Sunday, March 29th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk


Toronto, Ontario

About Animals and Me

Now I was raised on a small farm. We had—on this ten acre piece of land—a house, barn, sizeable front yard, a garage for two vehicles, and an orchard to accommodate some apple, peach, plum, pear and mulberry trees, and in stock—some animals. Oh, and I forgot the chicken coop in the barnyard. There was a family milk cow, chickens, pigs, a goat, a pony, pheasants and peacocks.

My dad was good with the animals like he was with the veggies (oh and we also had a plentiful garden).  But there came a point where some of our livestock went up for slaughter. The animals were trucked away, and a little extra money came our way to support a family of eight.

When it came to the chickens, well, we had to do the (dis)honour ourselves. My dad handed me a hen one day, and the hatchet, and like he had done in the past, he expected me to perform the execution. I couldn’t come around to doing that. “I was chicken!“ as they say. So we came to a compromise. I would pluck the (stinky) feathers after he beheaded the poor thing. It was hard to hold my nose when two hands were needed. It was always difficult to be at the dinner table when one of our former pets became our meal. I won’t judge my father. He really was a Super-Dad and in so many respects. Anyway, I eventually became an easy convert to vegetarianism.

The difficulty with humans taking the lives of animals, as a livelihood, is always a problem, and now we see that with the meddling of bats, monkeys, birds etc., we humans are paying the price. Mankind is haunted by viruses.

There are alternative lifestyles. We need to go there.





May the Source be with you!
4 km


Saturday, March 28th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk


Toronto, Ontario

Some Pacing, Some Zooming

I only did some pacing in our temple room today, and chanted on my beads during that time. I kept myself grounded. The wet, gray weather of the outdoors didn’t necessarily beckon me. Besides, I was at the mercy of my service which required indoor attention.

Most importantly was the broadcast on “Zoom” (Zoom Cloud App-free from your App Store) delivering my message, and answering questions to members of the KCS (Krishna Consciousness Society)who are all young men starting off their careers. I would say the bulk of the interview centred on the walking I do. 

Parama G. was the coordinator. He initiated the questions, with one of the first being: “Please tell us about a significant impressional moment on one of the walks.“

And so I told of the encounter of the grizzly bear in Crow’s Nest Pass. “My support person and I were almost toast until the massive lorry came by and scared the furry—possibly 300 kg—mammal away. It was a very close call.“

There were questions about spiritual life, and how to effectively walk that path. And the answer to that is keeping good company. In fact, I could not have trekked roadways and forest paths, successfully, without having a good companion nearly to support me. I invited the listeners to join me on the Bruce Trail this spring. I will recommend tracking that footpath (Canada‘s oldest) sometime in late April or early May; and of course, only when this coronavirus has blown over.  Then all will be welcome!

May the Source be with you!
2 km (inside)




Friday, March 27th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk


Toronto, Ontario

The Tree Fight Club

For the longest time, three raccoons were at each other in a vicious fight, clasping onto the flimsy branches of the huge tree outside my window. It was nighttime and this was before I retired for sleep. They snarled, growled, whimpered and screeched in opposition to each other.  https://www.instagram.com/p/B-UDtp_A8j3/?igshid=19nk0zmokjbsh

I first of all saw them from below, at street-level, watching them and happy for them—happy for them being healthy and alive. They kept up their noises of battle way into the wee hours. I could hear their persistence while I was trying to sleep.

Meanwhile, in the world of humans, there is major combat against the silent, invisible virus, corona. I will refer to it as the ‘ coron-asura’. Asura means antagonist: a mean adversary.

People naturally hold a fear for this little demon, but to put an interesting twist on the current pandemic, we might look at the positive side. Nature is merely lashing out at our mistreatment of the biological world. We are having to learn to experience sense control by watching our movement, keeping our distance, and staying in a kind of quarantine. We must reflect on our own folly.

I am confined to my building, the temple/ashram, but I must get out for a short time every day, while also being cautious about closeness to others.  I must have some sun, wind and air. I’m keen to build up my immunity. It allows me to love nature more.

Although I do feel stress, with some people I believe there’s probably less fighting with each other.  It’s not time for petty differences. 

Chant!

May the Source be with you!
7 km


Thursday, March 26th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk


Toronto, Ontario

The Earth Will Close Down

A man of experience—meaning middle-aged—and dressed very finely, spotted me on the park bench where I was alone chanting on my beads. He came toward me, stopped at a healthy distance and asked, “So you a man of faith; what do you make of all of this?“

“You mean corona?“

“Yes.“

“It’s an opportunity to slow down our pace, enjoy more of the quiet, enhance our gratitude for what we have, become introspective and hold onto our patience.“

The gentleman smiled approvingly. He mentioned that he’d share the message as well as the picture he took of me. I expressed that I appreciated his stopping to talk.

