Pune Airport.

There was as usual a complication with Guru Maharaja’s Tridanda, but as always everything went alright. This time also everything went alright. Hare Krishna devotees are not violent and for sure they wouldn’t kidnap anyone with three bamboo sticks rolled into a cloth. But, rules are rules, even in India (after what’s happened in New York on 9th Sep) they don’t allow Tridanda in airplanes so easily.

After security control, a nice looking young girl suddenly appeared. She was wearing classical uniform for a stewardess, skirt a little under knee, high heals, and very modern make up on her face. As you can notice from my description, India is no longer a country of traditional stewardesses of Air India, who were wearing saris, bindias and mangal-sutras. Now it is a country with the most recent airplanes in the international traffic and the crew is also very modern.

She approached Guru Maharaja and told that she is also a Hare Krsna devotee. According to her appearance and work she might be a lifemember or a congregational member who financially supports some temple.

Guru Maharaja asked her a few questions, such as: “Do you sometimes visit the temple? ISKCON temple?” On that question the look on the face of our hostess started to change, and with a little nervousness she said: “Yes Maharaja.” Then Maharaja asked her: “Do you chant any round?” And that was too much for her. She became very upset. On her face we could see inconvenience, shame and a inner fight. I noticed that she was trembling a little bit, like if she would cry. She said, “Maharaja! Here on my work I can’t wear my tulasi necklace.”

Then she very zealously, with decided moves, like soldiers who salute, took off her modern shoes. For a moment she stood barefoot in her tights before Guru Maharaja with subscripted and submissive attitude, and then she slowly ritually paid her obeisances in front of all passengers by touching the feet of a sadhu. She did exactly what her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and all her forefathers did in Bharata Varsa (today’s India). “Dammit these business rules and regulations” (we could see on her face what she was thinking). Paying obeisances to a sadhu is in their genes and it will not be easy for “the modern upcoming western world” to erase that custom from these people, because dharma is in their blood.

Then I wanted to pay her my obeisances (because she inspired me so much with her attitude), but the security started to bother me with usual things. They began to pick out my walkie-talkie from my baggage, and I had to explain them that I needed that walkie-talkie for communication with my guru, because I’m his personal servant… and at the end I realized they did that to me because they wanted to ask me some questions which they ask me at every airport: “How did you become a devotee, from where do you come?” Is everybody in your country devotee of Radha and Krsna???”

Until I gave them satisfactory answers, I saw how our stewardess escorted Guru Maharaja and one disciple to the waiting room. Now she was much happier. Her anxiety went out from her. She was no longer bothering what her chiefs would say. Her behavior before other passengers was appropriate. She took full benefit from sadhu sanga. And she knew that this was the biggest benefit for a human being. Now she was like a fish in the water, or better to say – she was an Indian woman – who showed her tradition no matter what rules were there.

As told by Devarsi Narada Prabhu