Thursday, 20 August 2009

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

That Is to His Credit!

The Beaches, Toronto

It was a spontaneous thing. At 5AM a thought came to mind. Why not take a drive to the Beaches on Lake Ontario where our master with loving disciples walked one morning in '75. There is a boardwalk there. You can catch a slight breeze perhaps and hear the subtle lapping sounds of water waves. It's quiet but above all it's a place of pilgrimage.

So those who wanted to - monks and lay persons - piled into a van. We arrived in plenty of time to catch a glimpse of red sun coming up over the water line. We hit the trail, the boardwalk, and commenced with chanting on beads.

Near the east - end of the boardwalk a homeless fellow pressed his weight on a soft drink attempting to reduce it's size. I suppose he was collecting for recycling. Near that location we decided to submerge to ankle level in the refreshing water. While swishing around my feet my mind flashed back to one of our monastic men who left the ashram to take up life in former style with bad habits.

He had lived in our Toronto ashram and emotionally move everyone with his golden and melodious voice while bellowing out the drown sounds of the harmonium. He left the ashram to go to Vancouver where he first joined and while these took to the streets and to substance abuse. He is homeless and is known by friends as the Krishna man. Several attempts have been to bring him back to sobriety of life in our monastery but to no avail.

His Mom from Toronto called me some time back asking of his whereabouts and his overall welfare. Unfortunately, I couldn't report such great news. Devotees in Vancouver say he is thin, disheveled looking and just not doing well. His mother became emotional. What to do?

I pray for him. His name is Gaura Krishna and I'm not sure if he is still with us on this planet.

There are lots of homeless people in North America. In a place like Los Angeles alone there are 90,000 people living on the streets not able to cope with life. Imagine how many people collectively there are on a global scale.

The thing about Gaur Krishna is that he is known as the Krishna man for a reason. Apparently he speaks to people, the co- homeless, about his affinity for Krishna.

That is to his credit.

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