It looks like we started a kind of cult among the kids with our drama, “Mr. Puri.” We presented this endearing story to the school. We are hearing that some children have viewed it as many as four times. They’re singing at school one of our songs, “Gopal, Gopal, we’re looking everywhere.” When the public see the actors, they call them by their names in the play. Pariksit, one of the actors, speaks of his threatening dog, Pinto, in the drama. When Pariksit is seen on the street, they call out, “Pinto! Pinto!” They also ask Jambhavan, another one of the actors, from South Africa, if he could do his dance move “the worm” which he pulls off expertly in the show.
It’s trail-blazing, in a good way. The compulsion to imitate, or recall, well-motivated stories, lilas, centered around spiritual themes is a good thing.
After hearing a Bhagavatam class from Guru Prasada Swami, an American-born monk, I met Uttama Sloka Swami, who gently pulled me over to the side and said, “Maharaja, you have begun a new fashion. You are using your uttariya (beggars cloth, usually tied around the neck) and draping it over the shoulder, like a chauddar (shawl). Other sannyasis are following your lead on this.”
To the swami making the remark, I had this to say. “When I do my marathon walks in the mind-swept prairies, the uttariya flings in the air in a most unmanageable way, so I wear it like most folks in India. I do get my dhoti (lower garment) sewn so the cloth is like a tube you step into. The strong wind can’t send it in a way to expose yourself. Also it keeps your legs warmer in Canadian coolness.”
There’s a method to the madness.
May the Source be with you!