On Rama’s Birthday
Today is the birthday of Rama, known as Ram Naumi or Ram Navami. People come from the area to partake in the celebrations held in the evening. Where I live in the ashram, community members will come for events like this because attached to the ashram is a temple where Rama (who is an avatar of Krishna) is honoured.
Conveniently, my place of residence is also the place of meditation. Also located on the premises is our vegetarian restaurant, as well as rooms for workshops or seminars. It’s rather ideal if you can manage that kind of lifestyle. Your workplace, living quarters and recreational facility (we sing and dance here) are all under one roof.
Joyously people sang, danced and listened in the temple portion of the building.
The listening session was actually a class delivered by American-born Vasu Gosh, who now resides in India. His message on Rama was well received. I consider him a dear friend, although in some areas of discussion our opinions on the subject matter of the guru principle clashes. While I support the concept of female spiritual masters, he does not.
The argument I would take on the topic is that if one is qualified as a teacher and lives a saintly life, what does it matter the gender that one belongs to? In my heart I’m a supporter of the old school. I like the traditional approach and as a part of our tradition with roots from the Gaudiya Vaishnava background, women, in some cases, took on the portfolio of taking students/disciples.
What is the difficulty?
May the Source be with you!