Friday, 13 May 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Rosedale, Toronto

Big Cat

The day soon approaches when the world meditates on the Divine Lion Avatar. My poem: 


BIG CAT

(Part One)

 

He was ferocious

Yet not atrocious

Bearing a gaping mouth

Stretching from north to south

With terrifying jaws

And matching claws

Effective incisors

To intimidate all misers

He tossed His lofty mane

And exposed muscle and vein

Releasing a deafening roar

Scary to the core

You guessed it, it’s a lion

Invoking fear and a crying

Most amazing though

Is from neck to toe

The body was human

With emotions fuming

He appeared on the scene

Challenging a man who’s mean

A case of child abuse

For which there’s no excuse

Our tale begins with the mean man

Who hails from an evil clan

 

(Part Two)

 

Hiranya was born

During a devastating storm

Ill omens could be seen

Conditions were extreme

And as he grew

His ego did too

He wanted to strike a deal

With the universe – an appeal

To be the most powerful person

In which case the world would worsen

To get some attention

He entered a new dimension

Standing on toe doing yogas

His purpose – most bogus

There under the strong sun

Ants ate his flesh ’til done

Brahma, the cosmic god

Took notice, gave a nod

Hiranya thought now he’s immortal

And made his way to a portal

With a transformed body

But intelligence naughty

He became empowered

Began attacks like no coward

People cringed and curled

In a now shaken world

He conquered every planet

No question of cannot

He eradicated the thoughtful

Resurrecting the awful

Said this King of Terror

“I make no error”

 

(Part Three)

 

Sons he had – four

Naturally to adore

Hiranya loved them all

Since they began to crawl

So Prahlad from the start

Was very good at heart

He kept a major secret

One he’d never forget

When in the womb of mother

Came a sage like a brother

He said so explicit

“Identify as a spirit

And there is a creator

A spirit much greater”

This, Prahlad kept within

The sharing of this did not begin

Until he was five, at school

In what’s called gurukool

He spoke to each classmate

Being a simple-life advocate

Hiranya then heard a report

Of sessions not inclined to support

“For those wisdom talks held

The boy should be expelled

Challenging the authority

This is the wrong priority!”

Due to Prahlad’s spoiling

Hiranya’s blood was boiling

Because of this disclosure

The affection was over

This was most intolerable

Punishment was inevitable

 

(Part Four)

 

The torture had commenced

In no version condensed

Astonishingly results were nil

Hiranya just could not kill

Remembering what the sage said

The boy, unharmed, could not be dead

He came out unscathed

The father was simply amazed

“How is this possible?”

“By the power of the unstoppable

Present just everywhere

On land, in water, in the air”

Tension built like a thriller

Hiranya pointed to a pillar

“Is this power there?

Absenteeism I declare!”

He struck that pillar

Like a vicious killer

The pillar shook – was alive

It shattered and out did arrive

A lion-man massive

While Prahlad remained passive

With size and sound alone

Hiranya’s reality was blown

The lion-man hoisted him to his lap

Now caught in a trap

Hiranya was indeed a mouse

In his very own house

At the portal he did lie

Time to say good-bye

His body had diminished

Hiranya’s mission – finished

 

 

(Part Five)

 

Prahlad did love his dad

He wished him nothing bad

He also adored the Big Cat

Who gave the boy a pat

He was indeed ferocious

But not at all atrocious

-          Composed by Bhaktimarga Swami, The Walking Monk©

 

May the Source be with you!


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Yorkville, Toronto

Learn from the Tortoise

Since surgery on my right knee almost five weeks ago, I dare not push myself too hard to walk normally; without cane or crutch. As far as possible, with minimal limp, I braved my steps south on Avenue Road, to the corner of Louis Vuitton clothes ware, then east on Bloor, through the café district of Yorkville, and back to the temple/ashram via Davenport.

I did fine and stopped only once for chanting my gayatri mantras. I surprised myself on the three-kilometre stretch. No pain really. It was an accomplishment. It was a slow, but firm step.

Two things happened today that triggered the bold steps. At noon, a familiar fellow came to visit. It was Curtis from Calgary. This young and strong person accompanied me in the state of Utah during my US walk. He was most helpful, having a good sense of massage power, particularly for the legs. He knows at least the exterior anatomy if that makes sense. So, I asked him a favour after our prasadam lunch, “Can you work on my machinery like you did in the past?” With no apprehension he applied. It felt good. Thank you. And, as he was about to leave, a shipment came in – boxes of the book “The Saffron Path.”

“Here’s a copy, my gratitude.” He left with a smile.

My second nudge for the day was our weekly Gita Chat, and today’s topic was a tortoise (Gita 2.58). Known for a slow but steady pace, the tortoise is actually fast to draw his limbs within the shell for self- protection. The lesson – be reasonable. Don’t press too hard on what needs doing. Go slow. Steady. Protect yourself from the matrix of maya. Beware of destructive sense objects.

May the Source be with you!

3 km



 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Ramsden Park, Toronto

Recognizing Someone’s Passing

Jagadisvara was a member of our Krishna community living in Florida. He passed away last Tuesday, May 3rd. Originally from Texas, he spent some time in ISKCON branches at New Vrndavana, West Virginia, as well as Toronto. In fact, his son, Vrndavana, resides just a block away from our temple on Avenue Road.

A very kind Madhurya Lila hosted a memorial over Zoom this night. Vrndavana came and sat down next to me as both of us participated in remembrances of Jagadisvara, who worked well with his hands. Yes, he was tall in size, had these big hands and used them well in building projects as his way of serving Krishna.

Naturally his son, Vrndavana, was teary-eyed during this session, which is an appropriate thing to do in honouring someone who contributed to the mission. You can call him one of the pioneers from the ’70s.

To cap off this memorial service our temple in Toronto took the opportunity to hold kirtan; our first one outside of the building. As was done last year, each evening we would sit on the entrance steps and share sacred sound with pedestrians and neighbours (softly). The chanting was dedicated to Jagadisvara, of course.

There is one principle that is well upheld in our Vaishnava culture. Despite a person’s shortcomings (something we all have), we are obliged to highlight all strong devotional traits in an individual. The strength in a person is in the love they demonstrate.

May the source be with you!

1 km