The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 05:21:00
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GENDER BLENDER

Friday, January 20th, 2023
Brampton, Ontario

Nanda took Nikhil and I for a walk at Chinguacousy Park in Brampton. Also, I went to the dentist. The not-good-news is the bridge of my teeth is cracked and needs replacing.

The following is a poem about some of the history of mistreatment of the female sector in the movement. There is an attempt to rectify.

GENDER BENDER

Early 70s, the Hare Krishna Movement
North America enjoyed a great recruitment
We were a growing, glowing family
A blessed bunch existing happily
Prabhupada’s “boys and girls” flourished
Under his mercy we were nourished
The temple room was a divided place
Both genders occupied equal space
Both dhotis and sarees were there at prayer
And basically duties were a joyful share
From puja to cooking, chanting, books, fundraising
The focus was Krishna receiving the praising

Then something took us all by surprise
A storm came–blurred vision–blocked eyes
An insidious force attempted a major divide
Many members were forced to take sides
Women were marginalized, family men too
It was horrible and evolved as a nasty feud
Our father was alerted to the problem
Daughters being bullied becoming quite common
Protective as he was, he put his foot down
The vilifiers practically had to leave town
Justice done but we never recovered
An attitude pervaded, offending our mothers
They surrendered their lives just like their bros
Giving their everything, they cannot be foes

June 1976, The Hare Krishna Movement
In many areas there was growth, improvement
In Toronto Professor O’Connell had inquired
About female gurus who are so inspired
Prabhupada’s response was “yes”, “some” – approved!
Current leaders approved, then the “yes” was removed
I reflect on this continued bout, lump in throat
Restricting such talent makes bhakti quite remote
Encouragement has always been a major component
In our tradition of love without the label ‘opponent’
Where I live in the male-bashing fatherless west
It registers as hurtful when fine masculine values are lost
Do we want to leave a history of the gender reverse
Where cultural sensitivity was thrown in a hearse?
Let us submit to a wiser and kinder inclusion
Unity and diversity is an absolute conclusion

–By Bhaktimarga Swami

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 05:14:00
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THE HUMAN, THE MONK, AND THE MODES

Thursday, January 19th, 2023
243 Avenue Road, Toronto

“Rsabhadeva told his sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in the penance and austerity to attain the diving position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness, and which continues forever.”

The above verse is one of the more prominent verses from the book Bhagavatam. This is the verse that I spoke from today. It carries a common theme–you are a human, so you should cultivate your spirituality. This is something we are obliged to follow.

Work hard! Yes, but for Krishna, not necessarily for sense gratification. That becomes a waste of time. We have only a few years before us, so let’s not squander away valuable hours. It is highly worth the endeavour when you consider the benefit–endless love with Krishna, happiness, eternal life.

I was blessed with delivering two more classes, the 14th chapter of the Gita–an intro to the three modes of material nature.

Then at 8 pm I was involved in a podcast from Utah. Jennifer Lee and Shannon Rogers host “The Calling” and so for an hour I was interviewed on the topic of a monk’s life and his walking. The talk included highway bullies and an attack by a ghost–features from my book, The Saffron Path.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 05:04:00
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UNITY AND DIVERSITY

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
Yorkville, Toronto

UNITY AND DIVERSITY

A letter was dispatched in 1973
Meant for leaders, the you and me
Penned by our dear His Divine Grace
Of the concept he willed us to embrace

It was 50 years ago that his message came through
Very thematic to the belief of Mahaprabhu
One that Krishna taught in chapter 9
Of His presence and absence both at the same time

The topic was one of unity and diversity
And how to apply it to country and city
To our daily life and to our every moment
All along it's been there but we were dormant

Like a tree of one trunk that's many branched
Like a rainbow of many colours, all arched
Like clay of one substance to make many pots
Like a line that's linked by so many dots

This oneness and difference has such a great appeal
Of inclusive variants, something we should seal
It basically says, "unity without uniformity"
And, "no fragmentation in diversity"

We agree to sometimes disagree
That's okay, the way it should be
You have gopi left and gopi right
Two wings put a bird to flight

ISKCON is dynamic, a culture of depth
Inconceivable is the word we are left
A united nations of the spiritual world
Through discussion its secret will unfurl

Let's explore the U in unity

–By Bhaktimarga Swami

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 04:55:00
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THREE INTERRUPTIONS

Monday, January 16th, 2023
Yorkville, Toronto

Nikil became my walking partner in 0° weather. I mentioned to him on the is four kilometre walk that I will focus mainly on chanting japa apart from moving the legs. During our short less-than-an-hour trek we became distracted when we became somewhat interrupted.

