Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Monday, August 12th, 2013

A Button Popped

San Diego, California

Intuition told me that the day might have some bumps in it. Some signs seemed to indicate this. It began with having a button pop off my upper cloth, the kurta. Where it rolled off to, heaven knows!
Then, my plane arrived late. It first launched from San Francisco, where it was delayed due to thick fog in the sky. That then led to missing the plane to San Diego. Then, confusion with luggage; long lineups; praying and pleading for an earlier, new flight to substitute for the proposed one. I got a bit panicky for a bit. I was supposed to arrive in San Diego to award diksa (initiation) for a young monk by the name of Bhakta David.

Eventually, United Airlines found one seat available. Someone cancelled out! This meant I could fulfill an obligation. But, only my walking would suffer. For me, a day without trekking is not exactly a tragedy, but it’s a mild curse.

The landing at San Diego terminated the airport experience. David was at Arrivals with a big smile. We drove to the ISKCON ashram on Grand Avenue. Here, you’ve got a real live monastery with 15-20 saffron clad monks, mostly college grad young men. They kept me quite occupied. A fire ceremony was held, and Bhakta David received his new Sanskrit name Dhanajaya, a name that Krishna’s friend Arjuna is known by. A congratulations, Dhanajaya! My first personal assignment for him was to sew a button on my kurta.

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