Moundsville, West Virginia
I believe our guru, Srila Prabhupada, set a precedent when he asked his strong-bodied, young disciple Brahmananda, to offer his obeisance (prostrations) to his mom when she came to visit. That was in New York, in the late 60’s, when Krishna Consciousness was just starting to brew in the western hemisphere.
Such a gesture has its roots in dharmic principles. It is a Vedic practice to honour mother and father. It is also a notion of reverence as a commandment for Jews, Christians and other ‘old school’ cultures. As long as we can remember, that displaying an act of respect is commanded, and not demanded.
When I arrived at West Virginia’s retreat in New Vrndavana, one of my first orders of business was to take a walk; so I did, around the pond in circumambulation, several times. I was greeted by a lovely couple, two pond dwellers—swans. But my second order of business was to play the role of guru, when I asked the newly-initiated, Vraja-dhama, (now with the name Vraja Kishor), to offer his obeisance to his parents before he showed the gesture to me. The gesture to his parents, again, was to express an obliged indebtedness.
I was very happy for Vraja Kishor, a young Canadian family man, to come forward and take that extra step through the diksha process where one commits to wholesome disciplines in life.
May the Source be with you!