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Lord-Hanuman-146Do you know the story of Hanuman and the spider? The short version goes like this: When Hanuman was building a bridge to Lanka so Ram’s army could march across the ocean and rescue Sita from the evil Ravana, Hanuman was lifting entire mountain tops and making stepping stones of them. Meanwhile, a tiny spider in his path was rolling a grain of sand to add to the bridge.  Hanuman bellowed at the spider to get out of his way, and was about to brush him aside when Ram stopped him, and stiffly reprimanded him.  Ram saw no difference between the spider’s meager offerings  and Hanuman’s mighty ones, because both were inspired by  honorable intentions.  The spider was helping in the best way he could, and though it was a mere grain of sand in an ocean, Ram accepted it as if it were mountains.

If you’re like me, you’ve had a few spider days — the kind where you feel like you’re pushing a grain of sand into an ocean. And then something comes along and tells you to keep pushing.

Inspiring Gratitude

Ed & SusanRecently, The Bhakti Beat received a generous grant from Call and Response Foundation co-founders Susan Murphy and Ed Ritz to purchase a new laptop for The Bhakti Beat.  The sorely needed upgrade enables us to better handle and process the many large video files and images from Bhakti Beat reporting and gives us livestreaming capacity.  We are deeply grateful for this gift of encouragement.

In its wake, another Bhakti Beater asked if we have a Wish List?

Well, yes, we do have a Wish List. (Well, we do now.)  Thank you for asking!

Cash donations, one-time or recurring, are always welcome!  Just click here. All monies are used to directly support The Bhakti Beat’s mission to spread the devotional love of bhakti through reporting and commentary from the mantra music world: News, Reviews, Interviews & Videos.  Directed grants are also welcome, like Ed & Susan’s gift to soup up our video processing capacity.

Gifts-in-kind are great too.  Here are some things on our Wish List right now that would help us better serve the bhakti community:

Tech Supplies

  • (URGENT NEED!!) New Mobile Phone with great camera and big memory
  • Solid-state portable hard drive, 1T or more (2 needed)
  • Good compact computer speakers
  • Wide-angle lens for Nikon D3100

Travel Related

  • Frequent Flyer Miles or Airline Vouchers
  • Gas Cards
  • Hotel or Couch-Surfing Vouchers :)

Professional Services

  • Printing Services (e.g., for business cards or stickers)
  • Web Services (e.g., for website redesign/consult)
  • Technical Services (e.g., Mobile App development)

And while we’re at it…

We have a dream.  It’s called the #BhavBus.  It is an alternative-fueled camper-van with solar-powered roof panels and space for a few passengers, and its mission is to spread the bhav, reporting and livestreaming from #everytownandvillage across this big ole’ kirtan country and beyond.  Do you have one of those in your backyard waiting for a makeover? Want to help us make this program a reality? Do you want to be on the bus?  Contact me, Brenda (email: bpatoine@aol.com) to find out more.

However you can help, grain of sand or mountain top (bhav bus?), know that it is received with deepest gratitude and is put to the highest use: to spread the love of bhakti.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
 
“My dear Lord, kindly engage me in your service.”

________________

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(Wondering who the hell Vrinda is? Read to the end…)

Hare Krishna by TheBhaktiBeat.comIt’s true. I, Vrinda, am a kirtan pusher.

I mean, I’m already a self-diagnosed “kirtan addict,” and we’ve established that there are a lot of those out there. I’m okay with that.

But a pusher? Well, this just, ahem, pushes it to a whole different level.

It hit me in the midst of a PM to a friend in Connecticut about a kirtan in a cave that she simply must attend.

My god, I thought. I’m like a kirtan evangelist.

