A friend of mine, Emina, asked me, ‘What do you do?’ I don’t know why, but I had to think about it for a while (I am fairly busy believe it or not). ‘What did you do today?’, she asked. An easier question. I didn’t have to think. ‘I went to the market to buy vegetables and other goods for our food stalls’, I said. ‘Oh, and I was uploading pictures from my camera to my hard-drive.’

‘What do you do to become happy?’ I pondered this question a while, then gave my answer, ‘Well, I chant Hare Krishna.’ But then I thought that was not a complete answer. ‘Before I became a devotee I used to drink and smoke. And I had radical mood swings. But I stopped that after some time and I also became a vegetarian. Since then I stopped having mood swings. And the chanting also helps, of course’. I proceeded to tell her a story from my book distribution days in Cape Town. The one day I was distributing books in St. George’s Mall. It was a cold winter’s day. I wasn’t feeling that great. In fact, I thought I must have looked miserable. Then a person came up to me and said, ‘You look so happy!’ When I got back to the Temple I reflected on the day’s occurrences and realized that although I had not been in a particularly joyful mood, I was happier than most of the people around me. The gauge for this happiness was my former tendency to manic-depression and not a sense of smugness or superiority.

So what have I been up to? Well, on Thursday we had our vegetarian food stall at the Killarney Fine Food Market, which I helped set up with Arne from 9-10:30am, and I went out distributing spiritual literatures with Rupa Raghunatha Prabhu from 10:30-4:45pm. Friday, after two hours of chanting, I also sold books and raised funds at Sandton City, 10:30am to 5pm. On Saturday we went to the Yoga Camp at Zoo Lake and conducted a little Harinama Sankirtan (processional chanting with traditional musical instruments) from 9:30-11:30am, with Lerato doing firedancing and Poobal playing sax. Gaura Shakti and I taught our third session of our Vegetarian Cooking course from 12-3pm the same day. In the evening, I cooked kichari. Rupa and I took kichari with nkomasi (a kind of yoghurt), lemon and rotis. Sunday was Blu Bird Wholefood Market, prashadam distribution, followed by a simple Sunday Programme at the Vedic City project. Rupa and I went out on Sakirtan again, this time to Clear Water Mall. Rupa spoke, and the last of our guests left by around 7pm.

Monday, giving out kichari to my friends at David Krut, admin and a talk at the University of Johannesburg 11am-2pm. The talk was very nice as there was a good turnout of intelligent, spiritually inquiring youth. We then chatted with the devotee students and Nandarani, at Nandarani’s office. I bought some soya burgers and we had burgers and salad, and a cold drink. Went on facebook for a while and posted some e-mails. This morning we chanted from 5:30 for two hours, performed some worship and conducted a little class (this is our routine when we don’t have markets). I made some important calls and went online to see if there was any news of the consignment of books I ordered from America and received a call from Steve Newman, the accomplished guitarist and fellow yogi (we are going to have lunch at the ashram on Friday). I went to the market at 9:45 with Gaura Shakti, returned around 1pm, mooched around the hood a bit, went online, uploaded photos, chatted to Emina and now I am finishing this blog. Hare Krishna.

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