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Mantralogy Tour 2009: Back at Burning Man!

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October 12th, 2009

No sooner had we arrived back in LA (via a blink and you’ll miss it stop in London), and we were preparing to return to the Nevada desert, where we’d attended our first Burning Man festival last year. Burning Man is an avant garde creative arts party/rave/music festival that is attended by thousands from all over the world, including many high profile professionals from all kinds of fields who want to escape their lives for a few days. One of our first performances was at Center Camp, at 6am. This time is precious at Burning Man, as the cool, peaceful time before the intense desert sun pushes people to look for shade. As it rose, we sang ‘Utti Utti Gopala’ a traditional Marathi bhajan that Krishna’s mother, Yashoda sings to him to wake up and greet the day. A large portion of our audience were asleep, exhausted after a night of partying, but as we played, they opened their eyes and gradually began to move in time to the music.

Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits play early at Center Camp 6am Center Camp

L to R: Vishvambhar, Gaura Vani, Kisor, Jahnavi Some random art at Center Camp

L to R: Akincana, Vrinda, Gaura Vani L to R: Jahanavi, Gaura Vani, Kishore Rico, Vrinda, Visvambhar

Black Rock City from the Sky

Burning Man mornings. Playing at Conexus

Conexus Kirtan The Krishna Camp Stage

Kirtan on the Esplanade at the Krishna Camp Stage Krishna Camp and Sacred Spaces Camp

Entheon Village Gaura Vani and the Mayapuris play at Entheon Village

Vrinda and Jahanvi dance Bharatnatyam at the Entheon Village Walking Kirtan in Burning Man

At other times we loaded into a flatbed pickup truck and drove to other areas of the ‘playa’ to chant and dance in different spaces. In between, we spent time at base camp, the ‘Krishna camp/24 Hour Kitchen’. The Krishna camp at Burning Man is headed up by Nitai Das, a dedicated and inventive manager, who also helps to organise the 24 Hour Kirtan in New Vrindavan, West Virginia, as well as many other events throughout the year. Along with his team of builders, carpenters, artists and cooks, he tries to give ‘Burners’ a taste of kirtan and Krishna culture amidst the craziness every year. Here we helped cook and prepare meals for several hundred people, who arrived twice daily and spent time listening to kirtan from our beautifully constructed stage.

Kirtan during Critical Tits parade. The Krishna Kitchen

Prasad! Offering breakfast to the Supreme.

Lineing up for Breakfast. Kitchari!

As always, it was intense. Dust storms abounded and nights were loud and late – mornings hot and busy. Inbetween all of the chaos, were moments of true joy and friendship, as Burners from all backgrounds joined us in chanting and dancing, always in true Burning Man style -sometimes clothed, sometimes not!

Kishor and his disciple. Goshi the Mayapuri and Rasikananda on our last day.

Haribol! Goshi Mayapuri

The Dancing and the Dust Storm Dance!

Burning Man ki Jai! The Man

The Burning Man

We left after four days, exhausted and a little sunburnt, but happy. Next stop on the road was a jump in Lake Tahoe and a three hour laundromat excursion – the dusty Burning Man experience is hard to forget in more ways than one!

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4 Comments on “Mantralogy Tour 2009: Back at Burning Man!”


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