Sunday, 24 May 2015

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015
Montreal, Quebec

The Day of the Lion

One young woman in particular wanted the experience of what’s called a mangal arati, a ceremony with chants and images at 4:30 AM.  She made the effort, on the will of her desire, she showed up all happy as a guest.  She was also keen to go on a morning walk with a bunch of us with destination the nearby botanical gardens, once again.  Besides ourselves there was only one human who came to share the space of shanti, calmness.  I guess he was out on his own meditation.  While sitting on a rock and chanting a quiet mantra (the gayatri), frogs were all around us as they tried to leap across our pathway.   Cardinal birds with a fire engine red colour landed on rocks nearby.  Who could blame them for being nosy, we are a curious sight – human beings in exotic attire of saris and dhotis, and who are chanting mantras

By afternoon, we made our way to Saint Catherine’s Street for more pleasure and duty which comes in the form of kirtan.  The streets were crowded.  We were just under 20 in number.  Outnumbered we were by the thousands there and who were on the hot pursuit for maya.  Some are tourists, and they, like everyone else, are caught up in the Saturday spirit of freedom in this dominant, plentiful city.  Generally you can tell who the tourists are, they have a slightly different air about them, an air of wonder.  With our chanting procession, we did our grand finale in front of one of those older, gorgeous cathedrals to be admired.  With the rule of time behind us, we were scheduled to be present at the Iskcon Centre on Pie IX Boulevard to honour the lion avatar, Narasingha, a big day on the Vaishnava calendar. 

I had received an email that came from a monk friend of mine, Krishna Kshetra Swami.  It was the first draft of a script, a conversation between Narasingha and ultimate demon, Hiranyakashipu.  Then Yves Prescott, another friend of mine, joined me in the dramatical reading of this very witty script.  It gave delight to the ears of the community and added a special flavour to the evening.  Everybody likes lions, especially this one. 

May the Source be with you!

10 km

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