Hope For The World
I was extremely touched by the behavior of two outstanding brahmachari monks. They were both visiting from a 4 hour drive from the farm in Kentucky. One of them, Baladev, rolled up his sleeves to his kurta shirt and also his dhoti robe up to the thigh level for cleaning out the moldy fridge. He wasn’t asked to do this, he just volunteered and enjoyed the service. His companion, Tyler, also from the farm, handed over 40 dollars cash to the Krishna House coordinator as a token of appreciation for staying over. By American standards, this amount is worth peanuts, but let’s view the gesture. Prem, the coordinator was very moved by this. These two men, Tyler and Baladev, have practically no funds, yet they gave what they could as an established policy adhered to when making a visit somewhere.
Tradition has it that monks are financially supported by family households. Here I witnessed a moment of truth of honesty and straight dealings. Tyler had gone beyond the call of duty really and Prem received this offer baffled by the gesture. I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned the amount.
In a discussion with another visiting brahmachari based out of Kansas City, Paramishvar by name, we talked about the ethical values of the spiritual culture. He expressed very meekly, however, that honest affairs weren’t always experienced in this spiritually institutional climate, “My father was an extremely ethical person and he imbibed in me those principles,” he remarked. He wanted to know how the tendency he sometimes sees can be corrected.
I know that in the matter of speaking about our own brahmacharis in Canada, that they uphold a strong place for etiquette. This comes from believing that one represents someone else – one’s guru and other preceptors and that one should not shoulder embarrassment where it can be avoided. It also means that one has firm faith in the process and that if you uphold good old values, it will get you to places, even Godhead.
That’s why I say the sentiments and behavior of the boys in saffron both above and below the US/Canadian border, are to me, men of character. It gives me hope for the world.