How is a person to walk without his shoes? May he go barefoot?
There is one criticism that I have when visiting a Vedic centre, temple, or even a yoga studio. While some of these destinations do not subscribe to the mayavad or ‘all is one’ philosophy, when it comes to precious shoes, you might experience a free for all culture. It’s a little bit odd, but arrangements for the deities in a temple is totally together, or orderliness in a yoga session, but if you’re looking for a good first impression at the shoe shelf entrance area, then look elsewhere.
It was embarrassing for me when I discovered that Ravindra, the leader of the community, spent a good portion of his morning trying to track down my footwear. He is my senior of nine years, he is my big bro, and to have him do this for me, well, it was a moment of humility that struck me. I had left my pair of shoes at the entrance before retiring for the night. By morning, prior to a proposed walk, they had vanished. It ends up that they were borrowed. Humourously, my crocs, a couple, if you will, had gone for separation. One was found in the kitchen and another was found by some stairwell, a result of enthused chaos in preparation for the Chariot Fest today.
In any event, we were all “happy feet” again, and I became majorly involved in a chanting procession which began at noon at Ben Franklin Parkway to the art museum where according to one devotee is the famed place where Sylvester Stallone had himself go up and down those steps for training in the classic film, Rocky.
For the entertainment at the “Parade of Chariots” many Bharat Natyam dances took place. There’s a mesmerizing pull that these dance presentations offer, but after a while, I think, the audience wants something more comprehensible (the style of dance has vocalists using non-English formats). Our troupe of monks from Canada came on the stage to demonstrate a different art form with a predominant male presence for “Gita: Concise”. It went over really well.
As the day rolled on, my shoes stayed put at the base of my legs. At one point I tucked them under a table situated near the mantra yoga tent where I also conducted a session.
You might lose your shoes, you might lose your soles, but you should never lose your soul.