While on Bloor Street at this evening hour about 9 pm, a woman passed us who was very scantily clad and I couldn’t resist from saying to Nikil, “That woman who just went by us is so inspiring.” Of course, I was being facetious. “She was so unprotected from the elements, showing us detachment from the world.”

Nikil smiled.

We turned a corner and entered into trendy Yorkville. A man in a high-end vehicle noticed NIkil and I. He rolled down his window, stopped his car and smiled saying, “Hare Krishna. It’s been a while.” Frankly, I don’t remember him but went along with the conscious moment with some additional chat. I remarked to Nikil once the motorist moved on that he stopped to say something recognizing not only that we were bundled up in winter attire but were in devotional garb. I was making a point about dressing to be noticed on behalf of Krishna.

We then took a side street of Victorian homes. In one front yard sectioned off by a cedar hedge is a surprise. The homeowner has set in the corner a wooden statue of a Vedic apsara. It’s quite tucked away, but I noticed it some years ago. I brushed off the snow from her head. Nikil was wowed because it is beautifully carved.

Anyways, that was our third interruption.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 04:44:00
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SLEEP IS NEEDED

Sunday, January 15th, 2023
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sometime people ask me how I do it, whether it be a long walk or busy at flying from country to country. My usual answer is something like, “The mercy of the Creator.”

I had to question my own answer of confidence when at our Niagara gathering; I was doubting my own conviction. I was signing books at our centre when my eyelids closed just momentarily out of fatigue. And then when I took to the sponsored feast, an integral party of Sunday gatherings, I was chomping on the delicious food when suddenly it came to a halt and my lids once again descended. I was sleeping during the course of eating. Never before.

You know, some of the us work hard for the mission and they give it all. I trail behind some of my colleagues who seem to move on high energy forever. It’s a real sacrifice.

I forgot to mention, in the middle of delivering my class I had to stand up, walk to the door, open it, then walk behind everyone to another door just to keep awake. But simultaneously I was trying to make the philosophical point of reincarnation. Each of us is travelling from one body to the next just as much as we move our bodies from room to room. Anyways, the theatrics seemed to fit in.

We cancelled on the idea of peering at the famous falls set in winter just so I could get back homeward bound for some shut-eye.

I’m recalling Krishna’s message in chapter 6 of the Gita about being temperate in the matter of eating, sleeping, recreation.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 04:35:00
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INSTALLING WISDOM

Saturday, January 14th, 2023
Oakville, Ontario

When I asked members of the Bhakti Academy to join me at a house program for kirtan, they jumped for the opportunity. So we set sail (or rather by wheel) for Oakville, westbound. This house program was going to be a bit different. There was going to be an installment of a set of Bhagavatam books in the homeowner’s house. Friends and family would be there. There would also be everyone’s favourite, prasadam. And kirtan will be a must.

I asked Gabriel to bring his guitar.

We made the drive. Dang, I wish I could do something that involves walking. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

By 5:50 pm we reached our destination, a cozy semi-detached place with family and visitors inside. Our group of ten, Bhakti Academy, were greeted by warm reception and by warm vents. WE sat down and I began the talk quoting the book Bhagavatam 1.3.43. “This Bhagavata Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krishna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana.”

Gabriel strummed his guitar to the sound of the mantra, “Om namo bhagavata vasudevaya.” Everyone sang and danced to the great mantra of deliverance before diving deep into the food. A young boy, 8, by the name of Ram, played the drum. He was divine.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 04:26:00
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THE TROPICS BEHIND

Friday, January 13th, 2023
Suriname/Miami/Toronto

It takes a good hour to drive to Suriname’s principal airport, the Johan Adolf Pengel, from Paramaribo. I was touched by the accompaniment of devotees who ‘came for the ride’ which marked my exit from the world’s most forested country, Suriname. Goodbye and haribol to you, great souls.

During the visit at the gate, I met Samuel, initiated as Shyamasundar by our spiritual cousins, the Gaudiya Math, and who attend our weekly Sunday Open House in Paramaribo. He was headed for Miami, as was I, to meet his son who lives in the Netherlands. In our dialogue he expressed in no short terms how fortunate he feels about his connection with Chaitanya, the father of public kirtan, and also the great travelling monk. Shyamasundar was kind to come back to my seat in the plane and offer me some dinner from his first class seat.

