What’s There To Worry About?
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mariano and I were the first awake in the ashram. With a spurt of claustrophobia, we decided to hit the main street nearby for a walk before brahma muhurta, predawn.
“We’ll have to be careful though!” he warned.
“Alright, so what’s there to worry about?” I challenged with a chuckle. “No drug dealer’s going to sell us anything, and if a prostitute is at a street corner, we will say to her, ‘Hare Krishna, Mataji’.” Mataji means ‘mother’ respectfully. “If a group or a gang spots us, they won’t know what to do with a couple of guys in robes. It’s beyond their scope of experience. If someone wants our money, we can prove we are pennyless and say, ‘hey, we’re monks’.” It appears Mariano’s fears were dispelled.
Of course, I live in no denial about the dark side of life. “It is for real,” I thought, while we were walking and seeing graffiti caked on store fronts almost everywhere we roamed. It’s the sign of the times. Some people say this is the age of Aquarius. From a Vedic perspective, this is the age of Kali, a time of spiritual sleepiness. This is quite easy to see anywhere in the world.
There’s a diversity of shops, all closed at this hour, mind you – modern furniture places, confectionaries, banks, clothing stores, office buildings. A woman was lying there in front of a store front. She had a blanket partially covering herself, and as we passed by, she looked ashamed and covered her face. A few blocks further on, and we saw a reclined fellow enjoying a cigarette. He gave a wave with a complacent smile. He seemed content enough in his pile of meagre belongings. If anyone’s life is not safe, it’s these types of people who are homeless and are in a vulnerable situation.
Safety or guarding from suffering is a concern for everybody, and it is apparent that some people do take shelter of God for alleviating pain. This is one of the motivations behind approaching a life of devotion. At noon today, four young people accepted diksa, spiritual initiation, as a step toward a better quality of life. Held at the local temple, Mariano received the Sanskrit name, ‘Gaura Dayanath’ by his guru, Virabahu. Then I delivered the names Markandeya Rishi to Marcos, Sevakund to Sebastian, and Nitya Siddha to Nadia. The community in Argentina has treated my monk assistant, Maha Mantra and I, with amazing warmth. I won’t forget their send off chanting party, just like I won’t forget their greeting. The food was sublimely digestible, and I couldn’t get enough out of peach juice and fresh basil leaves in the veggie dishes.
May the Source be with you!