Friday, 31 January 2020

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Georgetown/Port of Spain/Toronto

Last Impression Not Lost

A popular basketball player, Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter and several family friends, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.  The gentleman sitting next to me in the Caribbean Airlines showed me the footage.  Sad!  I'm also warned about this new coronavirus going around.  At the airport in both Guyana and Toronto, people were donning masks for protection.  Expect trouble ahead as it is the nature of our dual world.

On the brighter side, I'm home.  I'm with my spiritual family, drinking some broccoli soup, and loving it.  And while I was on the aircraft, I came upon a major breakthrough with a play I'm writing on Sri Chaitanya, the walking, chanting Saint.  My heart is floating on the concepts that have come to mind.  I can see the opening scene now and subsequent scenes as they unfold. This is a great moment for me. 

I’ve had time to reflect on my stay in Trinidad, Suriname and Guyana, hot and humid places.  I perceived a sweetness in the people both inside and outside of our community.  The dominant folks are those whose ancestors were African slaves and indentured labourers from India.  Of the Indian folks, most people know us as “Haribols” who give out the fudge prasadam.  Of the Black folks, well I don't know who they think I am, perhaps some white Buddhist.  In any event, I get along with both groups.  Eye contact is easy.  Saying something of good cheer?  It's easy.

My last image of the Caribbean and the airlines was the cover of the air flight magazine—an image of a dancer at the famous Caravan.  That event would be no place for a monk. 

May the Source be with you.
0 km

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

Crane, Guyana

Jaguars Protected

I am happy to know that in Guyana the hunting and killing of jaguars is unlawful.  The jaguar is the national animal of the country and so it is with pride that conservationists keep a vigilant watch over this beautiful creature.  Now, in all my visits to Guyana, I've never come fact to face with this wild cat in the wilderness, and I certainly hope to keep it that way.  Even when I walked Guyana's coastline, I never really found myself in the thickets of the interior for the opportunity.  The closest thing I had to an unfortunate animal encounter was to unintentionally step onto the horn of a dead catfish. 

Wildest of all are humans, hands down.  But the kind of people I've been sharing time with, in this South American nation, are the soft, shy and gentle.  Today, I gave two classes from the Gita on Chapters 7 and 18, both on topics of duty, or the human obligation which runs on two tracks.  The first track of duty is the line of responsibility bestowed upon us to self, family, community (including jaguars), nature and nation.  The second track is duty to the real self, the atma, the soul.

I was in Georgetown, which is located at the busy juncture near the University of Guyana, and the second spot was at our ISKCON Centre in Crane, which is beyond that interesting floating bridge over the Demerara River.

Everyone's so nice, at least they usually are in front of this monk.  When I leave, I'm not sure what happen, but I assume the best.

May the Source be with you!
1 km

Saturday, January 25th, 2020

Georgetown, Guyana

Every Time I Visit

Every time I visit Guyana, I get treated to an all-exotic meal by Paramatma.  Well, he does the planting and harvesting of the organic veggies and fruits.  His good wife cooks them, or in the case of fruit, prepares it with flair.  The year I walked Guyana, they hosted me to an unforgettable dinner.  Last year he brought me to his farm and showed me his yield.  Just this evening, after a lively padayatra procession in the streets, Paramatma told me of an incident in his orchard. 

"I was using my brush-cutter when I accidentally sliced off a piece of an anaconda's tail.  He was vengeful and reared up his head getting close to mine.  I was in shock.  He crawled away.  Then just yesterday I saw him again.  He looked as if to have an infected tail.  He was no longer after me.  You take risks."  He went on.  Anyway, the meal was to die for.  You get mangoes and other fruits two seasons in the year.

Prior to the meal, I had a chance to speak to the crowd on this eleventh anniversary of Gaura-Nitai deity installation.  At that  occasion, I was asked to name the deities, just like I'm asked to pick out Vedic names for babies, initiates and deities.  So I named them Parama Karuna Nitai Gaurasundar, in describing the two masters of kirtan from the 16th century and how they are merciful. 

After our kirtan, I grouped together some of our part-time monks who were responding to my lead but in their own fashion, using shrill, high-pitched voices.  Well, I told them to rehearse following the kirtan leader.

May the Source be with you!
5 km