FOR THE LEADER
Kalakantha, my American devotee friend and I took to the beach to walk at 2 AM. The sleep before this was good and necessary. The previous day I encountered dizzy spells and it meant my absence during meeting session. Now the wooziness was all forgotten being with a friend and on the beach for japa meditation.
There was a second walk planned for us retreaters. This one again hit the sand but with thirty other people –those on the retreat. People in white and shades of saffron in traditional garb, dhoti or saree, surprised the public.
My good fortune was to carry a small brass murti (icon) of our guru, Srila Prabhupada. We took the route that he took, southbound until we came to a resting spot. There, our group sat to hear about Prabhupada and his time talking to a retired surgeon, Dr Patel while on the beach in 75. Dr Patel would join our guru trekking along and engaging in philosophical debates.
In the conversation which they had (which had been recorded) Prabhupada spoke to Dr Patel about how the whole drug culture began, particularly ganja (marijuana) smoking and how it started from India. Patel denied it but Prabhupada was convincing although the doctor was hard to convince about anything.
The group of us proceeded to the quarters used by Prabhupada on the 5th floor of one of the tower building. We relished watching a DVD of him speaking in L.A. in 72 from the book Bhagavatam (verse 1.1.1).
All this occurred in the morning and you might think that it had stolen the show for the day. But no! Every hour, every minute is very special in the consciousness for Krishna.
A team building committee arranged for us to spend time away from a temple environment and have a workshop session in a hotel run by an admirer of ISKCON’s mission. I asked an assistant (a bus boy you call it in the west, or a valet) how long he’s been at the work.
“Two and half years,” he said.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes very much!” he answered.
“The main reason was that my supervisor is very friendly,” he said with a smile on his face.
That to me was a message for a leader to hear.