Recently my day opens with a walk either on Yonge or Bloor Streets after a cool shower. Then arati begins at 4:30 AM. Radha Kanta, our monk from Assam, routinely plays the mrdunga drum. Is he ever good?
Our Mr. Positive, Dharma Prana, our very own monk made in Canadeea, is handicapped, suffering from a stroke three decades ago. He can sing well the Maha Mantra but is physically restricted to that. He keeps everyone on their toes with regards to hitting the synchronized pitch.
This morning after delivering a class someone asked me something unrelated to the message of the Bhagavatam. “What is Halloween all about?” This question came from our Hungarian born monk, Gaurachandra.
I fumbled with the answer, “Something to do with the Celtic community, I believe, and something to correspond to All Saints Day…” Since it was unclear our little group of monks deputed hermit Hara Kumar to find out the origins. Jokingly we agree that this info would truly enlighten and elevate our consciousness. In some respects it would not be a bad idea, we thought, to gain a greater understanding as to what the neighbours on the street are all in a fuss about. Sometimes you can remain in the dark with the world around being rather cocooned in the temple ashram.
For instance I felt it necessary to inform our group that we have a new mayor. At least one amongst us could be a little informed. In any event we resolved that the next day would be the day to uncover from our sheltered minds that origins of the ghoulish festival known as Halloween.
More enlightening for me was reading a passage form the Gita and the reading had absolutely nothing to do with the pervasive nature of skeletal creatures everywhere. In reference to paramatma (God-in-the-heart) there is the verse 13.14“Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes, heads and faces. In this way the Supersoul exists in everything.”