Last evening the wind had been howling. Trees and branches were astir with leaves hissing. It was a perfect sound effect and atmosphere for Halloween. My dear godbrother Krishna Das explained that the Pagan event had to do with the honouring of coming together of two worlds, and that a thin veil existed between them, the evil and the good. People would mask themselves hoping to stave off the evil forces.
Like most things these days, traditional events take on a heavy commercial edge. I had walked to “Theatrics Plus” on Yonge Street. It’s a popular ghoulish costume store run by a good family whom I consider good friends over many years. I’ll actually go there sometimes to buy costumes and other props for upcoming dramas staged at the ashram. Sanjita, the owner, looked a little worn out serving customers up ‘til 1 AM.
“Now, Halloween is bigger than Christmas and Santa Claus,” she said.
It seems that people must have something to celebrate, to have something to go crazy over. We need something to do.
In any event I ended up purchasing what I needed – outfits to portray a male and female cakora bird, for a Ramayan pastime. After the purchase I readied myself for a gathering of great souls at Toronto’s west end in Mississauga. The couple hosting the event at their home had a major purpose in mind for my visit. Recently, home owner, Dharan Dev, who hails from Madurai from South India, received a shipment of an entire Bhagavatam book set in the Tamil language. It sounded like a purposeful event to me. I felt honoured to attend. I was to cut the ribbon which was actually a plastic strap binding a cluster of books together. So I cut it (applause).
Then I spoke from chapter 1, verse 3:
“Oh expert and thoughtful souls, relish the Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. Its message emanates from the lips of Sukadeva Goswami…”
Who is Sukadeva Goswami? He is an incredible monk who left home at age 16 and he sustained a renounced disposition, and is also the orator of this book. Wherever he travelled on foot he did so unclothed, as he had no attachments. No costume for him – ever.
May the Source be with you!