There was a second person who approached me while on his bike. A cute kid—all excited. He halted and said, “The playground’s closed. They’ve got it all taped up.“

The seven-year old (my guess) was followed by his dad who seemed okay his son was in parlance with a monk.

“You stay safe now.“

“I will,“ said the child with innocence in his full demeanour.

I met him again minutes later. “I guess you really miss not being in the playground? I asked.

“Yeah, but there’s only one swing that’s free.“

“So you’re going to go for it?“

“It’s still forbidden.“ And he spun off.

I think one day soon the earth will close down.

May the Source be with you!
5 km





Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk


Toronto, Ontario

Virus on the World

Walking along Spadina, to my right I observed a lovely Presbyterian church with a message out front: “The world is both beautiful and terrible.“

Minutes later, a cyclist with longish hair pulled over. “Didn’t the Buddha say, “The world is a place of pain?”

“My response was: “Krishna states, ‘The world is a place of suffering, and that it’s temporary.’“

Then on Augusta Avenue, I met one of the musicians who would venture our way at the local park to join us in Kirtan. Still around, I thought. Over the winter, he hadn’t forgotten us.

Keeping his distance (that’s what all people are trained to do in these weeks of the virus), he used the current common expression: “Hey! Stay safe!”

At the park, Bellevue Square, I saw another familiar face. He is still delivering food orders. He threw a rubber ball at me (a friendly gesture) but I missed it and it struck my shoulder. It fell and got caught in my dhoti, my lower robe. It was just a greeting from a distance.

And then there was another acquaintance, from last year, who addressed me with a “Namaste!“ He, being a radical, offered to say, “Yeah, they’re going to control us. We’ll all be just a number before long.“ He is an Ojibway native and very outspoken about his views on the world, “Namaste!“

“Yes, Hare Krishna!“

The most important aspect of today was that after my walk I went into the ashram and we celebrated the seventieth birthday of Hara Kumar, our local conspiracy theorist.  He said nothing about the world and was quiet until I dropped a sizeable piece of birthday cake into his mouth.

May the Source be with you!
9 km



Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk


Toronto, Ontario

We Are Affected

I believe people should be careful in the matter of overdosing or over-exposing themselves to negative signals. Now that everyone is homebound, corona broadcast is very much in everyone’s face. Mass media is doing a good job of informing the public about safety measures to protect persons from the sometimes fatal virus. As a result, at least in our neighbourhood, people are prudent about wearing masks and/or social distancing. At the Whole Foods store down the street, purchasers getting groceries, form long queues adhering to the two metre distance between each other.

Living in the ashram does offer a peaceful spirit. Our use of devices is limited so we are not hearing about depressing reports. Still I’m somewhat affected by grim attitudes outside.  During my stroll today, I could see all the uncertainty in peoples’ lives projected on their faces as being too forlorn.  So I decided to sit on a park bench. I sat beneath a coniferous tree and looked at it in all its splendour. A gentle breeze put branches into a smooth motion. Its animation, its colour, and its scent, all gave me hope.

In His famous devotional prayers, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the kirtan monk, wrote that from a tree we can learn acceptance and tolerance. That tree, which was a spruce, made me feel much better. Adding onto that, I was chanting the maha-mantra and this gave me a bonus of morale boosting. In many ways when one is trained in monastic life, one does have a better chance at adjusting during challenging times like this. Those of us residing in the ashram for the time being are fine, but what about those who cannot afford Whole Foods or even less? What happens to them?

May the Source be with you!
4 km




H.H. Jayapataka Swami Speaks About the #GivingTOVP 10 Day Matching Fundraiser
- TOVP.org

Recently we sent out the official announcement about the Second Annual #GivingTOVP 10 Day Matching Fundraiser which you can read here. This event starts on April 26 (Akshaya Tritiya) until May 6 (Nrsimha Caturdasi) and is poised to raise over $300,000 to help the completion of Lord Nrsimha’s entire East Wing and altar in the TOVP for the opening ceremony during Gaur Purnima 2021.

In this video His Holiness Jayapataka Swami speaks about the importance of this fundraiser for completing Lord Nrsimha’s temple wing and altar by 2021.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Due to the disastrous effects of the Corona virus pandemic worldwide and the 21 day lock-down in India, ISKCON Mayapur is experiencing a serious financial crisis. On account of this emergency situation, Ambarisa and Braja Vilasa prabhus from the TOVP have decided to help ISKCON Mayapur by creating an extension campaign to the #GivingTOVP Fundraiser called the TOVP Care Emergency Matching Fund Campaign. Ambarisa will match 10 cents for every dollar raised for the #GivingTOVP Fundraiser (online only) and donate it to ISKCON Mayapur.

