A full moon woke me at 4 AM, a good time to get up, and no need for a flashlight to find my way to the temple.
Passing through the banana patch I notice how the leaves of the banana tree look so nice in the moonlight.
The temple is a large screened in porch overlooking a steep hillside.
Monkeys warm up for their morning of howling and are heard in clusters in the distant valleys.
Meanwhile, our group sings Krishna's names, "Ravanantakara Makhana Taskara Gopijana vastra hari" This means Krishna took the life of Ravana, he stole butter as a child and also stole the clothes of the gopis. The next line says that Krishna steals everyone's heart by playing His flute. "Chitta Hari Vamsi Dhari"
Krishna and Balaram stand on the altar with cows and two stones from Govardhan Hill.
The attendees are not only devoted to Krishna and Balaram, they are directly involved in caring for the cows and the land, the same profession held by Lord Krishna and His brother Balaram.
Morning and evening we gather at the temple. Daylight hours are spent tending to the garden, the cows and fruit trees. The day's work is directly related to the worship. Three times a day a meal of milk,rice, beans,corn and vegetables, all grown on the 130 acres of land are offered on the altar.
"PRASADAM !" ,the cook calls from the screened in temple. We make our way up the hill.
The cooks are very creative with the available ingredients.
Yesterday we had dosa (rice and bean pancakes) with coconut chutney and sambar(vegetable bean soup). Every day there's been some kind of surprise, usually full of fresh cream or bits of fried curd, plantains, taro or yucca. The lemons here are particularly nice. The cooks make good use of them. Surabhi, the cow has been giving milk for a year and a half, she still yields well over 2 gallons a day of very rich milk, grazing the steep hills.