Your Family Is Now Big
A monk from South Africa came to visit. He sat us down –2 dozen devout Krishnas and myself. His name is Bhakti Brhat Bhagavat Swami (nicknamed as triple B Swami) and he told of how a monk never leaves home. “He expands the home.”
As he was speaking I recall how I personally felt that way when I became a Sannyasi –a monk. Shortly after the ordainment, people started coming to me for support, strength, advice and blessings. As BBB Swami was saying, “I’m still the same person, only difference is the danda (the holy man’s staff) and the dhoti (lower robe) which is shorter in length than before and is tied differently from that of a monk who may decide on marriage in the future referring to a brahmacari. 3 B Swami recently took the order of Sannyas last December.
In any event the role is that of a fatherly figure. You are a “guru” for the community. The community expects from the Sannyasi some inspiration.
When I started my marathon walking in ’96 some colleagues could not understand my motives. What? Why? How? All kinds of questions came up. What I found interesting was that the public response was often times more accepting of the long walks than what I was receiving from my peers. “Oh yah! A monk walking! Of course! Of course!” was how people thought.
So my point here is that the monk’s clothes are to inspire. More important than clothes is that you are a role model and are to be a guide and a provider of strength of character. You need almost nothing. You live simply and you travel around by the most modest means to send the message that our soul is as important as the body, if not more, so you see the world as your family.