At 7:10 p.m. when I had the chance to see the honourable deities of Sita Rama at the temple (ISKCON) it was difficult to get around. Many people were doing what I was—trying to receive some mercy from above. The place was packed. There were local attendees, and I also saw a dozen or more inquisitive tourists, most likely from Russia. They observed the elaborate display of the deities. They also couldn’t help but notice the monks-in-training who were enthusiastically singing and dancing as a way of trying to please the deities.
I made my way to the front of the temple room, close to the deities. I also participated in the dance and took some lead on the dance steps. This created a small sensation since the monks are accustomed to more-or-less a robotic type of repetitious movement. They saw a chance to break out of it. There was some apprehension initially and then liberation kicked in.
In the course of that, I saw someone approaching for darshan (viewing of the deity) and he was moving rather slowly with the assistance of crutches. It was my friend from Ahmedabad, Yasomatinandan, who has aged considerably since last I saw him. He broke into a smile after I tapped him on the shoulder, at which time he recognized me.
This is the same Yasomatinandan whom I see every day in the corridor in the form of a photo, enlarged and framed, on the wall. He is walking with his guru, Srila Prabhupada, in the photo. He looks handsome, energetic and young.
That dynamic has changed in Yaso, but I see his consciousness is good and that is what counts.
May the Source be with you!