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9Nov2003. Religion discussion.  

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11Nov2003. Location 2. Stand-up promos.  

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11Nov2003. Location 2.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
8 Nov 2003

    Geography
  • India
    Uttar Pradesh
    Locality
  • Vrindavan
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 27.58389   77.7019
    Geography
  • India
    Uttar Pradesh
    Locality
  • New Delhi; Taj Mahal Hotel
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 28.60472   77.22315
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
  • SONY TCD-D8
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 20
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • x2 Sennheiser MKH 20

Show: Vrindavan India
-Interview Ranchor Prime
-last interview w/ Nandan Swami
Engineer: Flawn Williams
Date: November 8-9, 2003

Interview with Ranchor Prime

0:01 Ambi begins immediately.

0:16 RP -we're at temple of my godbro ¿ always under care of my godbro. Paramdvaiti Maharaja [sp].

AC -that's our German friend?

RP -y.

AC -this was originally temple of ¿

RP -Manipor [sp] ¿ the queen of Manipor. Built this temple.

AC -who you are, how you would like to be Ided.

RP -Ranchor, received that name from Guru 30 yrs ago. Also Richard. Bc born in Eng and brought up w/in Roman-cath trad, that's very much who I am. But around age 20 I met my guru, he gave me my name Ranchor which is a name for Krishna. Here in Vrin, that's how I'm known ¿

AC -1 thing we've trying to get clear on/explanation ¿ is to explain Hindu/Krishna consciousness. That is, we would like to know what is Hinduism and where is Krishna consciousness in that?

2:47 RP -I think that for a Hindu, Hinduism is taken for granted as the trad way of life of ppl of India that it's not perceived as religion so much as that's the way we are/have been. Only when ppl came from outside, partic from EU but also Islamic countries, that they needed to give ID to religion of ppl of India as distinct from own, that's how term Hinduism really became used. Hindus never called themselves Hs until recently when learned to do that from rest of world. ¿ Hindu trad essentially it comes out of Vedic lit. and all the stories told in those lit, many not written down till much later, passed down by word of mouth. Central to all those stories, is story of Krishna. If look at H art, see it's saturated w/ images of Krishna and Krishna consciousness is just focusing on -just focusing on Krishna bc in many ways embodies almost the essence of spiritual trad which we call H-ism.

4:52 AC -diff facets of Krishna? Vishnu [sp] -same godhead, but other aspect of personality. Correct?

5:07 RP -depends on POV, some see Vishnu as source of Krishna. Krishna as source of Vishnu. But diff aspects of same supreme being. Shiva [sp] is another aspect, and the Shiva trads, broadly called Shivism [sp]. Krishna and Vishnu trads, broadly called Vishnuism, broadly comprise H-ism, those 2. other associated trads have emanated from those.

AC -in Wern trad, we think of god as awesome/powerful magnificent figure. That is Vishnu, y?

6:08 RP -that's one part of H concept of god, y, the almighty supreme being we revere.

AC -Krishna is diff? Playful/joyous/blissful/happy. In Wern trad it's hard to see that aspect of God's personality as the first god as it were?

RP -so far as I've seen in Christian trad, there's plenty of that. But not as popular. For ex baby Jesus. It's very pop in devotional Christ. In Mystical Christ sometimes JC thought of intensely in personal ways. Krishna trad is unique bc really developed that god as well as being embodiment of all power and force and energy, god is also intimate friend. That's the starting off point for krish trad. How to make friends w/ god. How would you do that? Make friends w/ supreme being who created everything that exists. It could be a daunting concept. The Krishna devotional trad has tried to bring that w/ in grasp of ordinary human. How can I make friends w/ god?

AC -how does Krishna trad do that?

8:24 RP -well really if we go back to basics, the ¿ which is the essential teaching of H-ism, Krishna has said an unforgettable promise which he made that if you surrender to me in devotion, I will protect you, be your friend, and need have no fear. ¿

AC -I wondered how is that the Krishna trad is emphasizing. What saying to followers? I'm struck by ¿ the idea that so many ppl place primary value on these aspects of god that are somewhat a part of Christ thinking, not totally unfamiliar -monkey fight -which wouldn't be primary. Primary thinking in Christ is god is Augustine figure one could not imagine as friend. Bc afraid to have god as friend. Can't presume to have god as friend. But with Krishna, y, and those qualities seen as primary over more Augustine and powerful ¿ this is god in Wern trad, power, light, omnipotence. Those not the qualities of krish.

RP -that's right. 11:05 To appreciate Krishna, understand what that experience of Krishna is, starting point is that Krishna is supreme powerful, but that entity is extending hand and saying I want you to be my friend. What makes Vrin a special place, if you wish to learn to be friend of Krishna, come to Vrin. Either physically or at least spiritually, mentally, learn/hear about Vrin and there you find image of god as intimate friend, where he became child in arms of mother. Played w/ friends, some younger, some older than him, his boy friends, girl friends. That image of friendship w/ god has been meditated/contemplated/delved into deeply in Vrin for 1000s yrs. Tremendous trad built around that. Doesn't lose sight that this Krishna is the all powerful being, but that's not what attracts the heart. Power does attract respect, some extent devotion, but at end of day, power will not attract my love. And that's what we are seeking, everyone is seeking love.

AC -Krishna fought battles, killed evil spirits, heroic warrior, those qualities you imagine being celebrated/sung about/stuff of stories at least in trad I'm used to. Instead I hear about those things off hand from time to time, that's not the aspect of Krishna that ppl interested in.

14:01 RP -that's bc you're in Vrin. The ppl who, for many of us, that will be primary appeal. We want to feel safe and secure in hands of the all powerful so worship of krish in more majestic aspect. Also very strong element in H trads as in diff faiths of the world, and some faiths emphasize that more than others. Vrin is place ppl come who really want to develop that inner relat w/ krish. The friend. The 1 who teaches ¿ I am always w/ you in your heart. I never leave you. Although you may have forgotten all the things you ever did, I was along side you, I saw it all. And whatever is yet to come, I will still be with you, I will always be there to see everything you do. when that desire arises in the spiritual seeker's heart, that I wish to know that constant companion, who is this person who has brought me into existence and offering hand of friendship? Then you come to somewhere like Vrin and see thru those eyes of devotion, you might start to see what makes vrin special.

AC -you were 20 when discovered Krishna consciousness? How come about?

16:19 RP -I was student in art college in London, the devotees ¿ my guru had sent 6 of very early disciples from Amer which was 1st landing point in W, send them to London. They made friends w/ Beatles and recorded Hari Krishna chart, so me and all my friends used to sing Hari Krishna w/out knowing what it was. And I saw the devotees once or twice singing on kings road in Chelsea. Friend of mine invited me along, said really nice ppl, and I met them and one of those moments in life when I knew I belonged here w/ these ppl.

AC -had you had a good experience w/ cath church?

17:15 RP -y, very good, from very early age saturated w/ cath-ism. Lived in cath, was choir boy, lived w/ Benedictine monks, and I had no disillusionment whatsoever w/ roman cath. Somehow there was something that I just hadn't been touched in the way that I was when I met the Krishna ppl.

AC -how long b4 you decided to become devotee and how get there?

RP -about 3 days.

AC -that seems very quick.

18:04 RP -I just knew this is where I belonged. I was ready to just drop everything, but out of consideration for other ppl, I went to have a long discussion w/ principle of art college who told me it's a very bad idea. And I respectfully listened to him and said, I'm sorry but I must do this. And then my father suggested that I talk this over w/ the Benedictine monks. So I went on his request and stayed for a week in a Benedictine monastery not far from London, and at the end they sent me to the temple w/ their blessings.

AC -they said you should go?

18:51 RP -y, they accepted that that was the right thing for me to do.

AC -when did you first come to Vrin?

RP -that was after 5 yrs in 1975, I came to India for the 1st time, got really quite a lot of culture shock. ¿ I got very sick, got depressed bc found it a difficult place to handle.

AC -I think it is a difficult place and of course now it's not very hard to be here. Running water and can get food easily. Must have been different then?

