Procession

Day-to-day life at Audarya involves entering the sacred realm of ritual, as it is centered around its Deity, Sri Caitanya. Audarya's residents rise early and bathe in time to wake the Deity from his mystic slumber before the sun rises. Gathering before the altar (yoga pitha) amidst song of praise (kirtana), discussion of his divine life (lila katha), and meditation on his divine name (nama smaranam/japa) they offer him various items appropriate to the time—bathing, dressing, and adorning him while his breakfast is prepared and his cows are milked and fed. Living on his mercy alone, they honor the remnants of his meal as their daily bread before beginning their day of divine service.

The altar, or yoga-pitha, is that sacred place from which the lila of the Deity expands. Carrying the early morning impression of the Deity within their mind, resident devotees perform various duties as agents of the Deity's divine will—cleaning, gardening, building, publishing, and so on while the Deity's lunch is prepared by another votary. At midday his devotees assemble again at the yoga pitha for songs of praise appropriate to the time before once again accepting his mercy as their meal.

The afternoon is again filled with divine service highlighted by the “hour of cow dust” that brings the day to a close as the cows come home to feed. Brushing them, scratching their necks, feeding them, cleaning their pens, and milking them are but a few of the many aspects of go-seva, service to the Deity's cows.

The Hour of Cowdust

As day turns to night the Deity takes his evening meal and his devotees bathe and honor his remnants before participating in the evening ritual accompanied by song appropriate to the time and followed by philosophical discussion. As the Deity is put to rest, so too do his devotees rest and dream of divine service.

Day after day spent in the realm of ritual, corresponding divine service, and nama-kirtana fosters the gradual development of progressively deeper states of internal meditation leading to final beatitude, in which the universality of the Deity is realized and his divine lila awakened within the practitioner's heart. Thus the passing of days is blurred as time turns eternal.