Tuesday 31 January 2023



We are excited to announce that The Walking Monk's blog is now moving from Blogger to his official website so that you may enjoy all of Bhaktimarga Swami's engaging content in one convenient location!

To subscribe to the new blog and have The Walking Monk's inspiring daily adventures delivered directly to your inbox, please visit his website and sign up!  

We hope you have fun with the new and interactive features on The Walking Monk's updated website and blog!


*Blogs prior to the January 31st move will remain here at Blogger.

Special thanks to those who assisted in creating and maintaining the blog over the years, including (in alphabetical order):

Ananda Rupa
Nitai Priya
Vishnu Priya

Thank you, valued readers, for your many years of interest and support.  We look forward to seeing you at our new location!  Please join us!

May the Source be with you!

Monday 30 January 2023



Sunday, January 29th, 2023
243 Avenue Road, Toronto

Off we go! Six of us on the way to Mother India where Father Dharma rules, or at least did so at one time. Who are we? Chris, Anya, Dhruva, Vya, Kunti, and I go up, up, and away in Air Canada for a stopover in Heathrow, bound for Mumbai and finally Kolkata.

2020 was my last visit to the place of the essence (dharma). I am blessed to have this company that I’m in. At our waiting gate our crew of six grabbed a final bit to eat and then engaged in our reading of the script “Witness Gopal,” a way to get familiar to a story of promises, love, hate, devotion, the truth. Not the whole crew was aware of the story, but now they most definitely are.

On a day like today there are last minute duties and phone calls to answer. I’m reminded of our guru, Prabhupada, and how he flew a dozen times around the globe while in his 70s, and all with the intent to share the great wealth of human joy, the spiritual side.

That is what India is known for – the human joy, an obligation to serve all that is around you.

I will miss the temple’s Sunday Open House which includes the feast that has drawn people for decades now. Flying to India with some nice folks compensates for the loss of mingling with the congregants. Basically, we should be content with wherever we are given.

May the Source be with you!


Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Yonge Street S., Toronto

What a blessing today was, like all days! I say that because I receive an affirmation almost every day. Today was no exception. My stomach confirmed that beet root and I just don’t get along. I love the flavour and the colour, but tummy-wise, it doesn’t work. The truth is simply underscored.

In preparation for my India trip which begins tomorrow, I was urged on to do some shopping. Another truth about myself is that I’m not fond of going out for selecting a purchase. But when it comes to acquiring something for our theatre production in India, I’m less inclined to whine about such a pursuit. In fact, it can be fun. My visit to Theatrics Plus on Yonge St. was a bit of a search. I go there for props, costumes, or makeup. It is admittedly so, a fairly tacky place, but a fine Bengalis family that I know owns and runs it, always giving me a discount. After I perused their new location, I got my hands on a morph body suit all in black.

One of my actors, also a dancer, will be fitting into the full body tights portraying the role of a dancing Krishna. So, to such a purchase I usually duplicate and get a second item for safety’s sake.

What a victory the purchase was and also the walk!

My last real ‘feel good’ aspect of the day was the meeting, held in person and on Zoom, which was the review and ‘think tank’ session on the Chariot Fest. This event is growing so we need to repeat the good and correct the wrongs. Such is life. In the future I must stay away from that beetroot.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


Friday, January 27th, 2023
Cabbagetown, Toronto

By now, you must be aware that I am a sucker for three dimensional objects – sculptures. Before becoming a monk, I was preoccupied in various visual art forms. Recently when I made a visit at the dentist’s office, I saw a piece of metallic curvature sculpture which reminded me of something I assembled in college in ’73 when I walked away from several pieces of artwork to take to my current vocation. When seeing that sculpture in the patients’ waiting room, I had that nostalgic moment.

Now back at the temple ashram, I was looking at the completed work of two dioramas, one called “Changing Bodies” and the other one, “Karma.” They were both made from a mold design so expertly executed. They both very desperately needed a repaint job. To the rescue came Kunti, and artist, who is part of our Bhakti Academy. Well, she transformed them so nicely, worth of mentioning. The “Changing Bodies” exhibit in particular went through its own reincarnation.

It's beautiful!

In the evening I took to a winter’s walk in the Cabbagetown area, and as usual, when being confined to indoor activity, a relief comes from that walking for just an hour. It is a needed change, a reincarnation for the day. Everyone needs a daily transformation through a mere walk through the park.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Sunday 29 January 2023



Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Once again, a group of us walkers moved along River Road with one foot forward and then the alternate one by the oxidized flow of H2O and after a snow storm that broke away at the sun’s insistence. A lovely elderly woman from the UK and resident of the town who walks this route regularly was oh so curious about the monk’s clothes. But it was Vyasacharya who hyped her up about the marathon walker. We certainly ended up encouraging each other in the walking culture and to, as far as possible, do so in a pristine setting like where we were at Muskoka River. The atmosphere represents the mind of a clean devotee.

The drive back to the big city was awesome in that blue skies were shining on us. Everything in the air was there to tell us that life is worth going through.