19:41 RP -it was quite basic, didn't have a lot of facilities for Werners, it was a new idea really. For Wern pilgrims to come. Some hippies had come, but not really pilgrims in that way. But I persevered, and when I got back to the W it took a couple of yrs to digest. The experience of Vrin and over the yrs I came here from time to time until 15/20 yrs later I found myself getting deeply involved in enviro work here partly bc such a shock when I saw the divine homeland of krish being so dilapidated. ¿

AC -you were concerned about the enviro getting dilapidated here and so you began working in enviro projects and w/ the local comm. trying to

21:35 RP -the way I got involved, I was coming here as pilgrim for 10-15 yrs. Meanwhile back in ENG I started working prof-ly w/ enviros. Partic w/ WWF. On edu progs working w/ religious networks all over the world, of different faiths, how to draw on own trad teachings of nature, all religions contain powerful trads and teachings about how to live in this world in way sympathetic to nature bc part of god's trad, every religion has that. So once I started getting involved, naturally I started thinking about krish trad's relationship w/ nature so I embarked on writing book on H-ism and ecology and that brought me to vrin w/ completely fresh pair of eyes. Instead of thinking, this is the way it is and there's nothing I can do, I began thinking well why has it become dilapidated, why not looked after, and what could change things? And looked for ppl to talk to, ppl who lived here, who perhaps may have also been thinking in that way. There were not many, but I did find 1 or 2.

AC -so went on to help found group Friends of Vrin.

23:30 RP -the 1st thing we did was approach WWF in Geneva, also known as world wide fund for nature, and proposed 3 yr project based in Vrin, that would try to draw out lessons which H-ism had to teach about ecology and try to apply them. In a way that might then have positive effect on millions of pilgrims who come here so they could take away some positive lessons w/ them. And also then provide model project that could be applied elsewhere. It took some persuading bc WWF is enviro org, they're not religious project, so they had to be persuaded this was not religious project, but project about caring for nature, and they were persuaded and it was funded and in the end we went for 5 yrs. Then naturally the funding came to an end and we started our own charity to continue that work which is called friends of Vrin. Raising money in W to continue supporting work here, and we've had our ups and downs, I didn't think it was going to be simple and it's going to take a generation, 2 generations to turn tide I think, but I do believe it will be turned, it's not just us, there are many ppl taking up this work and as we nurse the burden/stress which is largely bc of increasing pop -in the last 50 yrs the pop of India has tripled. Prob the pop of Vrin has multiplied by more, so that creates huge pressures and it's going to take a long time, but as the pressure increases so does the urgency to find solution.

AC -Vrin is a town that followers believe is sacred/holy/place of Krishna? But in many other ways it's like other comms that I've seen in developing countries or 3rd world, full of poor ppl for whom the enviro is not a consideration. They don't have city services/infrastructure. For all its holiness and wealth you can see here from centuries past, its present day circumstance is not very good in terms of all those things that make a comm. function in a way that really comms everywhere need to function these days. You need to have sewage treatment/clean drinking water, decent schools, electrical power grid, trash removal, all those things. Very hard to get those. There are devel projects all over the world trying to do that and having a difficult time.

27:25 RP -Vrin is perhaps an extreme example, but nevertheless a fairly typical one of what I would call pilgrimage town syndrome. Large #s of ppl, and could be tourists, attracted to a spot bc of the special nature of that spot. They come in large #s and by their very coming, they threaten that special nature. It's that contradictory, paradox which comms are faced w/ all over the world: how do you maintain the sanctity of a place where millions of ppl are coming, and there have to be compromises. Places in EU, Lourdes for ex, have worked that out over centuries ¿. Vrin is really just beginning now to recognize this is an issue, many places over India that are prob not that different. It's a whole set of planning and gov't issues which need to be addressed here. It will be sorted out here. It's important that it is bc ppl come here ultimately for spiritual inspiration, either they come bc they want to increase their faith in Krishna, to grow spiritually or they come bc have faith in Krishna, love Krishna, and want to be nearer. So either way, it is tremendously important that get positive experience while here. It will happen.

AC -you've brought your son here 10 yrs ago and showed him vrin.

29:34 RP -when my son 9 yrs old, we came tog, that's when I was writing the book, and I stayed here for a couple of months and I brought him w/ me and he was deeply disappointed bc he'd been brought up from the beginning of life to imagine Krishna in this beautiful forest playing w/ cows and he couldn't understand at all what he was seeing. He could explain it, I could try and rationally explain why things are like they are to an adult, but you can't explain that to a 9 yr old. That was upsetting to see the effect that visit had on my 9 yr old son which is the major reason that inspired me to trying to commit myself to doing something?

AC -has he been back to Vrin?

