With weather being what it is these days- really nice – it is attracting more pedestrians, people moving about. For our residents of the ashrama there is a compulsion to do the same. So after the early session of the sadhana a few of us took to the urban wetlands where there is a convenient boardwalk. And to get yourself there you take to a forest path.
At this time of summer you likely have the maximum diversity of herbs growing to the sides of the path. I couldn’t resist letting our group know what are the various edibles and medicines that nature offers in the form of some greens. Now, I am not a pundit or master of herbs. I know a little more that the average urbanite, I guess it would be safe to say.
I take full responsibility for turning this intended japa meditation into a wild-plant lesson. It was appreciated by these short-term students. The magnanimity and generosity of the creator was evident for all those who gained the information. In any event the lesson went on until we peeked at our watches realizing that we were running late for the rest of our sadhana. Oh well! The karma falls on my lap.
For the evening I was driven to Scarborough to give a presentation from the Gita. I was told it was a random choice as to which verse to speak from. I chose 9.16 wherein Krishna identifies Himself as such: “I am the ritual, I am the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering.” The word “ausadham” means the healing herb.
After my presentation I asked for questions. One witty question was, “As a child, Krishna was charged of stealing butter. Would it be safe to say that according to this verse if Krishna is the butter used in the sacrifice, then He can’t really be the thief as charged?”
I agreed. He is also the object. There is no separation between the subject and the object. One more comment is that when I asked the fifty or so listeners as to how much knowledge they had about horticulture, eco-culture, botany, herbology I received little or no response. I don’t mean to put down this community but I would like to say that although most people are device “savvy” little is known about the plants and the green things that are our friends.