Duty on the Road
East and West of Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Yogendra and I are fond of Highway Four, “A step below Vaikuntha (the spiritual world)”, I thought at one point. Let me clarify, it’s scenic and quiet. Clear creeks run under it. The people who drive by are very nice. My other two companions, Jeff and Dhruva, operate from their car. Jeff gets behind the wheel and Dhruva is rather stationary these days, suffering from a knee injury. In any event, it’s a three man support team, which is so helpful.
Two months prior, I asked Yogendra to memorize 20 verses in Sanskrit, from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. As we entered the town of Antigonish, on foot, he recited his homework and delivered the English translation by memory. Good show! He takes his studies seriously. As for Dhruva, he has been studious with learning samskaras, sacraments, all in preparation for the coming Saturday’s grain giving ceremony to a 6month old boy and a diksa (initiation) for someone by the name of Heidi.
I’m also giving private time to spend with each of the monks. Ironically though, our purpose is not to be reclusive. When the prescribed chanting on our mediation beads are completed, the boys are pulling in to the country home driveways along the way and introducing folks to the books of our guru, Srila Prabhuada. Meanwhile, the local radio station, XFM 98.7 is broadcasting about our presence on the road, and our purpose of pilgrimage. Debbie Johnson of the local Casket Newspaper came to take photos of us monks and interviewed us. She was saying that the paper was 150 years old. That’s a grand olde figure for anything in North America, but doesn’t quite stand up to the time tested tradition of walking for pilgrimage sake. Debbie was really awesome, and I think she reflects the town quite a lot.