There was a man who attained the highest order of spiritual realization. He was an American who lived for years in Vrindaban, India – founding and leading the 24 Hour Kirtan in the Krishna Balarama / Radha-Shyamasundar temple there, in Raman Reti. His name was Aindra.
Because his bhajan was kirtan, he soundproofed his concrete room in the Gurukula of that temple. Unfortunately the soundproofing material was flammable. The door to his room was particularly heavy. He would sing kirtan all day, fasting. At night he would lovingly worship his beautiful and elaborate sacred altar, and afterwards would eat what he cooked for that worship. Therefore he had a gas stove in his soundproofed room.
Last week, the gas stove had a leak. When Aindra lit the stove, there was a flash explosion. The heat from the flash singed Aindra and set the soundproofing aflame. The burn was bad but not nearly fatal. However the soundproofed room was nearly airtight, and the flames consumed all the oxygen before running out of fuel and extinguishing themselves. He could not open a door or window because of the burning soundproofing on the already heavy barriers.
Realizing there was no way out, Aindra turned to the deities on his altar and bowed to them. He departed our world in that state.
I have tried to put into words what I feel about this:
Aindra was the unknown force behind everything spiritual I tried to do – especially the musical aspect of it. If I had not personally witnessed his powerful authenticity and obvious pure devotion I would not have had the inspiration I had to try to do the little bit that I tried to do with my own music, particularly in 108.
Aindra created a spiritual hurricane or cyclone with his bhajan and kirtan. One could just sit near him and that cyclone would carry one away like Dorothy to a Vrindavana “Oz.” Like Aindra himself, this was a very real, down-to-earth and tangible expression of an extremely high philosophical and spiritual principle. It demonstrated that the holy name (“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”) opened the pure spiritual world to anyone and everyone without discrimination or need for any qualification. All you had to do was WANT to go sit in Aindra’s kirtan, and GIVE yourself to it. That alone would transport anyone, instantly, into the highest state of spiritual sublimity.
I never really fully availed myself of entering that cyclone – but just knowing in the back of my head that the cyclone existed was very important and comforting. Now that he is gone I am only aware that the cyclone is gone and I missed all my chances and am dead out of luck.
This is Aindra’s altar in his room:
Here is the website of his baby: www.24hourkirtan.com
Here is one among thousands and thousands of examples of Aindra’s kirtan: