Sunday, August 9, 2009

2009 08 09. Sunday.

At 2am I was woken up by something like a fan with a really loud ball bearing problem. I turned off my fan to see if that was it. It wasn't. I dragged my sleepy butt out of bed and went down the hall and the sound stopped. When I got back to my room it started up again. Turns out it was some kind of bug. A really loud bug! Wow. It kept me awake for a long time. Finally it moved away or became quiet. Jeez. Seems like the universe doesn't want me to get a decent night's sleep these days. Amma's putting me through some kind of test. Sigh...

This morning after breakfast I was talking with Murtena about some seva issues. The fake American sadhu (I'll call him "Odyan") jumped in all excited to tell me that Krishna's birthday is being celebrated later on this week. I tried to be polite and said something like "Cool. Thanks for telling me." and then turned to continue my conversation with Murtena. Odyan kept jumping in all excited and telling me details I didn't need to know. Somehow I finished my talk with Murtena in spite of Odyan's pestering. A few days ago I told Odyan that I have a deep feeling for Krishna. He latched on to this for some reason and now apparently thinks I'm like a crazy Hari Krishna or something. Curious guy. I try to avoid him when he's around. But I try to be polite when he corners me.

Later in the morning I stopped by the compost area to get something. Jagadan shows up with some Indian man and is giving him a tour of the area. They asked me some questions and it turns out the man is a member of the Indian national parliament. The equivalent of a US Congressman. Wow. The guy's name is Bishnu Pada Raj. He was very interested in the compost and wants to encourage it in his district. What really surprised me was that Bishnu didn't have any assistants with him. He was alone with Jagadan. That struck me as very unusual for a politician at his level. Usually they're always surrounded by some staff. Bishnu was very interested in getting in contact with Peter Ash about the composting project.

Amma was giving darshan in the big hall today so there are lots of different bhajan singers performing all day. I was having lunch at 1pm and I heard this male start singing. Wow! He had a really good voice. Really really good. I asked around and found out his name is Bhupender Singh Bajaj (a Sikh). I'll have to see if he has any recordings on the internet for sale.

I got the compost area around 2pm and Lakshmi the elephant was standing nearby. She reached out over the fence and grabbed a big leaf from a palm tree in the neighbor's yard. Then one of Lakshmi's Indian handlers came running up and started beating her on the leg with a stick. Lakshmi started to trumpet and tried to get away. I felt sad and scared to see Lakshmi get beat like that. I'm guessing that she needs proper discipline but seeing her get beat was disturbing.

Rich Devotee Alert: Found out something kind of disturbing today. All the sewage from the ashram goes untreated right into the backwaters. Wow. That is a serious issue in my book. I always assumed it was being treated in some way. That is a lot of pollution going right into the backwaters. Especially when Amma speaks so much about living in harmony with the environment. Peter Ash a while back spoke about getting an anaerobic digester that could process all the ashram food waste and sewage. It would output methane for cooking and finished compost for the gardens and plants. A prefect win-win if it works the way he described. If any wealthy devotees are reading this, get together and lets explore getting an anaerobic digester. Peter Ash is very well regarded and well liked by the senior swamis. I may ask him if he could ask Amma about this.

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