By the time I reached on foot, the swank streets of Coconut Grove, including Coconut Walk, all that might be exciting for moderate drinkers had died down. I guess you could call it‘Monks Hour’, it’s civil at this time, 4 AM. The madness of corporate passions hadn’t yet arisen. In reality it might be a subdued Monday morning, with Veterans’ day being honoured today. In the US, veterans of the 2 world wars, Vietnam, Gulf War, and the Iraqi situation, are being remembered. Naturally the atmosphere carries with it a sobriety. Chanting and walking at this time is just right, even temperature wise for Canadian blood. The highest it will reach today will be 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The subject here then regarding Veterans is sacrifice. This is a common enough word that gets flung around in our monastic setting back at the ashram on Virginia Street. The Sanskrit word for sacrifice is ‘yagya’, and it refers to an offering up, specifically for a Divine cause.
Last evening a young Venezuelan by the name of Yonder came forward to offer himself to Krishna, formally. He had already had some experience with life, being at age 29. Yet his inward journey was limited. He had decided that it was time to let the One, who is actually in charge, to play His natural role without interference, to let Him to be ‘in charge’. It is experienced that one must take charge of himself, in other words, take control of himself – his senses.
Our guru, Srila Prabhupada came to the west to suggest that one learn to restrain from eating food that invokes passion and violence, from taking harmful substances (such as that which is consumed at coconut grove at the clubs), from gambling or being frivolous with finance and from casual sex life. These principles when adhered to lead one to a level of freedom.
So while we take the day to honour those who sacrificed their lives in combat, let us take a warrior stance and commit to some resolution where wholesome control over the senses can make a difference. By the way, Yonder added a name to his already existing one as part of the right of passage, one accepts a Sanskrit name. Yonder is being addressed now as Yadhava, a name of Krishna.