For more information go ​here​.


 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

Visit us at: www.tovp.org
Follow us at: www.facebook.com/tovp.mayapur
Watch us at: www.youtube.com/user/tovpinfo
View us 360° at: www.tovp360.org
App at: https://m.tovp.org/app
News & Texts at: https://m.tovp.org/newstexts
RSS News Feed at: https://tovp.org/rss2/
Buy from us at: https://tovp.org/tovp-gift-store/
Support us at: https://tovp.org/donate/seva-opportunities/

The post H.H. Jayapataka Swami Speaks About the #GivingTOVP 10 Day Matching Fundraiser appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

#GivingTOVP Matching Fundraiser & TOVP Care Emergency Fund Campaign
- TOVP.org

The second annual #GivingTOVP 10 Day Matching Fundraiser will soon begin on April 26(Akshaya Tritiya) until May 6 (Nrsimha Caturdasi) to raise funds for the completion of Lord Nrsimha’s temple wing and altar for the opening celebration during Gaura Purnima 2021. However, we are all too aware of the disastrous effects of the Corona virus pandemic worldwide, even on ISKCON communities, preaching, book distribution and finances.

ISKCON Mayapur is especially struggling due to the 21 day lock-down in India which has all but halted many of the daily activities there, including work on the TOVP. Entry of any visitors or devotees, including the residential devotees in and around Mayapur, has been restricted to those engaged in the daily deity services and other direct temple related services. All guest houses are closed, restaurants and Maha Prasad stalls, bhoga bhandar and all sources which are meant for generating revenues are shut down. All income to ISKCON Mayapur has thus been stopped.

On account of this emergency situation, Ambarisa and Braja Vilasa prabhus from the TOVP have decided to help ISKCON Mayapur by creating an extension campaign to the #GivingTOVP Fundraiser called the TOVP Care Emergency Matching Fund Campaign. Ambarisa will match 10 cents for every dollar raised for the #GivingTOVP Fundraiser (online only) and donate it to ISKCON Mayapur. The potential is quite large considering that last year over $150,000 was raised, not including Amariasa’s match of $150,000.

These funds will be used for Deity Care, Devotee Care of 250+ full-time brahmacari residents, and Cow Care of the 300+ cows in the goshala. This is an opportunity to serve the World Headquarters of ISKCON in Sridham Mayapur which is struggling due to a financial breakdown.

We encourage devotees worldwide to support this combined fundraiser with one donation from April 26 until May 6 and help both the TOVP continue with financing our construction work and ISKCON Mayapur through this crisis. Please take responsibility for protecting Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Place of Worship’ and dearmost project. As he stated regarding the upkeep of ISKCON Mayapur:

“Just like I am trying to make some fund for Vrndavana and Mayapur. Even no contribution comes, it will go on. The seva-puja will not stop for want of money. So there will be no want of money. Still, I must make some provision, by the income the seva-puja will go on. Contribution may come or not. That provision should be made.”

Concerning the TOVP project specifically, we will resume construction as soon as possible and we pray devotees will also continue with their regular pledge payments. If construction stops for an extended period this will have severe ramifications on our scheduled Grand Opening in 2022. It will also increase the construction cost as re-starting work will be very costly for a number of reasons. Minimum work must continue at the least so our progress is not stunted.

Please go here to read more about the #GivingTOVP Fundraiser.

 

TOVP NEWS AND UPDATES – STAY IN TOUCH

Visit us at: www.tovp.org
Follow us at: www.facebook.com/tovp.mayapur
Watch us at: www.youtube.com/user/tovpinfo
View us 360° at: www.tovp360.org
App at: https://m.tovp.org/app
News & Texts at: https://m.tovp.org/newstexts
RSS News Feed at: https://tovp.org/rss2/
Buy from us at: https://tovp.org/tovp-gift-store/
Support us at: https://tovp.org/donate/seva-opportunities/

The post #GivingTOVP Matching Fundraiser & TOVP Care Emergency Fund Campaign appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

Announcing – The BBT/TOVP Books Are Bricks Campaign
- TOVP.org

In 1971, as a young devotee in Calcutta, Giriraja Swami approached Srila Prabhupada, “I have been trying to understand what your desire is, and two things seem to please you the most: distributing your books and building the big temple in Mayapur.” Prabhupada’s face lit up, his eyes opened wide, and he smiled, saying: “Yes, you have understood. If you all build this temple, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur will personally come and take you all back to Godhead.”