RP -No, he's 23 now. He has no plans to come here at the moment.

AC -to see ¿ Krishna?

30:39 RP -he believes in Krishna, he's not overtly a Krishna devotee but in his heart he certainly believes in K.

AC -after life beliefs. As someone who was Christian, and fairly deep so, stayed in monasteries and deep religious background, how possible to change ideas about something so fundamental about the afterlife, something we all think about, part of human nature to think about?

31:40 RP -wasn't really a change for me bc I had always believed in reincarnation, it seemed the sensible thing for me, I just intuitively felt, believed in reality of reinc b4 heard about it from anyone. I could never really accept concept of eternal hell. Made no sense to me at all. When I first read ¿ when I was 20 yrs old, just stumbled across it in local library, it made a lot of sense to me, and I felt how wonderful that here is the voice of the same god that I've always had faith in, but telling me something more. ¿ I didn't feel that this was a different voice than in the gospels of Jesus Christ. Just another lesson to be learned.

AC -this is the same god as in gospels of JC?

32:58 RP -I heard in my mind the same voice speaking as I had heard in the bible and in new testament, I heard the same voice speaking to me as Krishna in ¿ It didn't occur to me that this is, oh this is another god. Never thought that for one moment. I was so glad that having confirmed to me by this divine voice what I had always felt to be true.

AC -when you were thinking of making transition from Christianity to following Krishna, you father told you to stay w/ some monks for a while, did you tell them that this voice was the same voice?

33:49 RP -I had a wonderful time staying w/ the Benedictines, this is at Werth Abbey in Sussex, while they were saying their morning rosary, I was chanting Krishna on my beads and I took long walks w/ most monks in the comm. and talked over my decision and told them that I really feel god is calling me to do this. At end of a week, the abbot of the monastery heard that I was planning to go back to the temple, so he asked to see me, he said that some of the monks have come to me and suggested that Richard is going to join krish temple, we would like to have prayer vigil thru the night to pray for his soul bc we're worried. And abbot said I told them there's no need to worry bc he's doing the right thing, and he said if I was your age, I'd do the same [laughs]. So I never felt any conflict at all btwn -bc ultimately the important thing JC was teaching us was to love god. By loving god you can love one another, and that's exactly the same that krish teaches. No need to be any conflict whatsoever, in my mind.

35:22 Brief moment of ambi. until 35:35

AC -as a follower of Krishna, when you live daily life now, are you thinking of this life or next life?

35:47 RP -I try to live in present, don't plan too much for future. I remember what krish says in ¿ which is that I am always, I am everywhere, and if you think of me, you will see me everywhere. At all times. I will never leave you. Krishna says he's in everything. In taste of water, light of sun, in every breath I breath, he's in you, in me, in one sense, it's not a huge priority for me where krish may take me in future, here and now is what matters. If in this present moment, I remember Krishna, then I'm w/ him.

36:49 Pause until 36:56

AC -I only ask bc ppl have spoken to me about next life/desire to evolve and that comes thru one's deeds ¿ Nandan who said ¿I don't think about next life, I just try to live this life as well as I can.¿

37:30 RP -I do trust in K's words, K says, always think of me, devote your every action to me, whatever one has to do in life. We all have various responsibilities, whatever it is, if you're a family person, artist. Always think of me, devote your actions to me, and you will come to me. I promise you K's words are I promise you, bc you're my friend, I promise you. If you think of me, you will come to me. So in terms of the future, that's the guiding light. How it happens is beyond my control. But I do trust in K in that sense.

AC -offer a prayer for us?

38:55 RP -I'll offer a prayer for me which is ¿ that K will increase my faith and love in him. Prayer for you that your heart will be open and K will speak to you. In this very special place at this very special time.

40:03 Room tone for Ranchor interview. Until 41:20

RP -Ranchor Das [sp] means servant of Krishna, and Ranchor means person not willing to, in Krish's case, not willing to fight on this one occasion. One celebrated occasion, did not want to fight, left battlefield w/out fighting, so called Ranchor, who leaves the battlefield w/out fighting. That's me [laughs].

Split track w/ Mkh 20s.

Stopping down and converting back to surround. Resuming interview, final interview, w/ Nandan. In courtyard at MVT. Split track Mkh 20s, Nandan on left, Alex on right.