Miami International is a busy airport like most in the States. There was a two-hour span between arrival and departure for Canada. It was nothing eventful, except for my bit of chanting on the japa beads and calling some devotional acquaintances from Florida.

I finally caught up on some rest for the last of the journey’s leg (or wing). As we landed, I could catch the glimpse of snow. To some parts of Canada, winter has been delayed, but now it’s present.

The tropics are behind me. Hello Canada. Hello Nanda who arrived as my trusty driver. I’m back, but for a short while until Ottawa and India.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 04:16:00
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TO THE DA-KABOERA

Thursday, January 12th, 2023
Suriname

After a lively morning program, twenty or so of us, young and old, were bound to a beautiful resort run the Amerindian community. It was south, in the bush more towards the Amazon. Our intent–a break, some vitamin D sun, water, and each other.

We ran into some complications. The van owned by Santi Priya, and which I was in, broke down. Our second vehicle, a small bus, came to the rescue. Only time was lost and some walking gained. Santi had been telling me about the wilderness here–the gigantic frogs, wild boards, and massive anteaters that can claw a jaguar to death.

Anyways, in a rather safe environment at the resort, it was fun to see our group of bhakti practitioners splashing the hell out of each other, girls at one end of the stream, boys at the other. Prasadam and kirtan were there to follow. We squeezed out of that beautiful resort, ‘Da-kaboera’, all the pleasure possible.

But then back to the ISKCON centre we travelled, all in the bus (the other vehicle needed towing). One young woman, Priya, stepped forward for her first initiation. She is a gem of a devotee, very competent, and a serious sadhika, self-disciplinarian. She received the name ‘Pavitra’ which means ‘pure’, something to cultivate.

May the Source be with you!

The Suriname wilderness

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 03:50:00
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ANOTHER LAND

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023
Paramaribo, Suriname

Ram Lila and I were to take a flight at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, a very modest-sized facility, to destination, Suriname. It’s another country just east of Guyana. The aircraft takes ten passengers. There was an issue over my not having a yellow fever card, but what became nothing more than a slight tussle ended up giving me a pass for over an hour’s flight to another tiny airport, a tad bit larger than a barn.

Ram Lila and I were greeted by a sweet couple with garlands of the lotus flower before being transported to the Iskcon Centre in Paramaribo. This is my third visit to this place and as I’ve mentioned previously, I find it interesting that residents to this country, mostly of brown and black skin (respectfully) speak in a version of the Dutch language. Suriname was formerly called Dutch Guyana. On November 25th, 1975, it became an independent nation.

My major service for today was to deliver a talk to the community. Initially, a group of us were going to head for the downtown for public chanting, but the weather, very monsoon-like, was most unfavourable. We stayed indoors for our regular practice of puja, pravachan, and prasadam.

Shanti Priya, a young archaeologist, made a major breakthrough, not on finding ancient ruins, but also being a self-taught massage therapist, he got right down to an unknown pressure point on my two feet, doing some healing magic.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 03:48:00
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HOME VISIT

Tuesday, January 10th, 2023
Georgetown, Guyana

Temperatures are ranging from the low of 20 degrees Celsius to the highs of 30 degrees, which is high for me. When that sun comes out and humidity on top of it, I hide in my hole. As expressed before ,I’m relishing the early morning hours when the sun is tucked away and breezes are alive. That’s when I do my japa chanting.

I have the god fortune to meet devotees throughout the day. They visit my room (my hole) for conversations, advice, blessings. Only God knows I need their blessings. I do feel some worth when they come, mostly folks younger than myself. I’m constantly reminded during any delivery of classes that some people I quote (outside of our acharya teachers) that I’m a dinosaur. Oh well, I think ti’s good for audiences to know that there are deceases wise people whom I quote, who have molded my way of thinking; that there’s a richness arisen from before.

Tonight’s program was held in the Georgetown area, just a block away from the iconic OMG steakhouse. A Mr. D. Singh and family hosted our bhakti crowd for chanting and a talk. When our MC, Prabhupadadev, said something about New Year’s, I took it as a segue to the topic of a fresh start. Everything was just so cool about the family, generous donors in the food business, and the attendees. I love it when attention is given to my words of experience and discovery. I love it when questions sure and when people sing and dance in unison.

Tonight was all auspicious. Let us smile like He does.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 03:47:00
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UP HIGH

Monday, January 9th, 2023
Good Hope, Guyana

I find the weather to be reather wild and wonderful. Just one kilometre from our location at the Iskcon Centre is the seawall that bars the ocean, so you have these favourable breezes coming at you with intermittent rain. Catching all this from the veranda that runs on all four sides of the building is how I get my walking in. I also had a rush from ascending the top of the building; you can call it the 4th floor. From that view you can see a lot.

I also was at a vantage point at the top of Mahendra’s home. It’s newly constructed and is a few villages away in Good Hope. In the base of the home is his warehouse and his business, a business of soft drinks that he built up from scratch.

He converted the front of his home into a space for a sangha, a spiritual gathering, with chairs for the public, an altar, and a stage for Krishna murtis and chanting leaders. I was invited there before one hundred fifty people. Very spontaneously, I opened up retelling the days of how and when I became a monk, and all the walking projects.

I’m thoroughly enjoying myself when everyone is enwrapped in listening. Questions followed. I gave answers in relation to queries that come; questions to do with Krishna’s message. After all, that is my whole purpose – sharing His message.

May the Source be with you!

Getting spoiled in Guyana with fresh organic prasadam. I am sharing, of course.

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 03:45:00
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GUYANA AGAIN

Sunday, January 8th, 2023
Georgetown, Guyana

Things are changing in Guyana. When I took American Airlines from Trinidad to Guyana, a mere one-hour flight, I noticed passengers who were in unmistakably Latino. Apparently, people from troubled Venezuela are migrating. Oil was discovered in Guyana, and so the rush is on. I was told Cubans are also making inroads.

Upon arriving in Georgetown, I noticed there are fewer lotuses in the canals. The country is taking action and clearing these lovelies that clog the plumbing. What else? Well, new roads are being built. And finally – finally – sidewalks for pedestrians are laid out like never before. That was always my pet peeve about Georgetown. One thing that hasn’t changed – the seawall – a great place to walk along or walk on. This wall was constructed by the Dutch a century ago.

At the Railway Embankment Road is located a fine Iskcon Temple next to Georgetown University. The main brain behind the project is Prabhupadadev, who acts as a priest for spiritual functions such as this morning’s havan, fire ceremony, wherein four devotees received their first initiation. The new names are Aryan, Minakshi, Satvika, and Bhanupriya. Sanjay and Saya Saci received their second initiations.

In two places, Georgetown and Crane, we did some kirtan leading and delivered messages from the Gita. The whole idea behind these spiritual practices is to clear the complicated network lurking in our heart and mind like the vegetation that clogs up the drainage system.

May the Source be with you!

5 km

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 03:43:00
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FOLLOW A DISCIPLINE

Saturday, January 7th, 2023
Longdenville, Trinidad

When facilitating a “Kirtan Standards Workshop” like the one we conducted for thirty or so people, the two themes I like to emphasize are “Prabhupada’s standards” and “inclusiveness”. I have had a good support by others on the past, the likes of Dhruva from Calgary, Rukmini from Toronto, as well as Kevala Bhakti.

What the attendees here in Trinidad gained from this workshop, amongst many benefits, is some clarification on what our acharyas or teachers in our lineage have preferred in the way of mantra chanting. It is important to follow a discipline in any field while adding a sense of artistic license. We want to be careful about making additions in our approaches because the whole system of mantra delivery is for our purging. When we add to a system it can easily become diluted or watered down to the point of losing integrity.

The general approach to chanting is without motive, or if anything, it is to please Krishna.

The group in Trinidad who listed and interacted in this workshop of a mere four hours had a good time. So did I.

My stay in Trinidad seemed brief, but it was enriched by the good company here. It was sad that walking was practically no option. No walking trails means where I was staying and the main road was terrible, and I say that with no exaggeration. I wish there were standard workshops arranged for pedestrian and motorist friendliness.

May the Source be with you!

News Brief – Indian BJP President Visits ISKCON Mayapur
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Indian BJP President JP Nadda offered prayers at the start of his tour of the state of West Bengal. He visited the temple complex on January 19th, 2023 along with other senior BJP party leaders. In a comment book at the temple, he wrote “Today I am blessed to pay my respect at Chandroday Mayapur […]

The post News Brief – Indian BJP President Visits ISKCON Mayapur appeared first on ISKCON News.

News Brief – Indian BJP President Visits ISKCON Mayapur
→ ISKCON News

Indian BJP President JP Nadda offered prayers at the start of his tour of the state of West Bengal. He visited the temple complex on January 19th, 2023 along with other senior BJP party leaders. In a comment book at the temple, he wrote “Today I am blessed to pay my respect at Chandroday Mayapur […]

The post News Brief – Indian BJP President Visits ISKCON Mayapur appeared first on ISKCON News.

Third Temple Vandalized in Australia
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video source: The Australia Today   In the span of fifteen days, graffiti and vandalism have been daubed on three Hindu temples in Melbourne, Australia.  The attacks have taken place at BAPS, Shri Shiva Vishnu, and ISKCON temples. The Hindu community feels devasted by such vandalism and frustrated with the authorities. The Australia Today’s Editor-in-chief Jitarth Jai Bharadwaj reporting live from ISKCON Temple in Melbourne.

The post Third Temple Vandalized in Australia appeared first on ISKCON News.

Third Temple Vandalized in Australia
→ ISKCON News

video source: The Australia Today   In the span of fifteen days, graffiti and vandalism have been daubed on three Hindu temples in Melbourne, Australia.  The attacks have taken place at BAPS, Shri Shiva Vishnu, and ISKCON temples. The Hindu community feels devasted by such vandalism and frustrated with the authorities. The Australia Today’s Editor-in-chief Jitarth Jai Bharadwaj reporting live from ISKCON Temple in Melbourne.

The post Third Temple Vandalized in Australia appeared first on ISKCON News.

ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) 2023 at the TOVP
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The TOVP management is pleased to announce that from February 12-16, 2023 the ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) will have their annual seminars in the TOVP. Braja Vilasa, TOVP Co-Chairman and ILS Committee Member stresses the importance of these meetings for ISKCON leaders, and invites all devotees with leadership positions to attend this important sanga and […]

The post ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) 2023 at the TOVP appeared first on ISKCON News.

ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) 2023 at the TOVP
→ ISKCON News

The TOVP management is pleased to announce that from February 12-16, 2023 the ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) will have their annual seminars in the TOVP. Braja Vilasa, TOVP Co-Chairman and ILS Committee Member stresses the importance of these meetings for ISKCON leaders, and invites all devotees with leadership positions to attend this important sanga and […]

The post ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) 2023 at the TOVP appeared first on ISKCON News.

The Walking Monk 2023-01-24 00:01:00
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TEMPLE – BEACH – TEMPLE

Friday, January 6th, 2023
Longdenville, Trinidad

“Now, how am I going to scale that formidable gate? It looks like someone forgot to leave me a key for that safety lock that I see before me.” These were my thoughts. I gave a sight push to the gate, but nothing was budging. I wanted to make it on time for 4:30 am meditations at the temple.

Okay! I surrender. I did the climb and that seven foot gate was kind to me afterall.

Then I hit the road, or rather, the moon crater terrain. The roads are so bad here. Locals say it’s because huge trucks are allowed to access these roadways built only for light cars.

Anyways, I made it to the temple meditations. So my day started off fine with changing and delivering classes. The 9 am timeslot was scheduled for a drive to the excellent beach at Mayaro. There, the devotee community bonded over water fun, picnic prasadam, and casual chats. This is important.

Finally, 5 pm was the time marked for initiations for eight great souls. The names given to these wonderful candidates – Vinay Vishnu, Aja, Ranchor, Buddhi Manta, Rama Avatar for the man, and Leenakshi, Nandita, and Sriya for the women. A happy kirtan, a talk on bhakti collaboration, a fire ceremony, and to top it off, ‘doubles’ – a chickpea spread over bread. All went well.

I refuse to walk through the potholes on my return to the residence where I’m staying.

I learned that this 70-year-old swami didn’t have to jump over any gate. It was open all the way. I just missed out on swinging it open the right way.

May the Source be with you.

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:58:00
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CHECK IN

Thursday, January 5th, 2023 Miami/Trinidad

Toronto was full of fog and a challenge occurred when the lights at the airport’s runway needed cleaning (so they say). This delayed our departure somewhat and we arrived in Miami a bit later than anticipated. It was a struggle to get to my gate for the flight enroute to Port of Spain via American Airlines.

Because of tightness of time, my check-in didn’t make it. A moment of anxiety. It sure was nice to see the bhakti gang again after two years or more. I was greeted with smiles and a garland of petit marigolds.

