Monday, 17 January 2011

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

To Clear

Toronto Ontario

Chaitanya, the great mantra master of the late 15th century, taught the world about cleanliness. Back then it would involve brooms, pots of water, and even their own cloth that they were wearing. The mass wash of the Gundica temple at Jagannath Puri's seaside was the setting for a temple cleaning. The ordeal was collaborative but happily competitive also. Chaitanya himself challenged the volunteers for who would collect the most dirt and he would come out gloriously on top of the tournament.

On a monthly basis youths from this community here dive deep into cleaning for hours being inspired by Chaitanya. It all culminates with a feast and today with Gunagrahi Swami sitting amongst the youth, he and I reminisced the old days of taking on the kitchen of mayhem after a feast. We approached it like warriors on the battlefield. It was walls, ceilings, shelves, the floor, and the pots that required that TLC, tender loving care. We rolled up those sleeves of our shirts and tackled the grime. We chanted in unsion. It felt good not only the finished product but the activity itself. You felt that you were cleaning the soul. Everytime you completed a pot with all its crusted black, it was like conquering an empire. It was team work at it's youth. You could witness and feel the bliss and the transformation.

Gunagrahi mentioned that there is always an apprehension at the start but in the course of it all you felt a beatitude that is beyond compare. You had gone 180 degrees in attitude and you wondered what an idiot you were for being so reluctant in the first place.

If you hadn't had such an experience enjoying cleaning an area with a group of people and especially a sacred territory then such an event (regarded as a sacrifice)is about the most fertive thing you could ever hope to go through. Most people like the motion of cleaning the cobwebs of their mind. Well there is practically no distance or difference between the words clearing and cleaning. You adjust on one letter, that's all.

4 KM

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