Friday, Oct.3/08 - Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
“Honest Ed’s” is a large bargain store in a downtown Toronto established by Ed Mirvish, an entrepreneur of sorts who came to Canada as an immigrant years back. And like so many people who came from overseas rather penniless his rags-to –riches story reflects the history of those who made mega contributions to the nation’s culture and economy starting with virtually nothing. Ambition and hope drove him to a level of success.
As I made an early morning trek up Bloor St. in Honest Ed’s direction and back to the temple, my residence. I contemplated on our guru’s story. Srila Prabhupada came to America with a mere nine dollars in his pocket in 65, an hours easy spend in Boston at that time. Within a short span of ten years he built up an empire that embraces a counter-culture experience. As a genuine monk he claimed to own nothing of it personally. As he taught us that all provisions, properties and other assets all belong to God. The force driving him was the interest to revitalize the human race and offer the option to live by universal truths, a concept so buried under by impersonal consumerism. He was very much at the cutting edge of “New Age” concepts. He was successful at what he did.
The afternoon and beyond portion of the day was spent in Kitchener. Our in-house yoga teaching monk, Devadatta drove me, a devotee tattoo artist and his wife, a former fitness guru/model for an evening at the home of a couple. Instead of delivering a monk’s talk I read from the book “Krishna” at which time I left “fill in the blanks” sections. It was a very interactive session and a way to hold the attendees interest in the story which highlighted the battle with serpent Kaliya.