The roadway is very familiar to me. I walked it, good God, some years ago, right from the Port of Spain Airport to the Longdenville temple. I passed by mom-and-pop shops, stalls where they sell a favourite fast food called ‘doubles’, clothing shops, and even a brothel called ‘Swami’s Bar’, and the countryside as well.

I was cheered with prasadam, blessed food from the devotees of Krishna in the form of Radha Gopinath. I saw that renovation to the temple offered a fresh new look. The temple itself became filled with devotees doing what we like–kirtan chanting. We sat and highlighted the importance of speaking positively about each other, bringing out the best in all of us. A good source for this topic is Bhagavad-gita 10.9.

Check it out.

Which reminds I’ll have to check out my last checked in.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:57:00
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APPRECIATION PRODUCES GOOD VIBES

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023
243 Avenue Road, Toronto

A fabulous chicory drink, chow mein, Gauranga potatoes (a delicious ISKCON favourite), and kulfi were the special features of an appreciation dinner for the cast and crew of Big Fish Little Fish. It’s always important to say ‘thank you’ for any services rendered, however fun, fair, or foul they sometimes are. Service is service, and it is the most valued type of action that exists in the world.

The demigod serves or assists the Supreme Godhead, life partners serve each other, those that give birth to others serve their children, and when of age, the children serve their parents as they mature in years. It’s all about service which is the main feature of bhakti yoga.

At the ashram we have a cleaning company that comes in to address the needs of floors, windows, washroom, etc., and the head fellow of the cleaning business, Byron, says he loves coming here. He has a contract with many places. He has an opinion about our facility. He loves it because, as put in his own words, “Everyone is so kind to me. They smile and make friends with me and my staff.” It looks like he has picked up on thew good vibes of the ashram. He feels he’s appreciated. I was glad to hear that stick out amongst all the places that employ him.

Everyone needs encouragement through appreciation and so a reference for that is found in the Gita, 3.26.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:56:00
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OAKS, SHOES, AND AN ATTEMPTED THEFT

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023
Oakville, Ontario

A river by the name of Sixteen Mile and a quaint downtown where oak trees are known to have had a past and a present were two of our destination points for the day. Madhava drove us to the Medicine Shoppe for me to acquire, of all things, summer sandals, the walking on air type, to prepare for my coming Trinidad/ Surname/Guyana trip. I was in need of warm weather footwear. My cooler brand of shoes are serving my feet well, but it is time to slide in to 30°C atmospheres.

In Toronto we are experiencing in the plus conditions. There is more reain than we are accustomed to and I stuck by the cooler footwear (or that which handles the more frigid weather) when doing some japa meditation in the evening. I was basically doing some awning-hopping to keep dry from drizzle. It was in a safe neighbourhood–Rosedale, however, thieves do make their rounds.

One disheveled-looking fellow, however, was checking out every single door of these high-end shops, right where I could see him, as a witness, had he the chance to pilfer or steal. No shame in him. I envied him somewhat, though, because he likely gets a lot of walking in in the course of a day. He’s doing better than me in the walking department.

My day and night proved right because of the shoe purchase, the bit of outdoor exposure, plus the bhakti classes I gave. You can’t go wrong in listening and speaking about the Supreme. Krishna is always worth dwelling on and working and living for.

May the Source be with you!

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:55:00
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GOING WEST WITH THE GITA

Monday, January 2nd, 2023
Mississauga, Ontario

Mississauga is an Ojibwe word which means ‘river of many mouths’. To reach Mississauga in a most practical way is by automobile going west of Toronto, not nearly as romantic or adventurous a means of transport as in the days of our Indigenous – on foot or canoe.

Mahadeva, Annapurna, and I, made our way on a set of wheels to the home of Lobsang, his good wife, teenage son, and a trusty dog. It became a sangha, a gathering of Gita enthusiasts. This group comes together monthly by Zoom, and also monthly in person. Today it’s in person. I have been combing the Gita with this assembly for some time now on our second year. We are still early the game of the Bhagavad-gita’s teaachings, chapter one, catching the theme of a warrior’s duty in the matter of protecting family traditions.

So, there we were in the living room sitting with family people, all scoring fairly well in their mutual looking out for each other. I feel quite safe in such an environment. We had great Ekadashi prasadam – grainless, sacred food. Starting the New Year like this doesn’t get better.