The idea stopped me in my tracks, mostly because I’ve never had much use for evangelists who go about proselytizing their faith to anyone who will listen, and even less use for the Christian fundamentalists who tend to do the proselytizing.  On the other hand, the Revivalists, with their raise-the-roof/Praise-the-Lord church parties, have always fascinated me.  Maybe it’s the memory trace of that one my sister and I attended as adolescents in the little white church up the road from our farm in northeastern Vermont. It was both exhilarating and terrifying.  I had never before experienced that kind of passion for Jesus — of sheer sing-your-heart-out joy and dramatic redeem-thyself theatrics — certainly not in the staid Catholic church my family filed into every Sunday at 10, like clockwork.

Dear Lord, had I become like the fire-and-brimstone preacher up on that little church altar, waving his Bible at the Congregation of trembling souls and enjoining them to experience ecstatic redemption?  Is my call to Come to Kirtan any different than his call to Come to Jesus? Is this why my non-kirtan friends avoid me like the plague?  Suddenly I was on a roller-coaster ride of self-reflection and deep personal inquiry, along with its inevitable bedfellow, self-doubt.

“Jeezh,” my snarky twin interrupted.  “We just thought it would make a funny blog.  Lighten up already, will ya’?”

Oh, right.  [Sound of brakes screeching] Back to those signs.  After great personal exploration and intense research (a 30-second google search), I, Vrinda, have come up with this list of possible symptoms that may indicate that you, too, might be a kirtan pusher.

8 Signs You Might Be a Kirtan Pusher

1. You always know where your next kirtan is.

2. You drive down the road with kirtan blasting, smiling at anyone who notices.

3. When friends come to visit, you introduce them to so-and-so’s new bhakti CD.

4. You spend copious amounts of your “free time” inviting people to kirtans, posting notices about kirtans, organizing kirtans…and oh yeah, attending kirtans.

5. A typical grocery-store encounter starts and/or ends with Radhe! Radhe! or Haribol!

6. You belong to more than 5 kirtan-related groups on facebook.  (This is a dead giveaway).

7. Your kirtan friends are always asking you what’s going on.

8. Your non-kirtan friends stopped asking you what’s going on.

Keep Calm and Bhav On by TheBhaktiBeat.comIf you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or others, seek help immediately.

Start by opening your mouth and saying Ommmmmm. Put on Krishna Das. Visit a friend with a harmonium right away. Join The Bhakti Beat’s Chantaholics Anonymous Support Group.  If it gets severe, call the Kirtan Hotline at 1 800 HARIBOL to find out immediately where the nearest wallah is.

 

photographerEditor’s Note: “I, Vrinda” is a new, occasional first-person series on TheBhaktiBeat.com in which I, Vrinda (aka Brenda Patoine) say what I’m thinking, whether you want to hear it or not.  Call it op-ed, editorialism, commentary, satire — hell, call it whatever you want.  Vrinda is opinionated but open, largely unfiltered, at times irreverent, and sometimes downright sassy (don’t say I didn’t warn you).  She’s pure Gemini, part wise, part wise-ass; the good the bad and the naughty all rolled up into one messy, messed-up, hopelessly imperfect, doing-the-best-she-can kinda’ girl, er, woman. She — I mean, I — may offer two cents or more on subjects from the ironies of the yoga world to the injustices of the corporatocracy,  the ins and outs of the bhakti community, or the ups and downs of internet dating. She/I may even occasionally try to be funny, undoubtedly with mixed results. Vrinda really just wants everyone to wake the f**k up (I warned you).   For more on Vrinda, including why she uses that name, click here on this link…but you’ll have to wait until I get that piece written.

Connect with The Bhakti Beat!
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The Bhakti Beat on Google+
 

Like what you see here?  Help us keep The Bhakti Beat flowing!  Consider donating today, a one-time contribution or a recurring contribution — any amount is so appreciated and will help us continue to bring you the bhav.  The Bhakti Beat is a labor of love, completely self-funded by Brenda Patoine (moi), who is a freelance neuroscience writer by day.  Every bit helps! THANK YOU! Donate Here.

