THE WALKING MONK CONTEMPLATES AVOIDING BEING SELF RIGHTEOUS IN BHAKTI AS TAUGHT BY HIS GURU...
Let's Get The Bhakti Down
Juhu Beach, India
It was at this beach that a man had been standing on his head when our guru, Srila Prabhupada, passed by him. One of his students said to Srila Prabhupada, disclaiming the yogi saying, "This is not one of our men." At that time the mood was that if you did anything that wasn't directly devotional you would be considered as being in maya (illusion).
Srila Prabhupada was silent for a few seconds and then remarked about the fellow doing the head-stand that this was good for health, implying that it was good for a practitioner of bhakti to do this type of thing.
Sometimes, those who are in devotion may carry a self-righteous attitude about what they do, regarding other practical things as secondary or less important. My remark on that is we need to obtain a balance.
Here's an example of something interesting where the point of devotion was amiss for the sake of being practical. Murali Krishna Swami is a huskily built green-eyed Boston bloke who used to excel in hockey before he became a monk. He and I were sitting side-by-side at the edge of a carpet where we were enjoying doshas and chutney. Two fellows proceeded to roll up the carpet in order to avoid spillage. In the process M.K. Swami's dhoti (lower garment) got trapped in the carpet. He finally yanked and freed his dhoti remarking to me, "Do they have to do this now?" Once the carpet came my way my dhoti got trapped in also and the way things were looking I was going to be pulled in if I hung on. If I was to remain indifferent I might become guilty of indecent exposure if I let the dhoti take its own course. (Funny, but we just heard a recording on the message of renunciation). In the meantime I tried to balance my plate of prasadam (food) when the plate tipped and the chutney spilled on my tugged-at dhoti.
I revealed the evidence to the carpet-rolling devotees who merely waggled their heads. I thought maybe a tiny bit of thoughtfulness was absent. So be it!
In any event I had a great day with team members of Vande (Vaishnava Arts for a New Devotional Era). All was civilized in the end.
May the Source be with you!