The major walking for the day was a back and forth pace in the Fisher Mansion, now a beautiful temple. According to one of the tour guides, Mr. Fisher, a major unionist for the auto industry, had this space as his ball room dance floor. While I am chanting in my pace the rest of our devotional drama crew was inside exploring hidden passageways in the building. “Let them explore”, I thought, “it’s a gem of a building. Let the ‘child’ come out of them. In a few minutes they (Nitai, Goura, Laghu and Nitai Priya) will take part in a fire ceremony for a first initiation.
The South Indian community shows real strength in numbers while there is a trickle of blacks and whites that come to savour in the joy of kirtan chanting. Today, Peter became initiated as Prthu Das. He has been coming for two years and has been expertly guided by Afro-American, Yugala Kishor.
Yugala tells me that he has been going down the street at the park by the edge of the Detroit River. Members of a gang meet there as the sun goes down. Bravely, Yugala comes armed with a mrdanga drum in hand. He sits himself down on the grass and starts his chanting. The gang members laugh – at first. Then Yugala talks to them. They are happy for the friendship. They intimate to him that they are saddened with the gangster image that has come their way. In fact, they reveal that they want to come out of it. When they hear Yugala talk about the science of higher consciousness, they become so hopeful.
I told Yugala that I would like to help him help these kids who at the moment are lacking in good positive extra-curricular activities.
There is hope for Motown.