Now that’s quite a statement from Srila Prabhupada! Building the TOVP was so important to him (and our acharyas) that he categorically stated, “You have understood”, and if you build this temple, “Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur will personally come and take you all back to Godhead.” And hand-in-hand with the TOVP is book distribution. What more can be said? These statements are an indication of the heart and soul of Srila Prabhupada, our Founder/Acharya and most merciful master. Along with developing our love of God, which was his prime desire for us personally, fulfilling these two desires of his in the preaching mission are the cornerstone of pleasing him.

It may be unknown to many devotees, including those who actively distribute his books full or part-time, that for every book which is bought from the BBT and distributed to some fortunate conditioned soul, a percentage of that income to the BBT goes directly to temple construction as per Srila Prabhupada’s direct instruction:

“I specifically formed the BBT to invest in it exclusive rights for the printing of all literature containing my teachings, writings and lectures. In this way the collections are to be divided fifty percent for printing new books and fifty percent for construction of temples.”

Letter to all Temple Presidents 3/14/74

Several years ago the BBT Trustees unanimously decided that the importance of building and completing the TOVP exceeded the needs of any other temple construction project, and agreed to continue to remit annual funds for TOVP construction until the year 2022 when it is scheduled for completion. This landmark commitment by the BBT heralded the start of an unannounced pledge by the BBT to help build the TOVP through funds generated by book distribution. And every book distributor in the world was now an unsung hero in the “Raising of Lord Caitanya’s temple by the hands of every devotee.” To date the BBT and BBTI have given the TOVP over $2 million!

It may consequently be said that every book distributed builds the TOVP. Every book distributed is figuratively another brick on the TOVP. Books are, in fact, bricks. And in this way devotees can be further inspired and enlivened in their book distribution service to distribute even more books, knowing they are personally involved in the construction on a daily basis.

So, remember the Book Are Bricks Campaign for the next two years to the Grand Opening of the TOVP in 2022, and get the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. They will personally come and take you all back to Godhead.

Book Are Bricks Campaign ki jaya!!!

 

The post Announcing – The BBT/TOVP Books Are Bricks Campaign appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

Seeking Karuna Amidst Corona seminar part 2
→ The Spiritual Scientist

[Princeton University Hindu Life Program]

Podcast


 

Video:

The post Seeking Karuna Amidst Corona seminar part 2 appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.

Rama Navami Online Readings
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!

Rama Navami Celebrations were kicked of with a three part dramatic reading series from "RAMAYANA, INDIA'S IMMORTAL TALE OF ADVENTURE, LOVE, AND WISDOM" (Retold by Krishna Dharma das). These readings took place fro  March 30th to April 1st and were facilitated by HH Bhaktimarga Swami. We broadcast these readings live  on our Facebook Page (ISKCON Toronto: The Hare Krishna Centre), links to the recordings are available below:



Video Recordings:
"The Trial of Strength"
https://www.facebook.com/174452304502/videos/2814011278713379/
"With The Sage Vishvamitra".
https://www.facebook.com/174452304502/videos/1389738501235435/
"The Birth of Lord Rama" 
https://www.facebook.com/174452304502/videos/684157395659832/

Celebrations will conclude on Thursday, April 2nd. HH Bhaktimarga Swami will give a special Class from 6:30pm - 7:30pm EST. This Live class will be broadcast on our Facebook Page "ISKCON Toronto: The Hare Krishna Centre".



URGENT APPEAL by ISKCON Mayapur in the wake of COVID-19
→ Mayapur.com

Save ISKCON Mayapur. Emergency fund Campaign. Dear Devotees, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. We pray this letter meets you in good health during these challenging times. In the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 5.19.24, Srila Prabhupada states: “The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has established its center in Māyāpur, the birthsite of Lord […]

The post URGENT APPEAL by ISKCON Mayapur in the wake of COVID-19 appeared first on Mayapur.com.

TOVP Architecture Department Pujari Floor Opening Report – March, 2020
- TOVP.org

Talk of Town

The following is a report from the TOVP Architecture Department Head, Vilasini devi dasi, detailing the development of the Pujari Floor from concept to reality.

Click here to see it in your browser or download a copy to your desktop for offline reading.

The post TOVP Architecture Department Pujari Floor Opening Report – March, 2020 appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

Rama Navami Entries: Children’s Creations and Online Sessions
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!

As Rama Navami approaches this Thursday, the students at Krishna Funskool are engaging in interactive activities daily! They are currently learning the Nama Ramayana, a prayer composed of 108 names of Lord Rama that describes His various qualities and pastimes from the Ramayana. 

The classes began last Friday, March 27 and will be completed on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Lord Rama on April 2, 2020. As you can see below, these are going on in full swing with over 30 participants daily! These sessions are facilitated via beautiful visuals and translation of these prayers by our beloved teachers. 

