California, USA — Sunday, July 24th

Just a minute!

Whatever fleeting thoughts he might have had of becoming a monk dissipated. Forgotten the beauty; forgotten the charm. He couldn't live in such a grubby little monastery. He washed his hands meticulously...

His nose wrinkled with distaste. How could they let this place get so dirty? I mean, just look at this mess! Garbage overflowing, open sewer drains, and— was that a rat? He shuddered.

After the simple fare (or prasadam, as they called it), he followed the monks outside to throw his disposable plate in the garbage and wash his hands at the row of faucets behind the kitchen.

Everybody was so friendly, so polite. They invited him to have lunch with them. Sitting on the floor and eating with his hands was a novelty, but the meal — rice, lentils, braised vegetables, a nice curry (not too hot!), and sweetmeats for dessert — was delicious.

He felt quite content. Maybe there was something to this simple life of devotion to God, after all... Kevin seemed so happy here. Wouldn't it be nice to just give up everything, like he did, and come and live here with these devotees?

At first he almost didn't recognize his brother; with his dhoti and shaved head, he looked like all the other monks. They took him upstairs to see their guru. A nice old man. Quite knowledgeable too. Answered all his questions about reincarnation and stuff.

How tranquil everything was; how serene.

As he walked across the expansive marble courtyard, head turning this way and that, he admired the splendid architecture: the aesthetic domes, the imposing arches, the lofty pillars, the intricate patterns on the architraves, the ornate carvings on the walls...

The monastery on the bank of the river was beautiful. The newly whitewashed domes gleamed in the mid-morning sun. So this is where Kevin (or Krishnadas, as he now preferred to be called) has been living for the last two years.

Tags: Just a minute!

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Layout by iMonk — July 24th, 2011.