A step Into Heaven
Yonge St. was pouring with people. It was the evening of the previous day and after a plentiful hours of devotional services I decided to walk to the street that dosesn’t sleep. Accompanying me was Keshava Jr, who is 29. He ended his full day at the temple ashram with a walk to his apartment which happens to be off of Yonge.
Both Keshava and I were not aware that the street would fill as it did with pedestrians because of the annual Carabana, which attracts over 1 million people, the city is crawling with people (not like India though) and with police.
One officer on foot upon seeing us said, “ How are you this evening?”
“Fine”, I responded in passing.
I then halted, walked back to him and asked, “Why so many police?”
“ It’s because there’s extra people which means extra drinking”, he said.
A few more words of exchange concluded our dialogue and I carried on with Keshava walking. I thought about the drinking culture. It’s sad. And as I thought I saw extra cabs zipping by. Extra people, extra booze, extra cabs. What a culture? Drinking is a rite of passage for many youth. “That’s sad”, I thought. And here’s what comes out of all the fun- entrails rot, bad to foul breath, slurred speech, inability to walk, loss of hard earned funds, increased accidents, increased risk of violence etc.
After passing the evening having caught a glimpse of what’s to come I entered the temple room at the usual 4:30 am service called Mangal Aarti. There I witnessed a room rather full of people in devotional attire. They were chanting peacefully on their meditational beads. There were some young teenage boys who, had they not been here, could likely be pressurized to the modern version of the rite of passage. They are spared. I felt like I stepped into heaven.