Also see below submissions sent in by our very talented children. A gentle reminder, if you would like to send your child's work, please continue to send pictures everyday by 9pm. And watch this space for daily updates!

Working on the Ramayana theme will help your child understand the pastimes of Lord Rama better and spend more time in being spiritually connected. Click here for resources and guidelines.  

Contributions to date:


1. Sita-Rama by Lakshmipriya Meda (10 yrs)- Mar 30


2. Rama breaking Siva's bow by Chinmay Sivakumar (10 yrs)- Mar 30


3. Rama breaking Siva's bow by Avyukta Sri Ganesh (11 yrs)- Mar 31

4. Video: Sweet and Savoury recipes for Rama Navami. Click here to watch the young chef, Avyukta Sri Ganesh (11yrs)- Apr 1.
Please note that this video is hosted on an external site and we have no control over the related videos


5. Sita-Rama in the forest by Saanvi Vanam (8yrs)- Apr 1


6. Lord Rama crossing Rama-setu by Shivansh (6yrs)- Apr 1


7. Lord Rama blessing his devotees by Shreyasi Patel (Gopika) (5yrs)- Apr 2


8. Hanuman fetching sanjeevani herb by Avyukta Sri Ganesh (11yrs)- Apr 2


9. Lord Rama with his bow and arrow by Chinmay Sivakumar (10yrs)- Apr 2


10. Hanuman to the rescue with the life saving herb by Krishnavivek Ivaturi (9 yrs)- Apr 3

11. Jai Sri Rama by Jaya (8 yrs)- Apr 3


12. Sita-Rama strolling by Priya (12 yrs)- Apr 3


13. Lord Rama craftwork by Nandha (7yrs)- Apr 3


14. A colouring and some points on Sita-Rama shared by Saanvi Vanam (8yrs)- Apr 4


15. Rama Navami drawing by Srihita Ashok (7yrs)- Apr 5


16. Sita-Rama Lakshman Hanuman by Taruni Grover (5yrs)- Apr 5


17. Devotees worshipping Sita-Rama by Vitthal Bhakta Joshi (6yrs)- Apr 5

God’s Protection
Giriraj Swami

From a talk by Srila Prabhupada on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 25.29, January 21, 1967, San Francisco.

The laws of nature are so strict that if you have to suffer, nobody can check it. That is realized by Prahlada Maharaja. There are so many evidences. Balasya neha saranam pitarau. (SB 7.9.19) [“My Lord Nrsimhadeva, O Supreme, because of a bodily conception of life, embodied souls neglected and not cared for by You cannot do anything for their betterment. Whatever remedies they accept, although perhaps temporarily beneficial, are certainly impermanent. For example, a father and mother cannot protect their child, a physician and medicine cannot relieve a suffering patient, and a boat on the ocean cannot protect a drowning man.”]

There are many children, they have got their parents, but they are suffering. Actually, their parents take care. But in spite of their parents being present, they are suffering for want of food, want of proper management. Therefore it is to be understood that the father and mother are not actually the responsible persons to take care of the children.

Then, nartasya cagadam. Artasya, those who are suffering from disease—medicine is not all. Suppose one man is suffering: you give him all treatment and medicine. There are many rich men; they can spend like anything. But does it mean that he’ll be cured? No. He may not be cured. And even in the presence of parents, the children may suffer.

Udanvati nauù. And suppose you have got very good, nice ship. Do you mean to say that you’ll cross over the Atlantic Ocean safely? Oh, at any moment it can be drowned. There is no guarantee. You have got very nice jet plane; you are going to San Francisco. Oh, there is no guarantee that you will reach there. Therefore, unless there is God’s sanction, all these remedies, all these protections, are useless.

Therefore the best service to the humanity is to revive people’s Krishna consciousness, God consciousness. That will save them. Not this little hospital or this little foodstuff. No. That cannot save him. If God neglects one . . . There is a Bengali saying, two lines: rakse krsna mare ke, mare krsna rakse ke. If Krishna, God, wants to kill somebody, oh, nobody can protect him. And if God wants to protect him, oh, nobody can kill him. . . . Both ways.

One Dr. Ghosh told me—because I was in medical business. He went to see one patient. He explained, “He’s suffering from pneumonia, and he’s such a poor man, lying in such an unfavorable condition. Our medical science says he should have died. But I don’t see that he’s dying. He’s not dying.” I have tested this. One doctor at Gaya, a Muhammadan named Suvahi—I saw that many patients were surrounding him. So I congratulated him, “Doctor, you have got very good patients. Your practice is very nice.” “Sir,” he replied, “it is not my credit. If you want my practical experience, I’ll tell you that with confidence I prescribe somebody some medicine—it fails. And without any confidence, just to take a chance, I prescribe some medicine, ‘Oh, let me see . . .’ and, oh, it works nicely. So actually, I can take no credit.” So, he was an honest man to admit, “It is God’s grace that so many patients are being cured in my hand, but I say I have no credit.” This the reality.

