A Fatal Step
A call came in this morning from Pundarik, wife of Murali Krishna, a dear friend, whose brother just passed away. Samuel Griffis, 48, was hiking in the Buffalo, New York State area at the edge of a cliff when he lost his balance and fell a good 150 feet. He didn’t survive.
It was painful to hear about Samuel who was an athletic type, for the outdoors, a vegetarian and friend of numerous monks. What we are to learn form this mishap is that fragility is part of our existence and as we have mentioned before “there is danger at every step”. In Sanskrit padam padam yad vipadam refers to the precariousness of the situation.
Naturally, the family is grieving and so I suggested we give a dedication, a mangal arati, a morning ceremony in his honour. I offered Pundarik my condolences, of course, and asked if there was anything more I could do to ease the grieving. Sam’s family just need a lot of support now.
The topic of birth and death came up once again today through a presentation made to a group of mature people, some of which are retired. Mr. J.W. Windland organizes yearly a visit by fifty students who come from all around and as far as Washington State, to have as he puts it, “an experience”. The experience is not of death as that will take its natural course.
Three folks wanted to know what the chant was all about and more so what we, the followers, were all about. A good number of these attendees have a Christian background but are curious enough to have some experiential Krishna Consciousness.
I would say that whenever I do such presentations, fifty percent of questions revolve around the topic of walking once the audience has heard that pilgrimage went across Canada thrice.
The meal we served in the end left these experienced people satisfied. As they left the building and descended the stairs to reach the sidewalk, I recited mentally, padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. There’s danger at every step.