Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 - Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
I am mentally preparing myself for a trip to India departing on Thursday. It is understood to be a particularly spiritually progressive time, the month of Kartik. Travelling to the place of origin of spiritual culture always generates a spurt of enthusiasm for me, but as I trek speedily west on Dundas St towards Mississauga I am hit by a feeling of ambivalence. This is a bright time to be here in the west. The weather is perfect, colours of trees are brilliant and many festivals of spiritual significance are honoured. In the west just as much as they are in the land of dharma, India. The journey to Mumbai means sitting down at meetings. Meetings - long ones – especially are not my cup of tea but it is a service – a service to the mission. The best part of meetings is to be in the company of other peers, Krishna monks. It is “stilling the legs” under a long table that is a chore for me.
To Johnny Belinko, a local yoga teacher, whom I seem to bump into mysteriously almost everywhere in Toronto, I pace along beside him explaining about the importance of Kartik. After 2 blocks worth while delineating on this glorious month, it became known to him that on this full lunar day it is indeed an enriching time. When I finally reached my destination point after 10 km on foot and 13 on wheels at the Iskcon Mississauga center, servicing that area and to its north , Brampton - my talk was meant to drive home the point “ God is a person”.
Recently a chap I met on the street handed me a button with a label “ I`m a person first. “ Similarly God is energy, power, a force, what have you, but ultimately (or initially) God is a person first. In the month of Kartik people in India reflect on God not only as a person but as a child at play.