So, we should not take any credit. Everything is under the laws of the Supreme Lord, through the agency of this material, external energy. Just like a government is working through different departments, similarly God is working through His different energies. He’s sitting with you, He’s seeing everything, and He knows everything. Vedaham samatitani. (Gita 7.26) [“O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.”]

Seeking Karuna Amidst Corona seminar part 1
→ The Spiritual Scientist

[Princeton University Hindu Life Program]

Podcast


 

Video:

The post Seeking Karuna Amidst Corona seminar part 1 appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.

The Value of Saintly Association
Giriraj Swami

Lord Caitanya says that one should always try to associate with saintly persons because if one establishes a proper association with a saintly person, even for a moment, one attains all perfection. Somehow or other, if one meets a saintly person and achieves his favor, then the entire mission of one’s human life is fulfilled. In our personal experience we have actual proof of this statement of Manu. Once we had the opportunity to meet Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, and on first sight he requested this humble self to preach his message in the Western countries. There was no preparation for this, but somehow or other he desired it, and by his grace we are now engaged in executing his order, which has given us a transcendental occupation and has saved and liberated us from the occupation of material activities. Thus it is actually a fact that if one meets a saintly person completely engaged in transcendental duties and achieves his favor, then one’s life mission becomes complete. What is not possible to achieve in thousands of lives can be achieved in one moment if there is an opportunity to meet a saintly person. It is therefore enjoined in Vedic literature that one should always try to associate with saintly persons and try to disassociate oneself from the common man, because by one word of a saintly person one can be liberated from material entanglement. A saintly person has the power, because of his spiritual advancement, to give immediate liberation to the conditioned soul.

—Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.22.5 purport

The importance of hearing
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 9 January 2017, Brisbane, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.6)

Srila Prabhupada makes an important point that hearing and explaining the scriptures is more important than reading them. Why is it so? Because when we simply read, some things are misunderstood by us and when we never hear, we perpetuate our own misunderstandings. This is until one day someone gives a lecture and explains the concept in a totally different way than we understood it all this time. Therefore, hearing from others gives us different insights and different angles into our scriptures. It is very important because it is by hearing that we can deeply understand the contents of the scriptures.

The article " The importance of hearing " was published on KKSBlog.

An Appeal from HH Jayapataka Swami!
→ Mayapur.com

Dear Devotees,   Please accept my best wishes! All glories to Srila Prabhup€da!   As you all know, due to the Corona virus pandemic many countries in the world have imposed a  lock-down. The Indian government has also imposed a nation-wide lock down till April 15, 2020. This lock-down may extend further. Pilgrim spots and […]

The post An Appeal from HH Jayapataka Swami! appeared first on Mayapur.com.

Sripad Ramanujacharya in Navadvipa dhama
→ Mayapur.com

Today is the appearance day of Sripad Ramanujacharya.Sripad Ramanujacarya has also visited Navadvipa dhama & performed his bhajan at Vaikuntapur. Navadvipa dham Mahatmya narrates Ramanujacarya’s arrival to Navadvipa as follows: A great acarya once came to Puri and pleased the Lord with his verses. Jagannatha appeared before him and said, “go and see Navadvipa Dhama, […]

The post Sripad Ramanujacharya in Navadvipa dhama appeared first on Mayapur.com.

ISKCON Scarborough – Online multimedia class – Narayana kavacha Shield – Sunday 29th Mar 2020 – 11 am to 12 noon
→ ISKCON Scarborough

Hare Krsna
Please accept our humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

We will have an online Sunday feast class tomorrow on 29th Mar 2020 from 11 am to 12 noon.

Please note that this is a virtual class where you can take part from the comfort of your home.

Topic: Narayana Kavacha shield

Date: 29th Mar 2020 (Sunday)

Time: 11 am to 12 noon

Link to join the class from your desktop or laptop: 
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/9150790510
If you click the above link from your desktop or laptop, you will be able to join directly
If you click this link from your cell phone or IPAD etc, you will have to download the Zoom application (less than a minute to download)


Summary of the Narayana Kavacha Shield: SB 6.8: Narayana Kavacha -  literally means the armour of Lord Narayana. An armour protects one from all kinds of evil- above, below, within and without, all possible situations, times and circumstances and from our enemies and their weapons seen and unseen. 

