Second Day at the Festival
Toronto Islands, Ontario
On the ferry going to the mainland, I met a young man from India who had just purchased a copy of the Bhagavad-gita. It was suggested to him to also consider the book “Krishna”. I imagine the salesperson from the festival’s book booth was encouraging a second reading material.
“Was I wrong to just take a Gita and not to read about Krishna’s life? Which book is more important to read first?” he asked innocently.
I recommended he read the book he acquired and once he gets his hands on a “Krishna” book, he could try a brief read of the Gita in the morning and a bedtime read of “Krishna” book at night and that it could be a daily practice.
He loved the advice on doing it in parallel lines.
Then I met an oriental fellow by the name of Yu who is a Yoga student. He has a copy of the “Gita” which has been in his home for some years. He has a struggle.
“How do you get beyond chapter one?”
“Just turn the page,” I suggested.
I understood that perhaps Yu had some psychological block about moving on. Perhaps the details of two lines of warriors stationed and pitted against each other was too much for him to bear. After all, chapter two expounds the very beginning of Vedic philosophy. It’s where you find depth in the Gita. There is no violence in it.
I have met other people who have some fear about the Gita’s message. This apprehension may be somewhat justified. After all, the truth hurts and the Gita sends out this naked truth. It appears that most of us are habituated to living in denial.
I urged Yu to step beyond that line of fear and accept the initial sting. From thereafter, he should be able to recognize an old friend or an old voice that speaks to all of us in the same way, the voice of sweetness, the voice of surrender.