Sadhu Sanga, Hong Kong Style

Today my wife and I were invited to a special program at the home of Sriman Jaya Krishna Prabhu and his wife  Vrindarani Devi.

Here we all are.

sadhu sanga

I was asked to read from my book “The Great Transcendental Adventure”.

One of the threads of discussion  was “Accidental Disagreements” between devotees and how to deal with them. I explained how the word ‘accidental’ was very significant in describing the occasional ‘falling out’ between devotees, and likened it to Srila Prabhupada’s description of ‘accidental’ falldown in his Bhaktivedanta Purport to Bhagavad-gita 9.30.

Here’s an excerpt that I read (via my translator Bhavatarini dd, pictured above, bottom row, second to left) from the  letter Srila Prabhupada wrote to Bali Mardan concerning the disagreements between himself and Upendra in the early days of Australian Iskcon.

My Dear Bali Mardan and Upendra,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated by Post 5th May, 1970.

So it is very encouraging that people are coming to the extent of 40 heads, and they are trying to understand the importance of this great movement, and any sane man will be able to understand that. But I do not know why our students who are supposed to be the leaders of this movement will fight amongst themselves for supremacy. Our whole process is of surrendering.

We are taught to address others as Prabhu. Prabhu means master; and the leader of the masters is called Prabhupada. So if the Prabhus have surrendered to the Prabhupada, why there shall be such mentality of occupying the superior position? This is contradictory.
Kindly stop this unnecessary misunderstanding.

Both Upendra and yourself are competent and experienced, so please adjust your disagreement amongst your selves. It is my request. As a matter of fact, as you are the pioneer in taking all risks to go to Australia, naturally you shall be considered as the leader, but a leader’s position is also very grave and responsible. A leader has to lead others very tactfully and intelligently. Kindly therefore do not quarrel, but go on with your duties progressively.

We have to gather our strength by chanting the beads sixteen rounds regularly and praying to the lotus feet of Krsna for guidance.
I hope both of you will kindly follow my instruction and forget if there is any accidental disagreement.

Hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Jaya Krishna and his wife maintain a wonderful spiritual atmosphere in their small government apartment . Tulasi devi grows resplendently up on the balcony of the 19th floor.

Vrindarani is a spectacular cook, and the lunch  (Thai, Chinese and Western fusion) was one of the nicest I have tasted in a very long time.

tulasi

 

Out and About in Kowloon, Part One

On Monday we visited one of the most popular snack shops in Hong Kong, Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong 公和荳品廠 , which means the Kung Wo Tofu Factory.

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Kung Wo is based in Sham Shui Po on Pei Ho Street. It specialises in Tofu snacks, especially the “Tofu Fa”- its most celebrated dish.

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Here’s some pictures of Tofu Fa, the factory out back (note the huge tofu presses filled with many kilos of ultra-fresh tofu) , the vat of Tofu Fa, and the frying operation out front.

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Our host Vishakha recommended the Tofu Fa, which is a warm silky tofu custard with syrup.

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I am not usually a fan of silken tofu, but this was like eating warm sweet clouds. Impressive.

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They make the tofu out the back in the factory, while out front of shop they make fried tofu snacks and sell all sorts of Tofu products.

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Out and About in Kowloon, Part Two

This post is dedicated to Antony Brennan, a dedicated purveyor of fine food porn. That was meant in the nicest way, Antony.

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Above: The Two of Us

Yesterday my wife Dhira Lalita and myself, with our host Vishaka, visited the Three Virtues Restaurant on Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon.

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Above: Dhira and Vishakha.

The images speak for themselves. Strictly vegetarian.
Highly recommended.

glutinous rice

Above: Glutinous Rice steamed in Taro Leaves.

yum

Can’t recall name

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More delights.

satay

Vegetarian Satay


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Heavenly Mango Pudding

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Dish of the Day

yum

Something tasty.


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Tea for Two

 

Sankirtana of Saint Tukarama

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Saint Tukarama was the most famous of all Maharashtrian saints. He lived during the seventeenth century, and over the last three hundred years his devotional influence has been deeply felt by the local people. His poems, the 4,500 verses known as the Abhangas, have become part of the public memory of Maharashtra. They are sung in every village and every home.

Tukarama preached throughout his life, exhorting his countrymen to take to the path of bhakti, devotional service. His language was so simple and down to earth that even the most simple villagers understood it completely.

 Srila Prbhupada writes Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 9.282

“in the city of Pandarapura is situated on the river Bhima. It is said that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu initiated Tukarama when He visited Pandarapura, and thus Tukarama became His disciple. Tukarama Acarya became very famous in the Maharashtra province, and he spread the sankirtana movement all over the province. The sankirtana party belonging to Tukarama is still very popular in Bombay and throughout the province of Maharashtra. Tukarama’s book is known as Abhanga. His sankirtana party exactly resembles the Gaudiya-Vaisnava sankirtana parties, for they chant the holy name of the Lord with mrdanga and karatalas.”

Here’s a nice bhajan about Saint Tukarama’s Sankirtan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEPNjN1urMw

Kicking Back in Kwai Chung

View from our window
View from our window

My wife and I are snugly ensconced in our apartment in Hong Kong’s New Territories. For the  month ahead I’m booked for lectures, readings from my biographical tome “The Great Transcendental Adventure”, a fund-raising dinner and cookery classes.  And then…stay tuned for the Magical Mystery Tour.