The photo above always happens to me in India. This is at Kovvur, and these two guys are not Baba-lovers. They are day laborers from Rajamundry who were hired to dismantle the infrastructure for the program such as the pandal, stage, etc. Murali (meaning flute, an attribute of Krishna) on my right is already a young gentleman, and I think he probably didn’t really need the work, but he just wanted to find out what was going on at this program. But because of caste divisions, no one would talk to these guys but me, and we had very little English in common.
Datta on the left is another case altogether. Datta is short for Dattatreya (दत्तात्रेय), a diety that has three heads, one each for Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. People who belong to this diety seem often to be difficult. That white spot in his mustache is a couple of his teeth, he has a harelip. Datta’s opening move with me was to threaten to attack me with an iron bar (a typical murder weapon in India.) But I was so full of the good vibes from the program and the Godavari River that I just laughed in his face. That threw him for a loop, but ten minutes later he was back, having decided that he wanted to be my friend. India is like that. The heart really is king there, and when it comes to the commoners, you can accomplish anything with sincerity, even if you don’t know the language. (I have no Telugu).
That mudra that Datta is using, with his right hand over my left shoulder, is a gesture of protection. This is the kind of thing that money can’t buy in India, and it means a fundamental affinity. In my opinion, Datta is something that only exists in India: a human being that knows that he is designed by God and nature to serve others, and when he gives his loyalty, it is for life. If Datta ever boils up in Maharashtra Pradesh in search of me, I will hire him as a body guard, and require him to be armed and dangerous at all times, and will continue to pay him even when I’m not in India.
Above and left: (click images to enlarge) My best girl, the Godavari River, and the Goddess thereof, Godavari Mata. This depiction of the Goddess is unique to Kovvur, and I think it is by far the most beautiful representation of her. Why is the Goddess gold? I think it reflects the fantastic wealth of the lower Godavari river basin, which is the rice bowl of India and probably a good part of the Middle East.
I bathed in the sacred Godavari River in Rajahmundry, at the ISKON (Hare Krishna) Temple there, at the invitation of a Hare Krishna guru who saw me looking at her. I think he recognized the symptoms.
What Ganges River? I have already been accepted by Godavari Mata, and now I am afraid to anger her by going to another sacred river. In the past, when I crossed the Ganges, the only result of it was close to 2,000 years of suffering in Central Asia and China. I should have stayed with the Goddess that was mine to start with, and then I would have continued to be happy.
जाय मेहेर बाबा Jai Meher Baba,