A final mention about our short film, The Embassy – it is definitely worth viewing. It achieved some awards, including the Crown Wood International Film Festival Award and the Chambal International Film Festival – Season 7 Award. It achieved the status of quarter finalist at the Canada Shorts – Canadian & International Short Film Festival, and was a nominee at The Black Panther International Short Film Festival.

The compelling dialogue is an interesting character study of Krishna verses Duryodhan in a verbal arm wrestle. No blood and no physical conflict, just a good old battle of the minds in an eloquent classic English. The Embassy will be available soon, so please enjoy a sneak peak of what’s coming in its official trailer found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9EI4azfkBw&t=1s .

We’ll keep you posted of its official release!

I hope you’ll enjoy the production which was assembled during the height of the pandemic.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Wednesday 25 January 2023


Wednesday, January 25th, 2023
Bracebridge, Ontario

The Muskoka River is supposed to be a length of 8 kilometres which is not long and at spots it is rather still in its flow. In other areas it rushes to become white water. At least where Mahadeva, Annapurna, and I were trekking on the River Road in Bracebridge next to the flow, we find it to be a body of water that’s very alive. In sections there are cascades and waterfalls. I can’t wait til the summer to tackle it. I’ll portage when the falls appear. Whatever the season, it's something to marvel at.

My purpose in coming to the Muskokas was to see to the housewarming event of Partha and Tilak. They have a new house, and it is celebrated with kirtan, prasadam, and some inspirational talks. The impending snowstorm discouraged many of the invitees from coming to partake. Well, the storm did arrive and one brave person, Nimai Nitai, plowed through the white wonder from quite the distance.

The unique thing about winter is that it encourages cozy gatherings, the need to ‘huddle near the fireplace’ type of thing. When all who can come sing from heart and lung, which for the most part is what we did using guitar, harmonium, and mridanga. It was a supposed house/heartwarming event; credit goes to the mantras.

I’m sure down the road more housewarmers will be upon us. Recently the provincial government passed some decision about 1 million new homes being up for construction in the southern Ontario region. I’m sure Krishna is going to find me in some of those future homes to deliver the mantra.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Tuesday 24 January 2023


Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
Yorkville, Toronto

People often get the notion that when you speak about anything to do with India there are lots of gods involved, referred to often as demigods. In our Zoom ‘Gita Chat’ today, our group came upon chapter four where Krishna discourages the worship of demigods regarding such practice as less intelligent. And the reason is the benefits do come from flattering empowered-by-God devatas or demigods; however, they are materialistic endeavours and therefore, the results are temporary.

Except for Billy from Philly and I, the room where we held our discussion was occupied by young folks of a Southeast Asian background; in other words, those whose ancestors honoured demigods as much as they do worship Krishna. It was good to hear them and see them relishing the talks about demigods and getting things clarified.

Apparently, there are 33 million of such gods in the universe, which is just shy of 4 million, which reaches the Canadian population of 37 million.

In any event, our focus is the one God. God is One but can also manifest as many. Jamie from Quebec City inquired about the position of Radha, “Is She also God?” The answer is yes, but more specifically, She is Krishna’s divine potency, the feminine aspect of the Divine.

After the chat, Nikhil, Vyenkathesh, and I went for that walk through Yorkville. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of what I perceive as the god, Vayu, the wind god. It was there, this sculpture piece in a window display. It’s beautiful.

May the Source be with you!

4 km


Sunday, January 22rd, 2023
Ottawa, Ontario

Morning meditation began at the ISKCON centre at 212 Somerset E. located in the heart of student land for Ottawa U. Included in these contemplations and mantras was a discussion over a Bhagavatam verse from Canto 4 where the renowned sage, Narada, counsels Dhruva, a young 5-year-old attempting meditation. Narada advises the young student to approach three different kinds of people from respective angles. To experienced souls, one should offer respect and listen. For the younger and inexperienced, offer encouragement and direction. For equals, offer comradery. Bond like anything.

I’m not sure that Ottawa U. students have embraced these ideas. In the current pop culture, it is more about peerism and the other two types of people are marginalized. Too bad!

Alex, Roman, and I went to the snow adventure which entailed walking in it. We took to the trail along the Rideau Canal, then to the Parliament where there’s a big dig renovation (price of 1 billion dollars), onto the bridge to Gatineau, Quebec, along the Ottawa River, then Alexandra Bridge and back. It all tallied up to 9 kilometres. Not bad!

At 3 pm the Sunday Open House begins at ISKCON. Our discussions involved the cornerstone or foundational values of the Gita. I was amazed by the brilliant response from mostly students. Very good!

Through massive flakes of snow coming sideways, we drove westerly to Gananoque at the Inn. There, Roman, Vya, and I indulged in fantastic prasadam prepared by the Inn keepers. Delicious!

May the Source be with you!

9 km


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.


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!


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!


Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
Yorkville, Toronto


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

Monday 23 January 2023


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