 

 

 

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Krishna Das Goes to Prison for Call and Response (Video Interview, Photos)

November 24, 2014
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Video interview at the bottom. Yes, it’s true.  Krishna Das went to prison for Call and Response. The Call and Response Foundation, that is. For the least few years, the nonprofit foundation has been arranging for kirtan wallahs to chant in prisons, psychiatric facilities, children’s hospitals, and other places where people might benefit from the […]

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Kirtan Represents in Grammys First-Round Ballot as Nominations Voting Wraps Up Nov. 5

October 28, 2014
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Grammys season has officially begun, and more than ever before, the world of mantra music represents.  More than a dozen artists in the “non-genre” of kirtan/chant/yoga music are on the first-round ballot for consideration to be among the 57th Annual Grammy Award Nominees for Best New Age Album. [Yes, "New Age" is what the non-genre […]

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I, VRINDA: Finding Irony in the Passing of B.K.S. Iyengar, as the Popular Press Credit Him with a ‘Yoga Craze’ that Ignores Its Roots

August 20, 2014
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B.K.S. Iyengar, the great yogic master who pioneered a system of yoga and is credited for helping bring yoga to the world, died Wednesday morning, August 20, in Pune, India. Editor’s Note: “I, Vrinda” is a new, occasional first-person series on TheBhaktiBeat.com in which I, Vrinda (aka Brenda Patoine) say what I’m thinking, whether you […]

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CROWDFUND THIS! (NOW!!) Final Week For Bhajan Belt Favorites & Shyamdas Compatriots SRI Kirtan’s IndieGogo Campaign for CD No. 3

July 14, 2014
Sruti Ram & Ishwari of SRI Kirtan are working on their third CD -- and need your help to make it happen.
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Project: Full-length Studio-Recorded CD Fundraising Goal: $13,000 Deadline: July 19, 2014 @ 11:59 p.m. PT Contribute  Here NOW!   Ed. Note: This is part of our ongoing series on Crowdfunding Kirtan, in which fans and friends contribute money for new recording projects in exchange for “perks” ranging from free downloads to private concerts.  The trend […]

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Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe Show How Juicy You Can Get at Shakti Fest (Photos, Set Review)

June 6, 2014
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There is nothing traditional about Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe.  And that’s just fine with us. Larisa and the Tribe deliver unapologetic Mantra Rock.  Quite unlike anything we’ve seen anywhere else. The first time we experienced their edgy urban-laced brand of bhakti, our jaw dropped, and they just keep get juicier each time we see […]

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‘Too Much Talking’ from a Kirtan Wallah? Hmm. Bhakti Quotes Worth Repeating-Shakti Fest 2014

May 25, 2014
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At one point during the weekend-long love feast that was Shakti Fest 2014, I ran into Vijay Krsna and his beloved, Sarasvati Devi, the couple who lead the Kirtaniyas.  It was the day after their late-night set,  and I was gushing to them about how deeply touched I was by their kirtan and teachings (I […]

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Top 12 Bhavalicious Moments at Shakti Fest, Bhakti Fest’s Spring Fling in the Desert (Photos)

May 22, 2014
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No, this is NOT a blog professing to proclaim the “best wallah” or the “best music” or the best anything at Shakti Fest, the Bhakti Fest franchise’s spring fling in honor of the Divine Feminine.  Choosing a best kirtan artist would be like proclaiming azure blue or burnt orange to be the “best” color in […]

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‘We Need A Bus!’ Kirtaniyas Kick Off Shakti Fest Kirtan & Take Bhakti to a ‘Whole Other Level’

May 16, 2014
The Kirtaniyas at Shakti Fest 2014, by TheBhaktiBeat.com
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Shakti Fest 2014 — the first of the three bhakti yoga “love fests” by the Bhakti Fest franchise — kicked off with a little pre-show Thursday night with the Kirtaniyas, the progressive Krishna Kid bhakti band that is pushing the kirtan movement into new ground. The leader of the pack, Vijay Krsna, paused midway through […]

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