A GREAT DAY IN ITALY
Villaggio Hare Krishna, Italy
The jasmine fragrance always manages to pierce through darkness.
At 3 AM I began walking a two square block of horses and each time I hit a corner near the home of friend, Madhu Sevita, the power of the flower struck me. Here in Europe I find no skunks to contend with, or poison ivy. But what will confront me? This village, Villaggio Hare Krishna, a mere hour drive from the heart of Milano, must qualify itself for being part of the material world. Some duality must exist here. So far it is too much like heaven.
Ah yes! There it is! Humidity! I know there had to be something that was pesky. Well I found it. Rather it found me.
Anyways this early trek plus a second trek encomposing a wider range of homes in the village gave me a tally of 11 km. Three other monks, Swami Gopal Krishna, Janardan and Rudradev were walking friends for part two.
While I’m in Italy I take Madhu Sevita as my boss.
As my sponsor he dictates my moves. We did sit down together and worked out my schedale two days in the Florence area, two in Rome and the balance would be in the Milano area. I happily consented to the four hour bus ride to Florence for their annual Ratha Yatra. The drive went well until two of the passengers were discovered missing. The bus driver pulled over on the auto strada and waited for those two to catch up. They had to walk the distance. The only alternative was for us to go a forty KM stretch ahead at the first possibile exit and go back and fetch them at the rest stop. That, the driver wasn’t prepared to do. So walking was compulsory for them as was our waiting. Deep inside I was happy for them. Walking is superior to waiting.
The procession of Ratha Yatra happened along the Arno River in a park near Florence’s centre. For me it was a great introduction of bhakti (devotion) in the land of Italy.