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Kartik Inspiration 2019 Day 12 - The Monkey Man

By Sacinandana Swami

The Monkey Man

Yesterday I experienced something extremely shocking at first. Maybe it was a wake-up call.

It happened while I was sitting peacefully by the side of the sacred mountain Giriraja. I was absorbed in chanting; it went quite well. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard a terrible, frightening noise. It sounded like a mix of an attacking bull, shrieking monkey and dinosaurs fighting. It was such a frightening, unidentifiable sound that I was shaken. When I looked around trying to identify the source of the sound, I saw a man with disheveled hair running towards me with a stick held high, as if he wanted to “beat the hell out of me” (how they say in America). I thought: “This is the end of my Kartik-vrata.”

However, the man stopped about fifty centimeters next to me and that was when I saw what was going on. He had attacked a heard of monkeys who had snuck up on me, eyeing my red bag with my emergency ratio (the food I take along when I go out). They wanted to steal the bag, along with all the possessions of a monk: my glasses, books, karatals, a few rupees… and surely they would have taken everything.

The sadhu had noticed this and had made the frightening noise - directed not at me, but at the monkeys. I reflected about this experience for a long time. My mind had misidentified the situation and created fear where there was protection. We often do this - misidentify a situation. We need to look again. We need to reevaluate from a distance and ask: “Is it really such a problem?” Then we will see an entirely different picture. Especially here in Vrindavan, we will see that Krishna’s merciful hand is behind everything that happens.

This is what I learned yesterday while watching the monkey man, as I call him, or the man protecting from monkeys. I will not so easily forget this lesson on reevaluating.

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