Thursday, October 13th, 2016
The Hill That Draws
Another one of my spiritual big brothers (meaning my senior in years as a monk, and in body) is an American who visits the ashram frequently. His name is Guru Krpa. I’ve read about his contributions to the mission, such as raising funds–big-time—for the existing guest house, temple and school back in the 70’s. I never really met him before. I thought to break-the-ice with him. I wiggled my way through the crowd to make contact.
“I just wanted to say thanks for making it possible for us all to have this facility.”
“I didn’t do it,” said Guru Krpa.
“I heard you did, so thank you.”
He was moving in a specific direction and gave the impression he was heading off. I think I surprised him, but I figured 50% of my job is to acknowledge the good efforts of others. Later in the afternoon, I met him once again, in the stairwell this time. He was carrying a pot of pesto he just made.
“Almonds, olive oil and basil are the main ingredients,” he said. He placed a dab in my right palm. Yes, it was good. I’m glad a friendship was struck.
A few of us—a monk, Madan Mohan, an elder, Vaikunthanath, two ladies, Sita Takurani and Krishna-rupa—and myself, all tackled the night-time walk around Govardhan Hill. Kick-start time was 9:30 p.m. We thought we would be some of the few in the dark hours. To our surprise, thousands of pilgrims came out for the act of piety—a 22 kilometre loop walk around the sacred hill, that takes you through towns, market places, cow sanctuaries, temples, and orchards. People moved at a good clip. Amongst us was our hero, Vaikunthanath, who is 76, and not once complained on the continuous five-and-a-half hour trek.
May the Source be with you!