A New Mask
For neighbours who route themselves diagonally on the walkway through Dupont Parkette situated just behind our temple/ashram, there is something new. It might go unnoticed.
The City Parks Department had planted a sugar maple tree last fall. It is a mere 15 foot young guy rooted in amongst giants. He'll be like his companions one day, give it one hundred years or more. What's so special about it is the dedication it was meant for. At the base of this new soon-to-be budding artist is a stone plaque inscribed on it, "In dedication to Bhaktivedanta Swami who walked here in June 1975."
In that year, an explosive time for the spread of Krishna Consciousness, our guru did in fact stroll through this moderate-sized park with a dozen or so followers. This healthy patch of green from April to November (and white for the balance of the year) is situated at the base of Dupont Street where Avenue Road crosses.
Local historians say that this area was the route taken by the Huron natives centuries ago when the water form Lake Ontario was progressively up in levels that edged off right along or near this spot.
In any event, the parkette, now graced with a special maple tree, gives it a new meaning. If trees have their own glory, especially those that run a sweet sap, then humans who emit a nectar of divine wisdom and example, who are few and far between, leave an indelible mark where they go. This place now marks the spot of a person who gave a real renaissance into the lives of many.
It was in this neighbourhood where rooms were rented to the free-love hippies, many of whom 'hung out' at Canada's famous hippie-haven, Yorkville, just a stone's throw from here.
Bhaktivedanta Swami was now the world over for leading flocks of fortunate seekers who wanted to change for a cleaner mode of life. With that he succeeded. He also demonstrated the tolerance of a tree when trying to train the wild and wonderful youth of the 60s and 70s.
This tree is well placed and is situated there to show appreciation to the good work of the guru. For a fee of seven hundred dollars, sponsor Raghavender stepped up to do the honour of gracing the earth with this special tree that represents giving help and giving devotion.