Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Beach, Friends, Monk & Verse

Mumbai, India.

You must watch every step you take. You want to stay dry so you are
prudent about dodging waves as they roll in. You watch every step you take
because the beach is not all sand. There is debris, natural ocean stuff,
and otherwise, human snack remains and even feces. You watch every step
because the terrain is sometimes uneven. Drainage from the condos creates
minor creeps. In other words your eyes need to be planted to the ground.
I met Mahesh who is young and speaks English. He lived in Canada for two
years and worked at a call centre. Not surprising. Reflections of “Slum
dog.” I also met a group of young men, the second day in a row. They had
been hanging out at the beach since 2AM (now it’s 4AM) to attend the
mangal arati services at the Juhu temple. They expressed in broken English
and Hindi how they wanted to be purified. I could tell by their stylish
apparel that they are part of Bollywood pop culture yet they craved for
some piety in their lives. I felt it necessary to befriend and encourage

As mentioned earlier, I have a roommate who hails from Spain, Yadunandan
Swami, is a relatively new ordained monk in the sannyasa order. Immersed
in education he is the principle of Bhaktivedanta college, a short
distance from Brussels. He completed his Masters degree at the University
of Wales and specialized in theology and Religious studies. For his
thesis, he has written on the topic “Vaishnava Sannyasis in Modernity: the
life and challenges.”

I looked through his paper and most interesting was his list of ten major
reasons for persons parting from the renounced order within the tradition.

A personal highlight for the day was a revisit to the last verse in
chapter 11 of the Bhagavad-gitaText 55 reads as such: “My dear Arjuna,
he who engages in My pure devotional service, free from the contamination
of fruitive activities and mental speculation, he who works for Me, who
makes Me the supreme goal of his life, and who is friendly to every living
being – he certainly comes to me.”

7 Km

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