Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

New People

Toronto, Ontario

On this day all honours went to the brother of Krishna whose name is Balarama. His birth was completely mystical. You can say it was a result of an immaculate conception. His father, Vasudev, meditated on Vishnu. Those thoughts were transmitted to the mind of His spouse, Devaki. In this was she was impregnated – through meditation. When she was about to give birth the child was subliminally transferred from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, a second wife of Vasudev. The child was safe under the care of Rohini and foster father, Nanda as Balarama’s biological parents were imprisoned by Kamsa, a tyrannical ruler of the time.

Balarama led a humble life as a cowherd boy along with His brother Krishna. What makes him a personal hero for me is that he took up long-distance walking as a pilgrimage at a certain period in His life.

What was amazing for me at the evening’s festival in Balarama’s honour was to see some new faces. Not that new guests area a novelty. Unique this evening was that these new faces, numbering twenty people or so, were the fruition of the careful nurturing of our Urban Edge Yoga studio co-ordinators. The Urban Edge which opened in October last year, was an attempt to draw yogis, jnanis, or just simply sincere seekers of the truth to the bhakti yoga approach.

We were finding that local people were not taking so much interest in our temples in Canada. Large buildings and the “organized religion” stigma was hurting our efforts to attract. The experiment with “Urban Edge” has worked as I saw from the results. The newcomers had stepped into our larger building for the first time but only after a soft and more gradual people –centered approach was applied to them. They loved the evening.

Large buildings with congregants largely of one type of ethnic group can be intimidating to local folks. The charm of a cozy place of atmosphere for developing a person’s spiritual life seems to succeed. I would deem the yoga center a success because of the intelligence put behind the program.

I would urge other city temples who struggle to draw visitors to look at this model.

7 KM

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