Groups, Smiles and Laughter
Here is a lively group improved in their approach to kirtan since the last time I visited them. It was a proud group who had arranged new curtains and shrine for their icons of Krishna. They were all “smiles”. Their temple or center is newly opened and is located in a unit at an industrial park. They had made remarkable achievements since the inception of this new center for disseminating higher consciousness. All was good although prasadam, the food, was a bit on the hot and spicy side.
That was the new Scarborough ISKCON Center. Now I headed for the downtown center. Four new candidates were to take diksha or initiation, a formal entry into the family of Krishna. There were vows made, vows of no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication, and no casual sex. And a commitment of prescribed time to mantra meditation. New names were given to the initiates which are as follows: Subal, Mahavir, Karuna Shakti, and Radha Krishna. Here was a second group that was all “smiles”.
It’s often understood that when a guru commits to helping initiates along their life that he/she absorbs the karma of the candidate. This point is somewhat debatable or worthy of deeper discussion as to the full responsibility of guru. The main job of the guru is to teach and train. It may be argued that ultimately it is the original guru, Krishna, who is capable of absorbing the collective karma (negative energy) of the student. Chapter 18 text 66 can verify this. In any event the guru does have or carries a great burden of responsibility to refine the student’s life.
When pursing through photos of the event, after it was over a few of us came upon one photo which captures myself, the guru in this case, with a serious –to- frightened look on my face. One of the new candidates who was there also looking at it in a light mood, that the caption should read, “here comes karma”, in reference to himself. That certainly sent us all into a burst of laughter.
We wish the new initiates well.