Memories of Mela at Barsana Dham

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Kripaluji Maharaj Satsangee

May 1, 2010, 7:32:44 AM5/1/10
to Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Memories of Mela at Barsana Dham
Posted by Beth at 9:49 PM

One of the largest Hindu Temple complexes in North America, Barsana
Dham is a savory treat every spring with its fluttering fields of red
poppies bowing in the wind. Under the most perfect azure sky, we were
greeted by hundreds of rose bushes abounding in blooms--an astonishing
gift from Mother Nature after our unusually difficult winter of
extended freezes.

The word mela means fair, and every year near the last weekend of
April, throngs gather for this festive welcome to spring and wander
the open air shopping bazaar, win prizes playing games, ride in a
Clydesdale-drawn carriage, pose for a fast flourish of mehndi flowers,
and wince while excited children batter the rabbits, chickens, and
baby pigs at the petting zoo.

One special treat of the fair is sampling the authentic dishes they
prepare. To dine in their indoor cafeteria, you plop your shoes
outside on racks or in piles and cross the threshold barefooted into
an exotic world of sultry, spicy cuisine. From their Northern and
Southern India menu options, we bought and shared a variety of
vegetarian specialities including crisp roti, dosas, lentils, and
rice. We drank the thick and satisfying mango lassis, black pepper
lemonade, falooda (rose milk), and chai. For dessert we nibbled on
gulab jamun, fried milk balls in a rosewater and sugar syrup flavored
with cardamom seeds.

On the performance stage, a kaleidoscope of stunning saris swirled
about on the colorfully swathed dancers. Both traditional and modern
songs vibrated across the grounds, with the audience nodding in rhythm
as an ensemble of young performers pounded out a Bollywood hip-hop
routine to “Jai Ho,” the theme from the film "Slumdog Millionaire."
Jai ho roughly translates as “victory to thee,” and its jubilance
perfectly lifted the day's spirit.

What do you consider a really great reason for not staying home? What
recent adventure taught you more about yourself? Where does your
Discoverer self lead you?

It was a challenge to stay clear of the roving acrobats on stilts, but
I’m glad we stepped out of our homes and transported ourselves to
India for the day. In coming together, we learn that we are far less
separate than we may have believed.

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