Benediction: 
SB 6.8.37: This prayer, Narayana Kavacha, constitutes subtle knowledge transcendentally connected with Narayana. One who employs this prayer is never disturbed or put in danger by the government, by plunderers, by evil demons or by any type of disease.


ISKCON Scarborough
3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,
Scarborough, Ontario,
Canada, M1V4C7
Website: www.iskconscarborough.org
Email:
iskconscarborough@hotmail.com
scarboroughiskcon@gmail.com

Special message from ISKCON Krishna Funskool team
→ ISKCON Scarborough

From: ISKCON Toronto Kids <kids@torontokrishna.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 10:47 PM
Subject: Special initiative from Krishna Funskool: Helping children stay spiritually connected
To:
Hare Krishna Dear Parents,
Greetings from Krishna Funskool.


We have been missing all of the students from Krishna Funskool. We hope that you are all keeping well and staying safe at home. We would like to re-engage with the children as soon as possible to keep them spiritually connected during this time of unexpected closures.

As Ramanavami approaches, we would like the kids to learn the Nama Ramayana by sri Laksmanacharya, which is composed of 108 names of Lord Rama, describing his various qualities and pastimes from the 7 Khandas of the Ramayana. We are hoping to begin this tomorrow, Friday March 27, 2020, in the hopes of completing it on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Lord Rama on April 2, 2020. We would like to connect with the children everyday through 30-minute Zoom calls from tomorrow.



Learn the Nama Ramayana
Starting date: Friday, March 27th, 2020
Time: 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm



Please RSVP to let us know if your child will be participating in the zoom online Nama Ramayana learning session from tomorrow. We will send you the lyrics and the zoom online session link.


Additionally, we would like to go through the various resources listed and encourage the children to complete some age and/or ability appropriate activity on a daily basis, some of which will be selected to be posted on the ISKCON Toronto blog page.


The theme for the week of March 30th to April 4th, 2020 is the Ramayana.


Suggestions include:


1. Colouring

2. Drawing

3. Creating dioramas using modeling clay and recyclables

4. Create Ramayana themed crafts; For eg: make and decorate your own bow and arrow

5. Audio recording bhajans, Sanskrit verses from the Ramayana

6. Sharing recipes that they have prepared for offering to the Lord

7. Writing poems

8. Writing Small Biographies about the different personalities from the Ramayana describing their roles, relationship and relevant pastimes related to Lord Rama


Resources: Google: Ramayana colouring pages, iskcondesiretree.com, kksongs.org, Krishna.com, etc.


Parents can send a picture of their child's work everyday to kids@torontokrishna.com to reach us by 9:00 pm everyday. Selected entries will be posted on iskcontoronto.blogspot.com. from Monday, March 30th onwards.


We hope that you will encourage your children to participate in this endeavour and we hope to stay connected on a regular basis with other activities going forward.

A resource 'Spirituality at Home: Coping with Kids During Uncertain Times' is attached herewith for your reference.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions/suggestions.

In your service,

Geetha Sarma

For Krishna Funskool team
ISKCON Toronto
416.830.6850

Krishna's FunSkool - Spiritual Values through Interactive Learning
Every Sunday 5:00-6:15 pm ISKCON Toronto

Ramanujacharya Appearance
→ Ramai Swami

Ramanujacharya was born around 1017 in Sri Perumbudur village. His father was Kesava Samayaji and his mother was Kantimathi. He married Rashambal around 1036.

A few days after the wedding, his father died and He went with his mother and wife to Kanchipuram and settled there. He became a priest in the temple of Lord Varadaraja and began to expound the doctrine of devotional service to the Lord.

It is said that Ramanuja’s married life lasted until he was thirty, when he gave up worldly life. Ramanuja’s cousin, Govinda Bhatta was his closest friend and he played an important role in Ramanuja’s life.

He was also associated with Ranganatha temple where he establish the teaching that the worship of god and the soul is an essential part of the doctrines of the Upanishads on which the system of Vedanta is built, therefore the teachings of the Vaishanavas and Bhagavatas are not heterodox. He returned to Sri Rangam after 20 years and organised the temple worship, and founded 74 centres to disseminate his teachings. 

Virtual Rama Navami Celebrations March 30th – April 2nd
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!

Thursday April 2nd is Rama Navami, the appearance of Lord Rama. Lord Rama is an incarnation of Krishna who appeared in Ayodhya (in current day Uttar Pradesh, India) as the son of King Dasaratha. During Lord Rama’s reign, all the citizens were happy, religious and their necessities of life were provided for. He was a virtuous, charitable and dutiful King. He is particularly known for his victorious battle with the ten-headed demon Ravana, the evil King of Lanka thereby freeing his wife Sita from the demon’s captivity. Through his life, he exemplified heroism, morality and good governance.

