Okay! So we attended the 2nd anniversary of the opening of the Hindu Heritage Centre. It is a jewel of a building with fused east and west, old and new architecture.
Yogendra, Dhruva, Greg and I were invited to lead a kirtan chanting session. Wow, did the people ever respond well. It's largely that north Indian Punjabi punch-type of energy that we felt. The star of the show, of course, is the MAHA MANTRA.
As we were in an explosive chant with three powerful mrdanga drums, two dignitaries came in. They were representatives of a political party. They were not really prepared to join in on our ecstasy. So be it! The one gentleman, who was a white Canadian, began his address to the attendees once we completed our kirtan. All was quiet and all were sober (from the intoxication of kirtan). He opened with, "Namaste, Namaskaram, Kamcho, Vanakum, and any other words I missed."
Just then one of our devotees with origins from Delhi, burst out saying, "Hare Krishna" to which the government rep said, "Oh, yes, Hare Krishna!" That got everyone in a laughter.
The evening venue was the ISKCON Centre in downtown Toronto. More of the same - chanting of the name that is so much becoming known. The theme of the program was the launch of this year's Ratha Yatra, Festival of the Chariots, on its 40th Anniversary. I spoke from the Gita, verse 1.14 but the star of the show was themaha mantra, the gift of our guru, Srila Prabhupada.