The Love of My Life
Part 36: Becoming a Monk
I figured if my guru wants me to take the steps to become a brahmachari, he would give me more guidance and messages! I prayed to Yogananda, "Guruji, I'm kind of slow! You're going to have to keep telling me, if you want it for me!" At the same time, at least in my mind, I remained confused and at odds about myself and becoming a monk.
So I made an appointment to meet with our village astrologer, to specifically ask about monkhood for me. Wise man that he is, he didn't really argue one way or another, and simply agreed with me about the pros and cons of going each way. Yet he mentioned in passing a something that resonated with me so much.
He said seeing people of Ananda for all these years, he had noticed many of them had renunciate/monk tendencies, yet they tended to be falling into two distinct groups... Some had characteristics of "European" kind of monk. Picture catholic monasteries, discipline, order, monks praying and walking and eating in unison... The other kind, he said, are more like "Indian" wandering monks, or "sadhus": they tend to go alone and don't play well with order, working with the group, neatness, and form.
Instantly I recognized myself as the second type of monk! That's why I was being inwardly deterred from going towards the formality of taking vows and joining the order of monks. I noticed how I tend to always run away from any form of rigid "form" and "formality", at least in some matters.
As it happened, rather than joining the monastery, after my period of living at the group house ended, I ended up taking an opportunity to live more of an independent life. I moved into a house a couple of miles outside of our village, living with a family.
At least for this period of my life, I feel pulled towards this kind of freer living. I still consider myself a monk, but have given up the idea of the formal aspect of it all. I call myself a "free monk". A while back, inspired by these events and realizations, I even wrote a poem:
I am a free monk.
I will be, I was, a #freemonk.
I am a renunciate.