Due to COVID19 precautions the Temple remains closed to the public (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION), as such we will be hosting special virtual celebrations.

Celebrations will begin on Monday March 30th and continue through Thursday April 2nd. Monday through Wednesday we will be hosting dramatic readings from  "RAMAYANA, INDIA'S IMMORTAL TALE OF ADVENTURE, LOVE, AND WISDOM". These readings will be facilitated by HH Bhaktimarga Swami from 7:00pm - 7:20pm EST. These live readings will be broadcast on our Facebook Page "ISKCON Toronto: The Hare Krishna Centre".

Celebrations will conclude on Thursday when HH Bhaktimarga Swami will give a special Class from 6:30pm - 7:30pm EST. This live class will be broadcast on our Facebook Page "ISKCON Toronto: The Hare Krishna Centre".

In addition to these festivities, our Krishna Funschool is hosting some virtual Rama Navami themed activities for children. More information can be found HERE.



Children’s Rama Navami Activities
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!

Next Thursday,April 2nd is the auspicious occasion of Rama Navami. This day is generally marked with many festivities at the temple and this year- is going to be no different! We have a bunch of activities lined up for online participation! More on this soon - stay tuned!

Our Krishna Funskool, the weekly Sunday school, has also contributed in various ways to this celebration- presenting a tableau, performing bhajans, and more. To facilitate the children's engagement and learning this year, we are happy to announce a couple of things:

Virtual classes have been organized starting March 27th where a prayer known as the Nama Ramayana (the 108 Names of Lord Rama) will be taught to children. For details, please contact kids@torontokrishna.com

Additionally, we would like to encourage children to complete some age and/or ability appropriate activity on a daily basis, some of which will be selected to be posted on this website and other social media pages! Parents can send a picture of their child's work everyday by 9:00pm to kids@torontokrishna.com.

The theme for the week of March 30th to April 5th is, of course, Ramayana.
Suggestions include:
              1.       Colouring
2.       Drawing
3.       Creating dioramas using modeling clay and recyclables
4.       Creating Ramayana themed crafts, for eg: make and decorate your own bow and arrow
5.       Audio recording bhajans and Sanskrit verses from the Ramayana or Srimad Bhagavatam. 
6.       Sharing recipes that they have prepared for offering to the Lord
7.       Writing poems
8.       Writing small biographies on the personalities from the Ramayana describing their roles, relationship and relevant pastimes related to Lord Rama

Resources are to be found here: Ramayana colouring pages (Google), iskcondesiretree.comkksongs.org, Krishna.com, etc.

Please inspire your children to participate in this endeavor so we can stay connected on a regular basis with these fun activities.

Sita Rama Portrait by Lakshmipriya Meda, age 10.

Update from Food For All UK, can you help?
→ simple thoughts

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Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.


Yesterday I realised that to get a bag of rice or dal was going to take at least 8 weeks, the supermarkets were sold out and the warehouse suppliers were sold out.

Krishna came to the rescue and this morning 10 pallets, 10 tonnes , arrived, Hari Bol.When these magical events happen we can feel gratitude to Lord Krishna and his pure devotee Srila Prabhupada.


Srila Prabhupada alway felt great gratitude towards his disciples.
And_you_are_all_helping_me_to_fulfill_the_order_which_Guru_Maharaja_gave_me._So_I_am_so_much_grateful_to_you,_and_I_am_sure_Krishna_will_bless_you_a_million_times_over,_for_doing_this_work
Srila Prabhupada


Last night the whole U.K. openly expressed gratitude towards the NHS, ( UK hospital staff) The Co Director of Food for All Jenny Matthias: Hari Krishna to all our wonderful devotees in Krishna Consciousness. Last night saw the public come out in their droves on veranda’s and outside their windows, clapping their hands and whooping with much respect for our angels without wings; It’s usually in times of severe adversity that you see Krishna at work. The NHS deserve fully the accolade of a nations respect but more still needs to be done and so we are calling on you specifically to help us distribute Prasad, our world needs a spiritual solution and you’re it. Who’s up for the challenge??  Hari Krishna and much LOVE to you all from Jenne Bellestar

Matthias”The Bellestars felt really honoured that their version of The Clapping Song was chosen by Channel 4 for the musical backdrop that played tribute to our heroic NHS carer’s on and off the front line.

“If I can be cheeky , I have a Natco Foods invoice here for £4,421 , and Hodmedod Foods invoice for £9,500 , can anybody pay them please , will be grateful, Email : foodforalluk@gmail.com

Your servant

Parasuram das