A Primary Reason
Burnaby, British Columbia
One of my primary reasons for a hasty trip to Vancouver was to see
a dear godsister, Padyavali, who was reported to be severely stricken
with Parkinsons. When I spoke to her on the phone several days earlier
she didn’t sound too good. I thought, “Oh my God! She’s going to leave
us soon. I must pay her a visit as soon as possible.”
Even though I am a sannyasi, in a monastic order, it doesn’t mean I
shouldn’t care for a female spiritualist who has given so much of her
“blood”, let’s say, to the mission of consciousness-raising. I can’t
be too frigid in my dealings with those who are of the fair gender,
especially if they were so benevolent a pioneer of our mission. In the
case of Padyavali it is so. She sacrificed a lot.
I was relieved that she was discharged from the hospital and had
returned to her apartment where she is being supervised / nursed by a
helper. Upon seeing me she was all smiles. She remarked how we first
met in the 70′s during the Calgary Stampede. She spoke slowly but was
coherent and I was glad to see that her thoughts were so clear.
For some reason or other during that summer in Calgary in 76 I was
approached by police and was charged for trying to sell religious
literature on the streets without a permit; something ridiculous like
that. Padyavali came to my aid, to testify on my behalf.
“I met you in the elevator of that legal building in Calgary and you
were chanting, oblivious of all the other persons in the elevator,” she said. And I recall how she was like a general and had come to the city where the world’s largest outdoor event, the Stampede annually takes place. She was the group leader of a bunch of young women, who were also in the public distributing Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
literature. She was like a Joan of Arc heading up the Troys.
Our mind set was, “Here is a big rodeo event, a big program that boosts cowboy culture and we were here to promote a cow protection culture”.
It was good to see our gal, Padyavali in good spirits and doing better
than I anticipated. Hang in there Padyavali! You’ve got lots of
friends and supporters.