I felt the same sort of safety in a Zoom class with devotees from the big stretch of Manitoba to British Columbia. It just so happens that this group is analyzing the same section of the Gita, all so much to do with honouring values and protocols and assessing what is and what is not sin according to the standards of Sri Krishna.

A healthy outlook always is obedience to code. We just need to learn them.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:53:00
→ The Walking Monk

FAVOURITE LINES

Sunday, January 1st, 2023
Yorkville, Toronto

Our play, Big Fish Little Fish was a smashing success, a real crowd-pleaser. Congrats to the actors and technical people. Some of my favourite lines in the play are as follows:

Little Fish to Big Fish: What if we just switched roles for a little change?

______

Maya to Little Fish: What you need is an education.

Little Fish asks: Education? Is it a liquid?

______

Mr. Fastbuck to Little Fish: Whether you’re taking a loan or taking a leak, you have to do it all on me… I mean THROUGH me! I own them all. Twitter smitter. I even own Elon Musk.

______

Mr. Highlow (the drug dealer) to Little Fish: I’m a merchant of the people. I sell a high product for a low price. My business is pharmeceuticals. Im’ a man of the people… You take the pink pill to go up. You take the blue pill to go down. You take both and you go sideways.

______

Maya to Little Fish (in retaliation): I was going out to have a hamburger, but now I’ll have some fish and chips.

______

Big Fish to Little Fish: Welcome home, Little Fish, it’s good to have you back!

May the Source be with You!

3 km

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:49:00
→ The Walking Monk

 

BETTER THAN EVER

Saturday, December 31st, 2022
City Hall, Toronto

Our annual kirtan, perhaps the best of the year in terms of participation and intensity, was something we were all geared up for. We huddled in the ashram’s temple at 243 Avenue Raod where I gave a pep talk and some guidelines for kirtan performance.

“It’s going to be very busy at Old City Hall (our usual spot for New Year’s), more than the ordinary. The post-covid explosion is a reality these days. And the weather is mild (4 degrees). Hold on to your musical instruments. The crowd is a bit tipsy (from drinking) and things get excited, a little rowdy, even. Sing loud. Smile.”

Our very ready troupers and I softly chanted our way through quiet Ramsden Park at 11 pm before we reached the underground train, the TTC. It is several stops before we reach Queen Street, the location of the changing. Each time the subway train stopped to pick up more commuters, the doors would open to the multitudes while the train was already packed. You could hear a sudden woefulness from the crowd both inside the train and out. It was hilarious. You couldn’t pack anymore people in. IN fact, the train couldn’t move further for the already sardined conveyance. We decided to walk the rest of the way. No problem.

When we arrived at our spot, the magic began. Sound took over and our drums, djembe and marching drum got everyone adrenalined.

Oh! It was great and the mantra resounded. Better than ever!

May the Source be with you!

4 km

The Walking Monk 2023-01-23 23:39:00
→ The Walking Monk

 

A PROJECT OF JOY

Friday, December 30th, 2022
243 Avenue Road, Toronto

I am very encouraged by the crew we have to help me in my services to guru and God. Cooperation, humility, good listening, good advising, good intelligence are some of the ingredients that make our product. The main ingredient is bhakti. It is that agent that causes ‘the cake to rise’ or our consciousness to rise.

Our product or project is our production. Drama. Theatre. Teatro. A play called Big Fish Little Fish!

Not only are we experiencing the blossoming of talent, but intelligence as well. A number of young people from our community have come forward to volunteer and it’s making a big difference. When casting people for certain acting roles, I have had to do some personal digging. It involved phone calls, or something asking so-and-so to ask so-and-so to see if he/she would like to get involved.

The personal touch usually works and that’s how the flow of volunteers happens. I know that if I ask, I’ll get a response. If I don’t inquire or invite, nothing will happen. Everything will be quiet. There will be no growth.

I see that here’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy exploding around our little theatre project. My realization around this matter is that there should be a branch of a thespian element within our bhakti culture. Such a venture should be highly supported.

May the Source be with you!

Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura Disappearance
→ Ramai Swami

Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura took birth in the year 1654 Shaka era (according to the Gaudiya Vaishnava Abhidana, Part 3, p. 1370) within the Nadia district of West Bengal in a place called Prasiddha Deva Gram.  He appeared in the Radhiya line of brahmanas. 

Shrila Chakravarti Thakura went on to live in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, in Saiyadabad, where he received mantra initiation from Shri Krishna Charana Chakravarti. He lived for a long time in the house of his guru-deva, where he wrote many books.

When Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura lived in Nadiya, he closely studied the scriptures, beginning with a study of Sanskrit grammar, poetry, and rhetoric.  It is said that even as a boy in school, he was an undefeatable scholar who could overcome anyone in argument and debate.  From an early age, he was indifferent towards family life.

For the purpose of binding his son in the contract of family life, Vishvanatha’s father arranged for his marriage when he was very young.  He remained a married man for only a short time.  Soon he renounced his wife and home and went to live in Vrindavan. 

After this, his parents and relatives made many unsuccessful attempts to induce him to return to  family life, but Vishvanatha Chakravarti was fixed in his determination to renounce wordly life and surrender himself completely to the service of Krishna.

After having come to Vrindavan Dhama, Shri Vishvanatha took up his residence in the bhajan kutir of Shri Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami on the banks of the Radha-kunda, where there lived a disciple of Krishna das Kaviraja whose name was Mukunda das. There, Shri Vishvanatha Cakravarti made a careful study of the Goswami’s literatures. In that holy place he later wrote many commentaries on the books of the Goswamis.

Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura established the worship of the deity of Shri Gokulananda.  Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur was also sometimes known as Harivallabha das.  Vishvanatha’s title, “Chakravarti” was awarded to him by the devotees. Generally this title designates one who maintains (varti) a circle (chakra) of influence.

Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura has written many books, among which are the following:  Commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam (Sararthadarshini-tika), Bhagavad-gita   (Sararthavarshini-tika), Alankara Kaustubha (Subodhini-tika)Ujjvala-nilamani, Ananda Vrindavana Champu (Sukhavartini-tika); Rupa Goswami’s Vidagdha-Madhava Natakam, Gopal-tapani-upanishad; Chaitanya-charitamrita; and original works such as Shri Krishna-Bhavanamrita Mahakavya; Svapnavilasamrita; Madhurya Kadambini; Stavamala-lahari; Aishvarya Kadambini.

The life and teachings of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti give happiness, inspiration, and transcendental wisdom to the entire Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya. In Krishna lila he serves Srimati Radhika as Vinoda-manjari. His samadhi is in the Radha Gokulananda temple courtyard in Vrindavana. 

 

Ten Pickup Lines for a buddy’s Marriage
→ GauraVani.com

When you are at a pal’s wedding ceremony without a “plus one,” remember that you are most likely not the only one. Another solamente wedding ceremony visitor could just be the party companion you dream about.

Stay upbeat and pro-marriage — no anger or cynicism permitted — and be the lovely self. You might also go homeward with plans for subsequent Friday evening.

Here are 10 collection traces for a wedding:

1. Embrace the problem. Ask her exactly how she knows the groom and bride. Touch upon the weird wedding ceremony cake. Mention the couple’s proposition tale. Make an effort to find out which of you has been on many wedding events. Maintain the small talk light and enjoyable.

2. Make an effort to get launched by a shared friend. Should that fail, be truthful: “I inquired my pal introducing you, but she claims she doesn’t know you.”

3. If you should be close aided by the few and have the chance to do this, make a humorous, pleasant, holding message. Next pose a question to your brand new crush to dance.

4. Ask the woman to dancing.

5. Offer to get him/her a drink — even if it really is open club.

6. Be drive: “We might and familiarize yourself with one another. We’ll likely be seeing both at child showers and wedding functions.”

7. In case you are not sure of how-to make new friends, say-so: “Sorry. I can not imagine a beneficial ice-breaker. Can you?”

8. Enhance those funny flirtatious lines: “Wouldn’t we have a look attractive on a marriage meal together?” “You’re therefore breathtaking I would wed your own uncle only to enter into your family members.”

9. If you are resting together, directed towards “singles’ table,” laugh about seated during the qualified table and propose that you will get married in order to fulfill the match-matching bride.

10. Stroll this lady to her car or contact the lady a cab after the night. Don’t neglect to get their wide variety before she drives away.

https://www.cougardatingsites.co/cougar-life-review

Hiranmayi dasi ACBSP left her body
→ Dandavats

Hiranmayi dasi, a French-Swiss devotee who lived in Montreal, wife of Priya bhakta prabhu and disciples of Srila Prabhupada has left this world on ekadashi brahma muhurta time in Montreal. She was accompanied by Srila Prabhupada chanting and Sarada prabhu who was with her at the time. She was on dialisis for many years because
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