Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Good Reading Up in Space

Over Land and Water

Jet Airways flew four of us from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, then Brussels and back to Toronto. In the air there is time to reflect. I like India, its people, its spiritual side. I belong here but don't wish to stay here for a great length of time. My dislikes - density of people, dust, heat, chaos. Willing to visit regularly.

While in space I relished reading some of the collected letters of our guru, Srila Prabhupada. In the '74 collection he wrote to a temple leader in Nairobi, "The Africans and the Aryans will not like to mix. So there is no harm in opening separate temples." Here Srila Prabhupada acknowledged the different needs of the different communities. To on leader in Mayapura, India, Prabhupada wrote, "The wrestling is all right," in reference to young monks engaging in this sport. To a sannyasi monk in Africa he wrote, "Shakti Mati is an elderly woman and can do important work with the cultured Indian society, and she also speaks Swahili. She must be given and important position as a manager."

That message was interesting since I heard over the weekend someone say that they were opposed to female temple leaders.

Prabhupada wrote to Bombay about an American student who wanted to practice polygamy. His words were "He cannot marry a second wife. If he wants to do so, he can leave our temples." Prabhupada indicated in a letter directly to the young man interested that polygamy is against the law.

To someone in London he wrote, "Regarding your being depressed, you are becoming older, but so also I am an old man. But you should not be depressed on account of old age. Krishna will help you."

This was all good stuff to brood over while thousands of feet up in the air. My pet peeve of the day was that my walking opportunities were limited to deplaning and planing during transfer times. I'm resolute in the point of travel - walking is better than flying but if you have to sit for many hours reading in the best preoccupation.

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