SEE FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE
One of the senior monks in our midst , Jayapataka Swami ,suffered a severe stroke one year ago. His recovery has been remarkable although one side of his face is paralyzed. I’m not sure of other implications physically. It so happened my room is located across the hall from him in the ISKCON Juhu building. I saw this as a golden opportunity to render some service to a great soul since he is wheel-chair ridden.
It was a few minutes prior to our meeting and I saw that Jayapataka was going to be taken down to the ground floor for darshan (viewing) of the deities of Krishna. He was okay with the offer of me taking him before each deity and diorama in the temple. He asked if I was a good driver.
“Yes Maharaja , but I let my license expire to take up walking.”
From talking to him I could see his mind was crystal clear and memory was sharp while his words were slurring. I was happy to see him going through his healing. One year ago we thought we lost him forever but prayers and good wishes make all the difference in such circumstances.
There were occasions in the past when we did walk together but it was never he and I alone. He always has an entourage. Once in Dallas we walked with a group in the morning. We followed one line of walking several streets from the temple and it was time to return back. I mentioned to him that I always prefer walking in a loop and never going back the same route.
Jayapataka’s response was “Well,why don’t we just turn around and look at the route from a different angle?” I thought the remark was brilliant and had enough philosophical depth to it that it could be applied to many things in life.” Turn around and see from a different angle”, he said.
With his handicapped condition, I had been compelled to see him different from before. I appreciate him for not being tied up in self pity but being more concerned for others through enquiring about them which he did as I pushed him in his wheel chair.