Christie Pitts, Toronto
I Made My Way
I made my way to the upper level of the park at Christie Pitts to meet Nick, who hails from Tobago. He works in the hospitality business at a downtown Toronto hotel. Everyone there, employees and clients (who know him), addresses him with a “Hare Krishna.” He’s not one of those ‘closet devotees’ and even some very famous celebrities whom he meets are also quite open about their spiritual practices. One of them is a regular reader of Bhagavad-gita and regularly chants mantras. So, Nick gets a chance to meet them when they come to town for filming.
Nick and I decided to walk back on Bloor after a good chat at the park. On the way toward the ashram, a tall, lanky fellow from the West Indies noticed us and asked me, specifically, “What is it? What are you?” with a genuine curiousness.
“I’m a monk.”
“No Krishna, Hare Krishna!”
“Oh yes! You know, sometimes gurus get out of line,” he said.
“That’s why in our order, or lineage, we create a sanga, or association, where gurus have a check-and-balance system. People sometimes criticize organized religious cultures, however, in such a scenario, one has peers or colleagues who look out for each other. If you are one of those gurus or teachers who stand on their own, you could end up in big trouble. Everyone needs a friend, and if you are set up to function solo, where are your friends?”
The man listened very carefully and really appreciated the time. “Well, I have to go now. That’s my daughter over there and she just graduated. She needs my attention. Thank you!”
Happy Canada Day!
May the Source be with you!