Saturday, May 23rd, 2015
It’s been 23 years of the annual astha prahar in Toronto.
Perhaps, it is one of the longest running 24 hour chanting sessions in
North America. This program held at the
Thakur Centre was first initiated by a sweet man by the name Raja Sarangi. We remember him lovingly as the man born and
raised in Orissa, and who had a passion to duplicate in Canada a practice he
had embraced close to his heart as a boy.
And here’s what he taught us. You set up a shrine in the middle of a field,
or in the middle of an indoor community hall, and after adorning it with
pictures and icons of Krishna and Chaitanya, you now have a station around
which you circumambulate while engaged in kirtan. It’s a tradition in Bengal and the
The people here at the Thakur Centre, mostly hail from
Bengal, and they are very much loyal and dedicated to this annual kirtan cause. I was blessed to kick start the program this
year, as usual. Groups who are practiced
at kirtan come in throughout the day
when it’s their slot, usually a one or two hour length. I see this as the ultimate goodwill
activity. A sound which is sacred sends
positive bliss chemicals into the atmosphere.
This was also the case at Christie Pitts Park when after
the march against Monsanto, a residual trickle of people engaged in kirtan in the park. It was a totally unplugged sound
vibration. No drums, no harmonium, no
cymbals were available, nor were they necessary. Just a happy sound of kirtan from the voice, and the clap of the hands permeated through
It’s the subtle things that can often time impact the
May the Source be with you!