Before I took to my American Airlines flight to Los Angeles, and then on to Argentina, I just had to get some footsteps in at 3:00 a.m. I ventured off to the Chinese farm enclave near the ISKCON temple in Burnaby. It was quiet for sure, favourable for stepping out and mantra meditating.
I turned at Willard Street, and just about landed on some roadkill. It was an ‘oops moment’. Missed it. It was hard to determine what kind of species it was. A muskrat perhaps? In any case, it brought to mind death.
As all people in North America know, today is a day for reflecting on the theme of death—especially death occurring in war—as it is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veteran's Day in the U.S.
Smaranam is the Sanskrit word for remembrance or reflecting on what is of a grave nature. Although many of us prescribe to the concept of the soul's transmigration, and that, in many ways, death is superficial (our souls don't die), it becomes a natural obligation to reflect on or remember those who heroically sacrificed their everything to ensure a more free life for others. Yes, it is tragic to hear of the noble men and women who died in action or other ever-noble causes. Conflict and war appear to be strong components in life.
It is also important to remember those who through precept and behaviour, always endeavoured to avoid confrontation among humans, between men and animal, nature and so on. Non-violent activists who speak out for peace and closeness should also be honoured. They are also fighters for truth. It seems, as humans, we vacillate between pain and peace. Let us all, in some way, honour the principle of sacrifice on this day.
May the Source be with you!