Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Catholic Devotees

Last night I had a funny dream, well I don't whether to call it funny or inspiring but I didn't contemplate it deeply in the beginning to understand some more hidden meanings. So, I was taking notes in class(strange because I'm not a college student) which was actually not a classroom but a cathedral hall and our professor was actually a priest dressed in his full priestly attire, robes and all. I assume that I was taking a religion or theology class but I don't know, maybe he was teaching us Economics! I wasn't weirded out at all by my priest-professor or the fact that I saw a lot of devotees and gurukulis taking the same class and sitting in the pews. What weirded me out was a bunch a brahmacharis, a group of about 10-15 young boys(they were hardly 18-19 yrs old) clad in saffron robes and sitting in the pews along with everyone else. They were really shy and quiet, they only spoke among themselves in soft whispers and were extremely sensitive to the presense of women, especially young girls. They sat with each other and seemed kind of afraid to look at the females. Needless to say, they didn't behave like any brahmacharis I know. Okay, I know it doesn't make sense, right? If there were devotees in the class then why would it be so weird to see brahmacharis as well, right? Wrong! These celibate monks were not ordinary brahmacaris from the traditional Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya like the other devotees I mentioned. They were wearing saffron robes, dhotis and kurtas, but none of them kept a sikha or Tulasi kanthi-mala or tilak even! I wondered to myself, "Now what the hell is going on here, why are those brahmacharis not dressed properly?" Okay, so what maybe they're from another sect? No, apparently, the Catholic church, along with other Christian churches, had adopted varnasrama-dharma and mandated all the young men of the congregation to wear saffron robes like brahmacaris. When I realised that they weren't Vaishnava devotees but Catholic devotees, then I thought, "Oh that does explain alot!" I think that the rule included all males aged under 25, regardless if he was pursuing marriage or priesthood he would have to remain a brahmacari (and wear saffron robes) until the age of 25, marriage or acceptance into the priesthood. Wow, I wonder if this broad acceptance of varnasrama-dharma will ever come to pass within my lifetime?
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