Final Interview with Nandan Swami

43:39 NS -I am NS ¿ Vrindavan.

AC -same that we've spoken to 2wice before.

NS -I have 2 spiritual masters, ¿ and ¿

45:37 NS -on reincarnation and afterlife, would like to say something. Our spirit soul is immortal, according to spiritual realizations, after life there exist different kinds of lives which include humans, pre-demi gods, on one hand, on other water/land creatures, beasts, birds, insects, worms, etc. a person or individual spirit soul takes about as a living being in accordance w/ law of karma and past activities, guided by results of past activities, he just ¿ into specific kind of life as he deserves.

AC -one might become bird, beast, worm.

NS -can become according to past activities if one deserves so then one can also take part in those ¿ of life. Sometimes some little predictions about one's next life can also be made based on ¿ astrological chart and present life activity. Yet it's imposs in general to make total prediction bc that can only be made by supreme god, omniscient reality, and his realized devotees. Side by side of course by engaging in spiritual/devotional practices, one can directly get liberation from worldly bondage of limited lives and just to get a blessed entrance ¿ 49:02 side by side by engaging in spiritual/devotional practices one can also get liberation from bondage, worldly, of limited lives just to get blessed entrance into finest/blissful life or transcendence and eternity in relat to Radah [sp] Krishna in the abode [sp] which is called supreme heaven by another name, ¿ Vrindavan.

AC -Nandan, could you read from ¿ prob you can recite entire thing. Is there something you can say as prayer ¿ in relat to something that's prayerful that you would like to say or specifically to afterlife or life cycle ¿

50:35 Pause/ambi until 50:59, and 51:05-51:56, (ambi of monkeys), 52:19-52:32.

NS -I'm not directly familiar w/ this translation, pause/ambi 52:39-53:55. ¿ says something about life and death, but others won't understand, also written in very classical old ENG so whole book is. ¿ Early translation. ¿ Another ambi pause until 57:35. Now going to read from ¿ Gida [sp] relating to spirit, spirit soul. ¿ second chapter. 58:04 Krishna says, never the spirit was born, the spirit shall cease to be never, never was time it was not, end and beginning are dreams, birthless and deathless and changeless remained the spirit forever. Death has not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems. Who know it, exhaustless, self-sustained, immortal, indestructible, ¿ I have killed a man or cause to kill. Nay, but as when one laid his own ¿ and taking new ones, said, this will I were today, so put lightly by spirit, ¿ and past to inherit a residence ¿

59:19 AC -thank you.

59:42 NS -he's describing about nature of spirit soul and how yogi becomes astounded just catching a glimpse of spirit soul. 59:56 Wonderful, wistful to contemplate; difficult, doubtful to speak upon. Strange and great for tongue to relate. Mystical hearing for everyone, nor would man this. What a marvel it is when seeing, saying, and hearing are done.

FW -from pgs 8-9 from Alex's edition of pagada gida [sp].

AC -observation that degree of devotion expressed by devotees different than devotion in our own culture. Ppl so excited/thrilled to see icon when revealed, to see deity. Joyfulness/excitement and that kind of devotion ¿ it just seems a different degree of devotion than we commonly see [NS -true].

1:01:47 NS - The quality of devotion/al love you find in those ppl yesterday in temple are just natural and spontaneous. Bc it's not just bc of Indian culture, but also bc of inner nature of heart. They feel devotional love to ¿ and Krishna they have eternal relationship, somehow instinctively feeling they have eternal relat w/ them, they are all the supreme beloved ultimate destinations. The destinations of all fulfillment, destinations ¿ of all inner hankerings ¿ therefore they always feel natural loving relat w/ divine god and goddess, krish and radhani [sp].

AC -if I went to a temple where vishnu was the central deity, would you see the same kind of excitement and joyfulness on part of ppl there?

1:03:34 NS -It depends. Vishnu devotee will feel in similar way. Depending on who is devotee of which form of god. A krish devotee can also feel great joy by looking at Vishnu deity. In spiritual tongue, we say having ¿ of a Vishnu deity in relation to Krishna. But not w/out feeling relat to krish. That's the difference. But direct Vishnu devotee will feel devotional joy in relat to Vishnu, similar to how krish devotee, or radha [sp] devotee feels spontaneous devotional joy in relat to radha and krish, bc ultimately devotees know that they're ¿ that means ¿ just one wholesome truth whether Vishnu or radha krish. Krishna devotees also feel Vishnu is another extension of Radha Krishna, specifically Krishna.

