Don't we all know how detrimental the ego can be in taking us through darkness? You don't have to be a spiritualist to spot the enemy #1. In the Gita the ego, known as ahankara in Sanskrit, is described as that entity that misconceives everything. The ego says "I'm in charge of things (nature)." when in fact, it's the reverse. Nature is controlling us.
Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, used to use the word "puffed up" to make the point about inflated pride.
Hayagriva and I walked that beach once again and there we found a blow fish washed ashore. Surely his little atma (soul) left that body for another. He lies there lifeless. Since the beginning of the trip Hayagriva has been the one to step into trouble. Dung, thorns, shells and just missed squids, jellyfish and now a camouflaged fish. The blow fish expands himself into the resemblance of a balloon looking more menacing than he thinks he is and he has these spikes all over his body as perhaps a third defense mechanism.
Yet proud as nature has made him he must resort to eat humble pie like everyone else. He must perish.
A group of people, other beach walkers, noticed our fish friend after we left him and circled around flashing their cameras. I guess they gave him some honour by doing so.
One thing that checked our pride in also a most natural way, was when six members of our devotee community of Matanzas came to meet with our Canadian group just outside of our resort. We converged to have a little devotional gathering. It was high noon and yet the tree we chose to shelter under provided ample shade. As we took delight in sitting under the tree's shadow and reflecting on verse 9.2 of the Gita the sun checked our pride. He moves quite consistently, as you know. He had us circling around shifting our behinds in order to avoid his scorching power.
You have to ask yourself, "Where is physical comfort anyway?".
Thank you, Sun, for reminding us of the inconveniences of life and putting us into the lovely spot of humbleness.
The time arrived when the sun went to sleep and the moon woke up. Our group from Canada spent our last evening at the resort for a special treat at the italian cafe. A veggie pasta meal was anticipated and while waiting at the finely done upstable the mariachi group playing music started the night's entertainment by our table side singing "Jare Krishna Jare Krishna Krishna Krishna Jare Jare/Jare Rama Jare Rama Rama Rama Jare Jare."
Besides us, all the other folks begin their meal while being serenaded to this ancient enchanting mantra.