I was running out of mantra cards, or, rather, what some call business cards. “Can monks have business cards?” someone asked me once in a humorous way.
“Why not?” I challenged. “The card is promoting walking—better than that, pilgrimage,” I explained. I have an image of myself walking a trail in Mauritius where bats are ravaging the mango trees. The image on the card doesn’t show any bat attacks. It’s just something I remembered about the trail when I was walking at Bon Accueil.
I had to go for a reprint of the image with the maha mantraon the reverse side. To get to the printers it is 1.0 kilometres, exactly, from the ashramwhere I live. So what do you suppose a walking monk will do with such a distance? Yes, walk it, there and back.
Unfortunately, I cannot boast any more measured mileage today. It came to exactly two kilometres. I rather invested more time into mopping the halls in the temple ashram. It’s a different motion than a walk—more of a dance actually.
I mopped because it was needed. Traffic is thick these days. Foot traffic. People are coming from the far reaches of North America in preparation for the Chariot Fest in Toronto, perhaps the continent’s largest.
The Chariot Fest, traditionally known as Ratha Yatra, is now a fifty-one year custom since beginning in San Francisco, but enjoys a much older history dating back 5,000 years. It also involves a ‘walk’ but not to the printers, perhaps a ‘cleaners’.
The act of walking along with the Chariot of Krishna is supposed to do some purging—a lifting of karma.
May the Source be with you!