1:05:11 Ambi until 1:05:23, then again until 1:06:46
(monkeys?)/birds (of the type that were so active during interview w/ school admin lady the other day, maybe helpful in masking any edits)

AC -he wants to offer description of heaven.

1:07:16 NS -there where every word is a song, every step of walking is a dance, the air filled w/ fragrance of flowers, river always flowing w/ nectarine water, every glance of everyone expresses love and affection to each other. Land is made of fertile soil as well as different gems and full of joyful singing of birds and sportive activity of other natural animals, where everyone ¿ their ecstatic life in relation to divine god and goddess, krish and radhica [sp]. That is known as supreme heaven. In other words ¿ the abode of Radhai [sp] and krish.

1:08:39 Ambi, (monkeys?)/birds big time at 1:13:23, until 1:15:24. Again 1:15:59.

1:16:36 FW -picking up on Tues., 11th of Nov in Delhi at Taj Mahal hotel. AC going to read tracks, final voicer, and Delhi ambi as well. Twin Mkh 20 mics, twin omni stereo, left channel, right channel.

1:17:06 Street ambi, mic test, left channel, right channel, 2 at once. Level check.

Alex's Tracking on Delhi Street

1:17:49 AC -I left heaven the day b4 yesterday w/ a bad cold. A lot of ppl are coughing there. They blame the dust. Sometimes it's like powder in afternoon sun. ¿

Tracks from Vrin-Delhi close. 1:18:14 AC -Delhi: India's capital. Officially 10 million ppl, but certainly several million more in reality. I left heaven the day before yesterday w/ a bad cold. A lot of ppl are coughing there. They blame the dust. Sometimes it's like powder in the afternoon sun. or the air tastes like cinders from an open fire burning rubbish. ¿

1:18:44 AC -Or the air tastes like cinders from an open fire of burning rubbish. It's not healthy. I saw the street pigs rooting in a clogged gutter up to their bellies in sewage. I saw a 2 yr old boy squatting to shit on the side of the road.

1:19:00 AC -I saw the street pigs swilling in a clogged gutter up to their bellies in sewage. I saw a 2 yr old boy squatting to shit on the side of the road. But what I'll remember from Vrindavan is the last night at Rataraman [sp] temple. My friend Flawn was making a surround sound recording. I rigged 4 mics to a tripod base and raised them up over our heads where they listened to the commotion, prayers, chants, songs. There were electric lights, bare bulbs on a wire strung from one side of the temple to the other, but the space was not well lit. Some of the devotees settled cross-legged where they could find open space in the middle of the room. Others walked and walked the perimeter, the better to embrace Krishna. The surface of the cool marble floor was worn dim by bare feet passing away centuries. It got crowded, especially

1:20:01 AC -It got crowded, especially at the front of the temple where there was a raised platform like a stage. Ppl focused on a tall pair of gold doors at the back of it. Krishna was behind them. Krishna, or an icon of him. There was no difference to the devotees.

1:20:29 AC -It got crowded, especially at the front of the

1:20:33 AC -It got crowded, especially at the front of the temple where there was a raised platform like a stage. Ppl focused on a tall pair of gold doors at the back of it. Krishna was behind them. Krishna, or an icon of him. There was no difference to the devotees. They lit candles and threw offerings: rupees, flower petals, leaves from the sacred tulsee [sp] plant. Sometimes a priest would emerge to collect them, and the devotees would tense w/ anticipation. This was an auspicious sign.

1:21:04 AC -This was an auspicious sign. Now a priest is on the stage again. He wears a saffron colored robe around his waist. It covers his legs to the floor, but otherwise he's naked. The gold doors look heavy; he leans into them, pushes them, until they swing inward and reveal a curtain pulled across an opening.

