Sun. Sept. 28/08 – Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I delivered a talk at each of the two cities (300 Km apart from each other, or one week’s walking distance) in oil rich Alberta. At the Radha Govinda Cultural Centre in Edmonton, the message there was derived from the Bhagavad-gita 4:31 centering on “without sacrifice there cannot be happiness either in this life or the next.” In the early morning my god-brother, Revati Prannath, and I had walked along the Saskatchewan River, and this river, an excellent type of waterway, was the route taken by French Voyageurs, as they were called. In the 1600’s they paddled and portaged all the way from Montreal, a far stretch from the east, taking life-risking journeys back and forth, in order to experience adventure and also to achieve means of happy livelihood through the fur trade. Now, I could label these travelers as “demons” for all their fur trapping casualties But I must admit, I admire their bravery and tenacity or their sense of sacrifice dealing with the unknown wilderness.
Such determination of purpose led me on to speak about the mood of our dear guru, Srila Prabhupada, who with incredible conviction left hi comfortable facility in Vrindavan, India and took up hardship to spread the message of Krishna.
At the Radha Govinda Cultural Centre in Calgary the topic could have been, “Get out of your Hole.”, hole referring to one’s comfort zone, the apartment or the house. Our guru addressed some of his monastic contemporaries and said that they should not be content to sit in temples, ring bells, and eat some nice Kichari (a rice and lentil mix). He urged them to take up a sacrifice get out and do something for people and assist them in overcoming the vicious cycle of birth and death.
Over the weekend American actor Paul Newman passed away. Having an affinity for good acting I appreciated his work but I also honour him for being a fine philanthropist and a good family man.