Sunday evening. The festival was slowing down and getting to its end, many people were already leaving. On Saturday we were with hundreds of fellow Yogi's, now there was only a small group left.
My friend and I decided to take one last workshop. 'An asana journey through the Bhagavad Gita, with live music and mantra'. This was going to be our last one.
We took five yoga workshops in four days and did a lot of chanting and meditation. It had made us happy, feeling light and free, and satisfied. We were a bit disappointed that so many people had already left and we felt a bit like the party was over. We decided to treat ourselves: we would go out to dinner after this last workshop and have a glass of wine.
The workshop started at 17.30. My friend and I and five other people sat in our yoga clothes on our mat, waiting for the teacher to come. He arrived late. He brought his little son. He lighted a couple of incense sticks and took his harmonium out of a briefcase.
He looked a bit annoyed and angry. I thought I saw a man who had had a wild life. Who had partied a lot, who had been with many women, who maybe was into alcohol and drugs. He started telling about the Bhagavad Gita. For me, as a newbie to this story, everything was going fast. I had to concentrate on his words and trying to make things connect. The teacher said: 'I am not in the mood for asanas. I just want to tell you people this.'
And he went on about Krishna. The things he told, he told them as if he absolutely was sure that this was THE truth. I felt confused. How did he know all this? He told about traveling in India. How he was jealous at the people in India, for being so spiritual and enlightened. And how we in the West, did not get it.
'In India, if you are becoming a Sadhu, people understand what you are doing. They say: Give this man some food. Feed him! If you do this in the West, people think you are going crazy and they want to take you to a mental institution. They will let you eat out of trash cans. They have no respect for real people.'
I started worrying. Then he said:
'If you are starting yoga, like you people, you will get into trouble. You will look differently at your friends. At your job. At your habits. Everything is going to change. First you were at the pub with your friends. Laughing and drinking. Now you are not going to the pub anymore. Your old friends are still there. Wondering what is wrong with you. This is not easy. At some point I didn't even recognize my own parents.'
I felt terrible.