I guess you could say I’m a multitasking swami, I learnt this from my guru, Srila Prabhupada. He gave classes, personal advice, showed how to cook and clean, and how to make your own toothpaste. He did the accounts and bookkeeping, wrote books, and sang, even composed bhajans. He managed a worldwide organization and became a forerunner for vegetarianism and eastern thought in the west. He saved thousands of people’s lives from self destructiveness and gave purpose. He demonstrated the ancient ways of rituals and taught how to love the Creator and His creation. Etc., etc.
I can’t claim a fraction of his work and talents, but in my pride I feel I do a lot of varying things. For instance, today’s walking took me to a shop on Bloor where I went to pick up a set of mirrors to be placed outside my office. Why mirrors? Well, to give some size to the corridor where they were placed, and secondly, I felt that many people who visit our Govinda’s dining and temple rooms would like a glance at themselves in this public setting. They are Peruvian with hand painted frames, they look smart. I have taken on the responsibility with three other persons to make the place look nice. And that is what I meant by multitasking.
Traditionally, monks have taken on the role as building contractors to temples. Sometimes even manually raising the bricks or stones themselves, and then going on to all aspects and tiny details of colour and design to the building. I know that our guru, Srila Prabhupada, was meticulous about how things look. Impressions count, and hence, I took to the mirror walk.
Mirrors are mentioned in the Gita in connection to a dusty one that blocks the clear image. What Krishna is trying to convey is that one’s consciousness should be clear in order to reflect one’s true self. The self is servant.
May the Source be with you!