Tuesday, January 10th, 2023
This was the first morning of another semester of bhakti training with the group, Bhakti Academy, a successful venture for mostly younger folks. Venkatesh is from South India, and has taken these semesters very seriously, to the point where, in addition to taking an administrative role in the temple, he also had the strong desire to change the colour of his cloth to saffron, affirming his celibacy.
Just before my departure for the airport to destination Calgary, I handed over to him his new clothes, including dhoti and kurta, in the temple room in front of the presiding deities. I did not get too ceremonial about the event, as Venkatesh personally asked for something simple, so we chanted the mangala charana prayers which invoke auspiciousness.
This recognition of change of progress, may spark an interest in some other members of the academy to go this extra step toward “ultimate bachelorhood” before a matrimonial phase. Congratulations to Ven!
My flight to Calgary was pleasant enough. As we descended and came in for the landing, you could feel temperatures declining. They dipped to a figure below minus twenty. Passengers were prepared, donning thick winter coats at the terminal, while workers in the airport wore, not saffron, but red, and in cowboy fashion, with cowboy hats and the works.
The way a person dresses makes a loud statement of what they are all about. It can often denote some kind of service. Service is just about everything.
MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU!