sankirtan. He was sleeping in a van in cold weather, and the supplemental heater malfunctioned. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The heater then went out and they froze. Gavum Guru’s brother, Mathura, also left the planet. His body rolled onto Kevala, who lived because it insulated him. They were on the benches in the van, and Kevala was on the floor. The warm carbon monoxide rose in the van, so he survived that. He did lose some musculature in his legs to frostbite, but was able to walk, with some difficulty, once he recovered. This was a blow to everyone in New Vrindavan.

Chedi was sort of the Visnujana of NV. The Adi-Hari Bol Bliss Boy, famous for his love of kirtans. He was a disciple of Srila Prahbupada originally from Buffalo.

Note my positioning in the photo. If you try to stand like that, you will fall over. One way to compensate for the unbalance is to bend your torso over the supporting foot, as the brahmacari to my right is doing. To avoid that, the knees and ankles have to be compressing while landing, and then, at the last possible moment, before falling over, uncoil into a leap. Once the supporting foot is off the ground, throw your legs in the other direction. It is a dynamic pose, not attainable statically. Yoga of motion.

5 Comments:

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Chaits said...

The other devotee who died in the van and rolled on top of Kevala Bhakti was Mathura (not Maitreya).

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger Madhava Gosh said...

Nuts. I knew that. I couldn't remember it in the first draft,just it started with an M, so I used Maitreya as a placeholder. Then made I made several calls until I caught someone at home who could remember. Lajjavati, actually. then I forgot to change it. Doh. Will edit it.

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chediraj was from new york city and only moved to new siberia after bali mardan made a mockery of his sanyass vows and caused all the chaos in NY

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very old picture

madhu

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous soma said...

Chediraj indeed did come from New York City. But he came to be the cook in the Boston temple in the spring of 1973. He stayed in Boston for about 4 or 5 months, then went to Buffalo in the summer of 1973. Again to be the cook. He was an expert cook. Bali had nothing to do with it.
ys, soma

 

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