We launched HARI HARI’S VEGETARIAN OASIS at THE CODFATHER VILLAGE 1 1st Avenue, Morningside, Sandton, on Monday the 7th of December with a spiritually inspiring concert by devotional singing sensation KARNAMRITA DASI.

My dear friend Rupa-Raghunatha prabhu said something very pertinent to me on the day of the concert. He said that a lot of people think spiritual life is about themselves; spiritual life is, in actual fact, about everybody. And Karnamrita proved that with her open heart and her all-inclusive wisdom. Karnamrita was most gracious. She encouraged me by saying that, for a brahmacari, I had great sensitivity to detail. Karnamrita liked the venue: ‘It was sattvic, romantic, peaceful and private’.

Rocky informed me that his guest, a young muslim girl who is interested in Krishna consciousness, postponed her flight to hear the concert. Another gentleman, Kishan, saw Karnamrita’s picture on the flyer and could tell from her face and hand gestures that this was a very accomplished artist in the Indian Classical tradition. Our original intention was to host a small concert and restaurant launch, but there was so much interest in the concert that I had to, unfortunately, turn people away. It was a sell-out.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude, first and foremost, to Karnamrita Dasi. I honestly think you are the next major force in contemporary music. In saying this, I wish you well in your career. May you carry the wealth of Bhakti to whomever you may meet.

I would like to thank Robyn Higgins, from the Organic Markets, for always being there for us and for having faith in our ablilities. I would like to thank George and Mary-Anne Sinovich of “The Codfather” for providing the facility for “Hari Hari’s” and for providing the wonderful facility for the concert. I would to thank Mortaza Morton for encouraging us to arrange concerts for Karnamrita in Johannesburg. I would also like to thank Gaura Sakti Das, Jacques, Mukesh and Jerry for supporting Karnamrita musically. Rupa, you did a wonderful job as MC. And, thank you for fetching Karnamrita from Lenasia. Jacques, I would also thank you for providing the sound on a day’s notice (I’d also like to extend that thanks to Matthew Fink of The Black Hotels).

I would like to thank all the cooks and kitchen crew for providing wonderful snacks: Gaura Sakti, Madhumangal, Nicole, Vinodhani, Arne, Hansa, Estelle and Karabo. Thank you, Pralambari, for moral support and helping with everything. I would also like to thank Mary-Anne and her staff for assisting us on the night. I would like to thank Anil, Raj and Mala for sponsoring the greenpeppers for the kebabs and butternut for the pakoras. Thank you Urvashi and her husband for sponsoring the wonderful watermelons! Thank you, Charlie, for the wonderful sign-board. I am so stoked with the sign! It made my year! Thanks, Karabo, for the customized aprons. Thanks to the Zoo Lake club for loaning us their cushions; to Mynhart for pick-up, delivery and dry-clean (at discount); and to Paul for helping transport them from the venue (and for transporting the sign to the restaurant). Thank you, Rocky, for your constant support and encouragement. Thank you Prem-Kishore for your consistent friendship, emotional support and encouragement. The same applies to my dear friends and mentors, Govardhana and Tribhanga prabhus. Thanks to all our friends and well-wishers for being there (including you, Teresa). It is your journey too! Thank you all for a stratospheric launch!

All I can say is that Karnamrita’s concert was very touching and very soulful. She has actually re-infused my spiritual life with faith and spiritual longing and, for that, I am most grateful.

My facebook status summed up the concert for me: ‘Beaming faces/Nice to see/Karnamrita/Ecstacy’. Everyone was smiling. And everyone was happy with the concert and the snacks. Here is some of the feedback we received on facebook and via e-mail:

Yashoda Dulal – ‘Awesome Programme! Thank you for inviting us! Inspirational!’

Estelle Crowngold – ‘Thank you for a stunning night’

Reshma Mistry (to Karnamrita) – ‘What an Honour to have you here in SA! Thanks for such a beautiful, soulful concert on Monday Evening 🙂 I Loved it to bits!’

Jacques Fourie – ‘The Ritz would have been happy with a launch like that!’

Michelle Clifford – ‘Thanks for the lovely evening on Monday. Pete and I so enjoyed it!’

Rossana Pancaldi – ‘Thank you again for organising such a wonderful concert and lovely food last night. Please pass on to Karnamrita Dasi that the evening was truly inspiring and beautiful, and we will be sure to look out for her albums if they are available here in future…I also have a yoga teacher who is about to go to India for a short stay to study singing in the Carnatic tradition, and thought she might like to hear Karnamrita Dasi too. Thanks. Kind Regards. Rossana Pancaldi’

HARI HARI’S VEGETARIAN OASIS WILL BE FULLY OPERATIONAL IN FEBRUARY 2010

Thank you everybody.
We are here to serve you.
Mukunda Charan Das, Gaura Sakti Das and Bhakta Arne