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Life at the Dead Sea
By Kavicandra Swami
Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Whenever I come to Israel, a group of us goes to the Dead Sea. It is an opportunity for revival of the material body as well as a retreat for more hearing and chanting.

As we were about to leave on the first day, I took one last walk on the beach. Passing the lifeguard stand, I saw a girl who normally was not there. She saw that I was chanting japa and called out, "Are you Hare Krsna?"

"Yes," I said. Are you a Hare Krsna?" which is my usual reply.

"Sort of," she said.

Like most young Israelis, she had gone to India. She said she had been determined not to get into any spiritual things, but it just caught her. She stayed at Pushkar, which has become practically an Israeli community.

She told me that she had joined the Hare Krsna parade in Amsterdam. She just happened to be walking on the same street and started dancing along. So her place in Vaikuntha is reserved.

She also said that in India she received a new name. Her name used to be Saari, and now it is Sara. She said that "Saari" means king or something like that and she did not want to be a controller. She was very happy to hear that the Saraswati was a river.]

She is the medic at the beach first-aid hut and she is studying Ayurveda. She asked a lot of sincere questions and made the day worthwhile.

That night we had about two hours of kirtan at the kibbutz where we stay. It is a secluded place in the mountains and belongs to a spiritual community. The next morning, we met a group of people who were shooting a documentary for Israeli television. The documentary is about various spiritual seekers and their convictions. They really liked the "concert" and wanted to film us chanting and interview us. They brought out the equipment and began.

The director was from New York and had spent a few days in our temple in Ann Arbor Michigan. He wanted to interview us for 10 minutes but he got so fascinated with the philosophy that it went much longer. He asked questions from all angles, both spiritual and practical.

Then, after he finished, he brought a mataji from his group and had her ask questions. Her mood was not exactly professional. She was really personally interested in deep spiritual subjects. She was especially interested in karma because she was an adopted child and had always wondered why. The search for her birth mother had led her to spiritual pursuits. She had joined a Jagannatha Ratha Yatra in Prague, Czech Republic, and had great appreciation for the Hare Krsna people. She is from Denver but did not even know about our temple. She left determined to visit. They also filmed all of that, so Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu blessed us with a nice opportunity to preach.

© CHAKRA 19 October 2002

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