Talking to the Monks
It was the first time in days to feel a breeze coming. Most likely it has something to do with Mother Ganga, who moves with speed, and carries air currents which piggy-back on her. In any event, the cool gusts are welcoming. Ascending the stairs of the Lotus Building was the opportune time for the experience.
Now, I was honoured to be asked to present myself as a full-fledged monk of thirty-three years (and ten celibate brahmachari years before that) in front of a class of soon-to-be-ordained sanyasis (monks). There were thirty of them, representing the U.S., Europe, Russia, Bengal, and Bangladesh. My impression of the group was that they are mature, sober (a word our guru, Srila Prabhupada, used to denote cool-headed), good listeners, appreciative….
Krsna Ksetra Swami, the co-ordinator, had asked that I present a biographical opening. Of course that included how I began my walking excursions. I then walked everyone through the Society’s 7 Purposes (of ISKCON). He suggested I bring up personal, relevant points to do with the renounced order.
At least three bullet points were:
1) Encourage wholesome family life, as most people on the spiritual path will not become fully renounced anyway.
2) Do not become wholly dependent on others. Learn some self-reliance—as a sanyasi many people will be inclined to do many menial tasks for you
3) Watch out for the adoration; always take a humble position
A a fourth would be:
4) Example is better than precept, or as St. Francis of Assisi is attributed to have said, “Preach…and, if you have to, use some words.”
May the Source be with you!