Waking and Walking
Waking for the early arati on
birthday was a challenge physically because our rehearsal had finished at 1:15
AM. However, the spirit was high and knowing the attendance would also be high
made the chore of rising easier.
Right after the glorious chant at 4:30 AM lead by my doctor, Dr. Pundit (AKA Jagannatha Mishra), a large group sat down to hear my reading from the Gita, chapter 4. But, before I read, I opened with a comment.
“It is said that
was born on this day but actually He was not. In fact, He was not born.”
Explanations on this apparent contradiction have been explained by our guru, Srila Prabhupada, along the lines that
Krishna is known as aja, not born under normal
circumstances. You might say it was an immaculate conception. He came to this
world not under the force of karma but simply by His wish to do so, on the
strength of His own desire.
A good number of people in the group had also become aware of the statement made by
congress woman, Tulsi Gabbard. Her message of good will from her constituency
in US Hawaii credits Srila Prabhupada for
bringing awareness of Krishna to the west. She
quoted the Gita on two occasions in her speech, 8.66 and 4.35, regarding surrender
to the Supreme and also the importance of feeling that we are all part of Krishna who is our true friend.
Our building, the temple and ashram, became a squeezed-in situation. Pilgrims from all 'round came to witness the beauty of
Krishna’s deity. Our drama, “Krishna Is”, was a big hit.
When the clock struck 12 at midnight, the doors to the shrine opened for a
viewing of a regally decorated set of murtis (deities) while exuberant
chanting went on. Everyone then broke their fast of full abstinence from food
for the day.
As usual on Janmastami,
apparent birth, I took my trek down the ravine to do my chanting on beads. The
South African couple joined me. I reassured them there’s no crocodiles in the
swamp where we’d be walking and no lions by the grassy meadows. We all survived
on this walk of tamed urban Canadian wilderness. It is Krishna’s
May the Source be with you!