Lesson On Life
Phil's dad came from Canada to see his son. Also from Quebec, to be more specific, is Michelle. Both Luke and Michelle happened to visit India for their first time.
Their arrival was timely for more than one reason. Yesterday was day one of the Kirtan Mela, the chanting fest. Pilgrims from around the world, have come to indulge in what is usually an unforgettable event. The couple had come to peak, out of interest, the portion where I took the lead in singing but also in dancing. The half-hour slot I was given, turned out to be a dance lesson in as much as singing (it had been a year's wait for this opportunity).
For Luke and Michelle it had also become their first exposure to a cremation. Just as one of the very saintly women from Mayapur, Manarupa, had passed away yesterday and was cremated, a second person, Gnanagamya, a friend of mine from the USA, also departed today. That came as a surprise to the community. Cancer had taken his life, and now residents took full advantage of sending him off.
Here again I was to lead the chant, and in the procession. The couple from Canada, and even I - had come to witness the cremation. It was a first for me as well, seeing it all in the raw format as opposed to the sophisticated arrangement of the West. It was quite the eye-opener as the sun began to decline behind the horizon at the Ganges. As Phil said, "A lesson on life" was observed.
Can one be consoled from the experience such as this? We just need to recall the Gita’s message that we are not these bodies.
May the Source be with you!