REACTING TO FEAR
Wednesday, March 29th, 2023
Ramsden Park, Toronto
Our theme for the morning class on bhakti was regarding fear. Fear is a very real emotion felt by all. This emotion is initiated by what’s to come, a sensation connected to the future, a dealing with the unknown, an apprehension trigged by a notion of danger.
The discussion on the topic was sparked by the story of Ajamil, a rather shady character in the Bhagavatam who was vile in his behaviour and was due to suffer karma. Whenever karma is of a negative nature, one can expect a form of what some might consider punishment, subtle, perhaps, yet harsh. Knowing the ways of karma, one is naturally fearful.
Not all of fear is bad. It can be wholesome and can check on from doing the wrong things. Guilt is born of fear. It should drive us to improvement.
After a full day of devotion, I took that evening walk out of a sense of joy, duty, and guilt. Of course, if I don’t get some walking in, I will just get fat. So, I called Ruslan as my companion. It was a cool wind, even nasty, I would say, and was not allowing my dhoti (lower robe) to behave. In fact, the weather was so intimidating that few pedestrians were outside. The two of us stepped out of a hot kirtan in the ashram and entered into what seemed like a punishment.
Mind you, it’s always good to look at the bright side of everything. The air was shy of biting off our faces, but it was a good bite. ‘Refreshing’ is the word. Some might say ‘harsh’.
MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU!