Neil About to Kneel
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Steve Sutherland host to Information Morning, on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio, interviewed me at their studio. He was highlighting “The Walking Monk” side of me, although questions were there about our culture. “Bhagavad-Gita” was mentioned, “Krishna” as well, along with George Harrison and my encounters with a grizzly bear on the road. It was a good feeling reaching out through the air waves again.
I met Neil on King's Road. He was staggering on the sidewalk. He had a few too many. He was curious.
“Are you a monk?”
“Yes, I am.”
Then he started talking and addressing me as “Father.” He was telling me about his life, which in many ways was rather successful. His parents are professionals. He has money, youthfulness, and good looks. Good karma, I would say. He felt bad about the too many drinks. He asked me to bless him over and over again, and to pray for him and for an ill uncle in the hospital. He confessed that he hadn't been to church in about four years. It was as if he was in the confessional and he was telling me his sins. He went on expressing himself heartfully, and sometimes with colourful words. At some point of the incoherent words I told him I was going to pray for him.
“Could you?” he said excitedly.
I hope I'll meet Neil again someday.
It was our final engagement together with the monks from Halifax. We chanted and spoke to a group of people at the Geeta Bhavan in Fredericton. That went well and as in all our stops, my driver, Gaurachandra, sold books at this gathering – books by our guru , Srila Prabhupada.
A family, relocated here from Los Angeles, took us in for our final overnight stay before exiting for central Canada. We reviewed our pilgrimage together and concluded that it was a very enriching one.