Whatever may come your way, is meant to be. It’s always a test. How will you contend with the good or bad situation as it stares you in the face? In the Gita we are informed that sad and asad(good and bad elements) come of their own accord. The question is will you duck or dodge these realities or will you deal with them?
I find it rather helpful sometimes being in the presence of stray dogs; I guess you can call them beach dogs at Juhu. One young fellow with japa beads in hand, spotted me and asked to be with me on the trek south bound and then back. We walked and eventually were confronted by these nasty dogs. You just can’t “let all sleeping dogs lie” even if you try. A mere settle sound of grasping the sand with your feet perks their ears or the moving shadow that you cast could stir them up. Sleeping dogs may even hear my chanting over the sound of the crashing waves and now there are two of us unconsciously riling them up. Well, they woke up and came our way, two or three at the time. My young companion was a bit more frightened than I was due to lack of experience, I guess. You try to ignore the dogs but they edge their way towards with a mean bark. Goose bumps crawled up the spine but I must say, the chill I felt compelled me to chant with more intensity. In that regard our daring dogs were God sent. Thanks mutts!
It was my last of treks at Juhu for a while. Next year’s fall trip to India will likely be to Tirupathi. I will miss the association of God brothers and sisters, the presiding beautiful deities of Radha Rasabihari, the good Prasadam (blessed food), the friendly mustached man who takes care of aligning our shoes as we enter the temple, and of course, I’ll miss the beach at Juhu where I have been chanting.
There is more sand to trek. Early tomorrow I make the flight to Israel to trek the east end of the Mediterranean. Yes, more walking, more chanting, more devotional company.