Several of Our Monks
Several of our monks went for chanting on the streets in downtown Toronto. The city is abuzz with Carribana Festival fever perculating for the weekend.
Providence had me go northbound for another type of chanting session. It was a funeral. I was asked to chant at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home. The intent was to give comfort to the family members whom I've had a relationship with, going on four decades. When Mohinder Bhagat called our ashram to see if I was available to attend he mentioned that I attended his dad's funeral, who as a senior, had spent time living with us in the ashram. His name was Govind and he had me name his first grand child, a girl. So, the bond was there.
I secured a ride from Dhira, a Sri Lankan devotee, and a musician devotee, Philippe, to accompany me in the sound of shanti (peace). So, in honour of the deceased, Chandrikal Bhagat, we chanted a soft melodious mantra.
I would say that the priest, Dr Srivatsa, conducted very professionally and devotionally, the last rites. It made me wonder why we don't have an expert like this pundit in our ashram community who so smoothly tends to such rites of passage? Marriages, births, deaths and other samskaras (sacrements or rites of passage) play an integral part in a community's and an individual's life's achievements. In other words the programs of "hatch, match and dispatch" are hoops that we all jump through in life. (If you remain a life-long celibate like myself then dispatch does not apply.)
Chandrikal had a beautiful passing. Even the pundit mentioned that the light rain which fell prior to the actual cremation was very auspicious. We were very happy for her.