Monday, 29 August 2011

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Have a Genuine Friend

Brampton, Ontario

Those rare birds, like me, who are in the renounced order of life, a 24/7 monk or a sannyasi, as we call it, would do good to always have friends. Perhaps we can call it a buddy system, or to put a Vedic spin on it - an ombuddy system.

In many institutions, an ombudsman exists, someone who listens or hears out about some grievances. In the same vein every monk, being human, has his own internal grievances or even personal weaknesses he may struggle with. It behooves him to have a friend/friends to confide in, to reveal his mind and avoid the bombastic danger of being an island unto himself. It is an easy trap to fall into - to be surrounded by loving sisyas (disciples or students) who offer so much adulation and to always be reminded that you are not God, but almost. It can be an ivory tower syndrome. The reverence done in overkill can be quite stifling for anyone in the position of taking a spiritual lead.

Recently I was speaking with another sannyasi (monk) about monks we both have admiration towards and a genuine concern for. We came to analyze even our own personal circumstances. We had to admit to ourselves, "Do I as an individual have enough friends or peers that I could confide in and share concerns, etc.?"

There is one group of spiritualists from India whose sannyasis never venture to do anything without another sannyasi. The travel together, live together, walk together and eat together. There can be some great merit to this. We might even consider track records on rate of apostasy, defection, or what we sometimes term as a spiritual falldown.

It is important in whatever phase of life one is in whether it be monk, a parent, single but destined to get married, that there always be a mentor or some type of guru who can keep us on a spiritual track or to just have a spiritual buddy that enthuses.

If you are an island then you are stranded. It's just not a secure situation being alone.

8 Km

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