What do you do with someone you know who has passed away? And how do monks get involved?
In the case of Garga Muni, a respected astrologer and Krishna practitioner, who left us one week ago, his astrology students, friends and acquaintances turned up at the Sraddha Centre last night for a remembrance evening. In his honour, we celebrated over a beautiful feast (not terribly hot, spicy or oily). We held kirtan which he loved when he was with us. Finally, those who shared studies and devotions had the chance for eulogies and reflections. The cremation is to follow tomorrow. And I will have the privilege of taking Garga’s ashes to the Ganges in February 2017.
When it came my turn to speak about Garga Muni, I explained I met him first about twelve years ago. He was Jeffrey by name then. I asked him his surname and where he was from.
“Brock is my last name and I’m from Canada,” replied Jeffrey.
“Hmmm. Anything to do with the famous General Brock who died in the battle at Queenston Heights, War of 1812?”
“Yes, I’m from that ancestry,” he confirmed.
Over time, I got to understand from students and experience that Garga had not only been an angelic gentleman of sorts, but was also militaristic in style, especially to do with time. He loved doing pujari work (priestly work). He loved people and always gave of himself to new temple-goers. He was a big brother and was fatherly to many. He loved his guru and everyone loved him.
May the Source be with you!