Tirtha - Grand Mesa - Bhagavad Gita 3,35

Grand Mesa is a sacred place to many cultures, and, as evidenced by the ritualized pictographs there, always has been.  Yet it is presently desecrated by human excrement, litter, canine excrement, vandalism - even the pictographs and other shrines have been ruined by vulgar graffiti.

When we come to understand that some things are sacred to us, we become capable of understanding that others hold some things sacred as well.  At first, these may seem different from what we hold sacred, yet similarities in our practices of worship and veneration may be observed: this permits us to understand that it is the act of veneration and worship itself which is sacred, for they are acts of Love.  Only if we fail to come to love these acts of Love, our own practice has failed.

By such degrees of wisdom, formalities of ritual and idolization become unimportant: it does not matter some venerate a Son of God who died tortured on the Cross, others a less tangible invisible God. Some do not worship any God at all, but venerate a shrine or place, or practice even more subtle rituals – they still love Love. The practice of Love is a difficult art: we learn, gradually, to love gently, then selflessly, then generously. If you truly Love the wilderness enough to enjoy its hospitality from time to time, or worship at its shrines, do so first by protecting them from damage and vulgar use. Then by cleaning and restoring these sacred sites.

And then we will discover the most sacred place of all: our own homes, our streets, and our City.  Make that Pilgrimage!

Better is one’s own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Better is death in one’s own duty; the duty of another is fraught with fear. Bhagavad Gita, 3,35