New York City:  I was the last passenger to board the flight from Portland, Oregon, USA, to Newark, New Jersey.  As I approached my window seat, a passenger sitting in the middle seat of the row behind me hopefully enquired, “Would you mind trading seats?  I would like to sit next to my wife.”  He then showed me his copy of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.  With a warm smile and a sparkle in his eye, he then offered, “Perhaps it was meant to be!!”.  I calmly replied, “I can’t argue with that.” I motioned that he could have a seat next to his wife by the window.  Then I smiled and shared, “I hope you have a happy and pleasant journey.”  

By Lord Krishna’s grace, an alert stewardess promptly offered me an empty isle seat, so I had plenty of space to stretch out.  During the flight, I met with the gentleman and his wife, Cornelius and Jamie.  Cornelius is deeply absorbed in the Christian Faith, and about to become a Chaplan.  He also has a background in Kundalini Yoga.  We had some delightful discussions, and I shared a book with him, “Easy Journey to Other Planets”.

When we landed, he and Jamie helped me collect my luggage, included my oversized “Holy Staff – Sannyasi Trdanda.”  When we found it, we thought to take a picture together to commemorate our special “Interfaith moment”.  We plan to meet up again during my visit to New Jersey this weekend.

I have been staying at Radha Govinda Mandir, ISKCON New York in Brooklyn.  I am happy to say that it is a vibrant atmosphere with more than twenty five devotees attending the morning programs and going out for chanting and book distribution.  

I am in the Greater New York Area till Jan. 28th, when I plan to fly out of Washington DC, back towards UAE and India.  Here is my tentative Schedule:

  • Thursday, Jan 19:  7 pm – 8 pm:  Kirtan at The Bhakti Center, 25 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003  
  • Friday, Jan 20:  7 pm – 9 pm:  Bhakti Vrksa at the home of Motwanis, 39 Jamie Court, Morris Plains, NJ 07950
  • Saturday, Jan 21:  Private Meetings
  • Sunday, Jan 22:  6:30 pm – 9 pm:  ISKCON of Central New Jersey, 1020 W 7th St, Plainfield, NJ 07063