Monday, 19 December 2011

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Raincouver, British Columbia

Russia Going Bad

I was conducting a 9 Devotions workshop at a gathering at the condo of Miguel and Raman Reti when Miguel was telling his story of how he met her.

"I had attended one of those Landmark Forums wherre you go to this transformational experience. I had then met Raman, who I call Christelle, and it was love at first sight. We talked and got to know each other. I told her I wanted to kiss her but she said, 'I don't want to be kissed by a meat eater.' So I decided to give up eating animals which was difficult at first. Then I said I wanted to marry her and she said, 'If you want to marry me then you have to follow Krishna'. I asked her, 'What do I have to do for that?' And then she explained that in addition to not eating meat, I should not take intoxicants, not gamble, and have no connections with other women. I told her I don't do these things anyways. So that's how Krishna became part of my life."

Thanks, Miguel, for your endearing story.

In the afternoon, a small group of Krishna devotees held a chanting party on Commercial Drive when I spotted Jason Crummy, a fellow from Newfoundland, whom I met on my 2003 trek across Canada. He was hitchiking near Montreal River in Northern Ontario when we met. He chummed with me for a couple of days, and even camped out at night with me. What a pleasure it was to see a walking partner from before.

The evening program held in Langley, a suburb, was hosted by Robert and Banke Bihari. We reflected on the verse 12.17 of the Gita where Krishna states, "One who neither rejoices nor grieves, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things - such a devotee is very dear to Me."

Additional reflection for me today constituted as sadness over the likely banning of the most sacred Bhagavad Gita in Russia. Apparently the Orthodox Church, being influential there, is driving the ban, declaring the Gita as a text that promotes violence. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you look at the history of the world, India never attacked anyone. Rather, aggresive empires from outside declared war and seized much of India. It is a pacifistic culture by nature, being nurtured by the Gita's philosophy. As I walked to Marine Drive for a stretch, I found it rather annoying that such legislation by the Russian government would be even considered.

8 Km

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