1:22:06 AC -Now a priest is on the stage again. He wears a saffron colored robe around his waist. It covers his legs to the floor, but otherwise he's naked. The gold doors look heavy; he leans into them, pushes them, until they swing inward and reveal a curtain pulled across an opening. The moment expands to fill

1:22:33 AC -he leans into them, pushes them, until they swing inward and reveal only a curtain pulled across an opening. The moment expands to fill all the space the temple holds. It feels as though the roof will lift, until the priest, merciful at last, draws the curtain away. The deity is seated on a silver throne and cloaked in a robe. I think I can see jewels and pearls, but the light is bad. And the first time you see Krishna, he's not what you expect. The figure is black stone, marble I guess. It's no more than 6 inches high. It's nearly lost in the folds of maroon and saffron. I can't even tell if it's carved. But to the devotees, it's rapturous splendor. They surge forward; they raise their faces; they raise their arms; they raise the sense of a deep, shared, harmonious bliss; and they look so happy.

1:23:49 AC -Then the priest pulls the curtain back across the opening and the doors to Krishna close. The burst of energy slowly drains away, and in the next few minutes, so do most of the devotees, passing back through a small doorway that leads outside. The space in the temple shrinks back to human scale. The devotees

1:24:11 AC -The devotees who still remain, a dozen or so, seem a little dazed, as though they've woken from sleep and found themselves here in the temple, and they don't know whether to stay or go. After a while they

1:24:28 AC -After a while the devotees settle in stillness back to the floor and they wait, watching the raised doors that conceal Krishna. Other devotees are coming in now too. Slowly, the temple begins to fill again.

1:24:46 AC -After a while they settle in stillness back to the floor and they wait, watching the raised doors that conceal Krishna. Other devotees are coming in now too. Slowly, the temple begins to fill again. For the National Geographic ¿Radio Expeditions,¿ this is Alex Chadwick, on the geography of Heaven.

1:25:13 AC -For ¿Radio Expeditions,¿ this is Alex Chadwick, on the geography of heaven.

1:25:21 AC -For ¿Radio Expeditions,¿ this is Alex Chadwick.

1:25:26 AC -For ¿Radio Expeditions,¿ this is Alex Chadwick, in Delhi.

1:25:57 AC -For ¿Radio Expeditions,¿ this is Alex Chadwick, NPR News.

1:27:12 AC -Delhi, India's capital city. Officially 10 million ppl, but certainly several million more than that.

1:27:26 AC -Delhi.

1:27:32 AC -India's capital city, Delhi. Officially 10 million ppl live here -actually several million more than that. I left heaven the day before yesterday w/ a bad cold. A lot of ppl are coughing there. They blame the dust. Sometimes it's like powder in the afternoon sun. Or the air tastes like cinders from an open fire of burning rubbish.

1:28:01 AC -Delhi, India's capital city. Officially 10 million ppl live here

1:28:10 AC -Delhi, India's capital city.

1:28:15 AC -Delhi, India's capital city. 10 million ppl live here by official numbers, but probably many million more actually do.

1:28:35 AC - Delhi, India's capital city. 10 million ppl here, officially, but in actuality

1:28:45 AC - Delhi, India's capital city. Population 10 million, officially. Actually several million more than that. I left heaven the day before yesterday w/ a bad cold. A lot of ppl are coughing there. They blame the dust. Sometimes it hangs like powder in the afternoon sun. Or the air tastes like cinders from an open fire of burning rubbish. It's not healthy. I saw the street pigs rooting in a clogged gutter up to their bellies in sewage. I saw a 2 yr old boy squatting to shit on the side of the road. But what I'll remember from Vrindavan is the last night at Rataraman [sp] temple.

1:29:56 AC -We've come to Delhi, India's capital city. Official population, 10 million. ¿ Actual population, several million more than that. I left heaven the day before yesterday w/ a bad cold. A lot of ppl are coughing there. They blame the dust. Sometimes it hangs like powder in the afternoon sun. ¿ Or the air tastes like cinders from an open fire of burning rubbish. It's not healthy. I saw the street pigs rooting in a clogged gutter up to their bellies in sewage. I saw a 2 yr old boy squatting to shit on the side of the road. But what I'll remember from Vrindavan is the last night at Rataraman [sp] temple.

1:30:56 AC -But what I'll really remember from Vrindavan is the last night at Rataraman [sp] temple.

1:31:04 AC -But what I'll really remember from Vrindavan is the last night when we went to the Rataraman [sp] temple.

1:31:17 AC -was the last night when we went to the Rataraman [sp] temple.

1:32:59 Ambi for Alex's tracking on Delhi street.

1:36:18 Closer to traffic. until 1:40:03

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