Temperatures have dipped after a spring-like dynamic. Now we've entered a big freeze in central Canada and although the sun shines, frigid mother nature pervades. Devotees are not deterred by the weather.
Twenty-five young men and women from our community braved the cold to be embraced by it in two locations. Kensington Market and Dufferin Mall, to go out and "have a good time" as they put it.
What is this good time?
Each month on the last Saturday youths are geared up under the mentorship of Radha Mohan, a banker by profession, to engage in a sankirtan party. This entails street chanting and distribution of Bhaktivedanta Book Trust literature. There's a vegetarian feast to follow and then sharing of stories about the great people. Mostly shoppers, that were interacted with.
In my healing from surgery stage I lamented not being part of this happy experience but I was present when the eager brigade both left and returned from the venture. Excitement filled the air as on an amazing "buzz" invaded the Govinda's dining room upon the return of those weather warriors. I was happy for them being in their own ecstasy. They appeared to have transcended the cold.
What I was fit for today was a ride to suburbria Brampton, and a home program with hosts Savyasachin, Shyamesvari and their one year old daughter. In our tradition a true inauguration for entering into a new home is chanting which is accompanied by a toasty fire ceremony called agni-hotra. The fire was foregone but the chanting was not. There is always warmth that emanates from chanting-warmth to the heart.
Our super drummer Radha Kanta, who provided the music for our mantras, is a monk from Asam, and he just hasn't quite understood our winters here yet. If your vehicle is stuck on the road during frigid climate you have to be prepared for anything. When ascending to our van to leave, icy conditions were such that the ill-prepared monk lost his balance sending one of the dollarama sandals from his feet, sliding off into the street. That gave him a good laughing. It's certainly another world for him in Canada.