A New Book
One of my monk friends, my senior actually, showed up the other day. He came down the trail near the brahmacari kitchen. He has that distinct build, rather thin, and walks with a grave smoothness.
Jayadwaita Swami by name, is an American-born early pioneer to Krishna Consciousness in New York. He was glowing in presence when we met after a reasonably long time not having seen each other. Offering a warm smile he stretched his arm to hand me his book, an advanced copy called 'Vanity Karma.'
"Thank you, Maharaja!" I said with genuine gratitude. I dashed off to my room in order to take that sneak peek. In the forward by Graham M. Schweig, he writes, "'Vanity Karma' invites us into an exploration of the meaning of life through deep philosophical reflections and a richly layered dialogue. To do this it places the book of Ecclesiastes (from the Hebrew Bible) in dialogue with the Bhagavad-gita (from the Hindu epic poem the Mahabharata) and we quickly find that this is not only an external dialogue but an inner one as well."
The author, Jayadwaita Swami, talks of his early years at Temple Sinai in New Jersey for Jewish instructions. He relays how the term 'vanity' was discussed based on Ecclesiastes and is generally understood as a sort of pride. Upon further deliberation of this word one teacher expressed that it refers more to the meaningless or pointlessness of the world. As Jayadwaita put it, "a man works his whole life, and what does he get for it?"
Somehow Jayadwaita gingerly brings the message of the Bhagavad-gita to the fold as a person's stepping incremental growth to finding life's rich purpose.
I've begun reading it. I love it.
May the Source be with you!