NeoTribal The Gathering: Mukunda

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I was in my vending space when a little tiny person toddled in. The bit of hair fluff he had was white blond, and his eyes were huge and blue. He smiled and laughed and his mom followed him in.

We chatted a bit, and I said I thought her little friend was cute. (I try not to assume an adult and kid in public together are parent and child, although in this case they were.) I asked his name, and she said, Mukunda.

She explained breathlessly that it’s one of the names of Krishna and added that she and the kid’s dad named him Makunda Ram Das. I didn’t say anything more than Oh! while nodding and smiling.

According to https://krishnasmercy.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/mukunda/, [o]ne of Lord Krishna’s names is Mukunda, meaning “one who grants liberation”. According to Wikipedia,“Ram Dass is an American spiritual teacher and the author of the seminal[2][3] 1971 book Be Here Now.”

 

I will admit right here: I didn’t know much about the followers of Krishna. I thought they wore robes and handed out flowers while asking for donations. (Do I have totally 1977 ideas about the followers of Krishna?) This woman and her husband (whom I met later) looked and acted like other mainstream early 21st century white people. This couple certainly looked more “normal” than most of the other people at the festival: no visible tattoos, no dreadlocks, no tie dye, the man was clean shaven and wore shorts and a t-shirt, the woman did not have on a flowy skirt or flowers in her hair. Maybe followers of Krishna blend in now and I didn’t get the memo. If I had guessed a religion for this little family, I’d have speculated Mormon or maybe Lutheran.

I’m not even trying to be snarky here. I just think it’s a little weird to give your kid one of Krishna’s names if Krishna isn’t your deity.

Maybe I’m the asshole for assuming the family does not hold Krishna in a religious place of honor. (My dad always said, When you assume, you make an ass of you and me.) Now that I have internet access, I Googled “do followers of Krishna dress a certain way?” and found “An introduction on how to be a devotee of Krishna.” According to that website,

The devotees you may have seen distributing books like Bhagavad-Gita, or chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra with traditional Indian instruments, or dancing and chanting dressed in traditional Indian robes, are for the most part full-time monks of the Hare Krishna movement. The vast majority of Krishna devotees, however, live and work in the general community, practicing Krishna consciousness in their homes and may sometimes visit Krishna temples for inspiration and prayer.

Oh. I guess I am the asshole. My apologies. I was holding 1977 ideas about the followers of Krisha. Now I see that it’s quite likely that Mukunda’s parents are devotees of Krishna. I should have just asked, but sometimes my brain is quick to jump to conclusions and slow to ask polite, well-meaning questions.

 

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now my (male) partner and I (a woman) have a travel trailer we can pull with our truck. We have a little piece of property, and when we're not traveling, we park our little camper there. I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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