Burnaby, British Columbia
Listen, Reach and Leap
My defective left knee and the ongoing rain has made it restrictive for doing a daily stroll. However there is no limit to the amount of service one can execute.
I was content to sit and receive an old friend, Jagadish, who is my senior in devotional terms. He converted to Vaishnavism in Buffalo, New York, well before I knew anything about bhakti-yoga. He was always a calm person, a leader, a guide, an inspiration, and still is. Currently he looks after his handicapped son, Nirmal, who years ago suffered after falling out of a tree, and also receiving serious burns from the spill of hot fluid from a commercial kitchen vat.
When I talked with Jagadish, I could appreciate his strong belief that family must help its members in all circumstances. He also enjoys chanting.
After Jagadish’s visit, I was driven to the household of a young Brazilian family, where their six-month-old daughter was ready to receive her first grains. A priest, that’s me, spoon feeds the child in a small ceremony called anna prasana. Part two of this program is to lay out a book (shastra), such as the sacred text Bhagavad-gita, and next to it a small pile of coins. Tradition has it that when the child is set to crawl and make a choice to touch either the book or the coins, it may determine their future inclinations.
Our little girl reached out for the coins. Family and visitors took delight. Her older brother by three years, Ravi, and I also got on well. Later for the Sunday crowd, people were leaping for the stars, it appeared, during kirtan, and reaching new heights, I felt, at class time.
May the Source be with you!