I was being driven to Miami Airport when a devotee passenger asked about my year of becoming a monk. "It was in '73." "How about initiation?" he asked. "Same year." He asked aobut the second initiation, known as a brahminical (priest) order. "It was '74." "How about your third initiation?" Here he was referring to the acceptance of the sannyas order (celibate for life and to teach). "Now that was years later, in '84"
He was curious or maybe even facetious when he asked me, "Is there a fourth initiation?" "Yes, death!" To that remark my questioner went hysterical. As I explained, "you just might receive liberation and if not, that then a new body, a new order."
Our car stopped at U.S. Airways for me to secure my boarding pass. As I picked up my luggage the devotee known as Krsnadasa asked another on, "Will you write about this in your blog?" "Hey, I probably will."
He just liked the 'death line' so much. We bid farewell, exchanging obeisances, hugs and "take care!" remarks.
After a flight with stopover at Charlotte, I was picked up at the Toronto Airport. I asked my driver, Madhavendra, to drop me off before reaching home so I can walk a distance. For 6 kilometres I trekked (4 later in the day). A thought came to my head.
Life is like a deadline. You take a good shot at this life, then you die. "It's a test," I remember telling Krsnadasa, "you then are initiated into a new existence."