Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021

Toronto, Ontario

Points to Consider on Bangladesh Attacks

 

With the recent tragedy in Bangladesh, members of ISKCON are action-planning for events of peaceful protest. Here are some points:

1) Devotees and temple communities should offer special prayers to their Deities in the morning to please protect our devotees in Bangladesh.

2) Special events and kirtans are arranged and dedicated to the Bangladesh devotees’ well-being.

3) Some communities have already held, or are planning to hold protests and public harinama chanting sessions to draw attention to the plight of Bangladesh minorities. Signs and public comments must be carefully monitored.

4) Attacks are not representation of a general conflict between faithful Muslims and Hindus. Many Muslim leaders in Bangladesh have spoken out strongly in support of the Hindu minority. The root of these attacks are extremists.

5) Government officials and influencers are being contacted.

Additional note: this matter of attacks on Bangladesh’s indigenous people and its culture is highly offensive and will incur negative consequences overall. There should be no place for such aggression.

May the Source be with you!

3 km


 

 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Milton, Ontario

Pleasant Swami

We have a pleasant swami visiting us in the Toronto and surrounding area. His name is Bhakti Prabhava Swami and he’s from Europe, speaks Flemish, French, English, etc. He actually came physically and not virtually; our first significant guest since the inception of covid 19. Lined up for the sannyasi (monk) were a number of sanghas (gatherings) for speaking engagements, in homes and the temple. I had the pleasure to hear from him for two Bhagavatam classes, and it was enriching.

From the class on Sunday and its subsequent discussion, I extracted a few fun phrases that he expressed, one of them being, “the SUPERsoul SUPERvises.” And, one conclusion we came up with, “We are doers, but Krishna is THE doer.” Interesting!

While Bhakti Prabhava Swami was busy over the weekend, with delivering the message of Bhagavat philosophy, I also had my share of commitments. For instance, in the morning I led a japa worskshop, virtually, for some of our leaders of Bhakti yoga clubs at various universities across the country. When asked to do this, I felt a little reluctant, feeling somewhat unqualified to speak about a subject I’m not expert in. Apparently, whatever I did say was appreciated.

I also conducted another one of those classes on the topic, “Just Do It!” for our Milton group. It was their first coming-together in 19 months. It was precious.

May the Source be with you!


 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Connecting

In dedication to those great souls who’ve suffered under the duress of violent attacks in Bangladesh, we held a kirtan at High Park at our usual location. A young man by the name of Partha was killed in the process of senseless aggressions.

Our chanting was not as well attended as in past spring and summer months. Rain and overcast conditions cause some unwelcomeness but the stalwarts turned up. And we made friends. Under the shelter of an old rustic 40’s or 50’s lodge we chanted with heart and volume. It drew some strolling pedestrians. Paul, a downtowner, came all smiles and joined in. “I come regularly to the park. A lot goes on but I’ve never seen guys drumming and singing.”

Another person, a Russian woman, chanced upon us and she indulged in listening. There were other eavesdropping folks that came to listen to the song and message.

Quickly, from High Park, Roman, Ajamila, and I rushed to the city of the famous falls, Niagara. A sudden call came from Sukavak, the son of our dear Vaishnava who started our Brampton branch and now more recently Niagara Falls. His cardio condition flared up so we did as duty and heart commands – stop in to visit him at the St. Catherine’s Hospital. He was weak in body, but not spirit.

Finally, we made it to the Shiv Mandir at Niagara and met a sweet congregation, eager to hear our take on what actually is meant by the term “Sanatana Dharma.” It was a pleasure to meet Bob Gala, candidate for Canada’s Member of Provincial Parliament. He stayed for the whole program. We hit it on well.

May the Source be with you! 


 

Friday, October 15, 2021

243 Ave. Rd., Toronto

Good and Bad News

Madhavacharya was born in 1293, near Udupi, in South India. Today is his birthday. He was an influential teacher of his time and accepted as his teacher, the great Vyasadev. He became a monk in his teens and by practice as well as words, his teaching of Vasistadwaita took hold. Of all deities of God, “Vishnu reigned Supreme,” was his position, based on the Vedas. Furthermore, he taught that God Presence and Soul Presence are two different levels of reality.

I was happy to announce Madhavacharya’s appearance to our small group of attendees in the temple this morning. To the admirers of Madhavacharya, one of the outstanding teachers in our Brahma disciplic succession, we are so indebted to his strength of character and word. I was personally flying high in thought of his spiritual heroism.

By noon my joy was interrupted, however, when the news came out that a zealot Muslim group in Bangladesh attacked one of our temples, set to fire, injured some residents and left one dead. Hindu temples across the country were also harassed. It appears that anti-Hindu (and any other faith) is not tolerated in certain countries.

Where the Goddess Durga is honoured in Hindu communities it is considered idol worship and since it is Durga Puja time, the intolerant sentiment has grown. Some Hindus question what is it that goes on in Mecca when the Kaaba is honoured? Christian can also be unaccepting of idol worship yet statues or images of the Crucifix and Jesus are adored in their churches. Faith groups should analyze their values of peace and tolerance which are boasted about.

May the Source be with you!

2 km


 

 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Yorkville, Toronto

The Opulence of Remembering

 

After my evening walk I made my way to the ashram and Prabhupada’s quarters and there was Krishna Chandra “at your service.” Often he will give that needed massage from foot to knee. At such times I usually read to him. I opened Chapter 10 of the Gita which reveals the opulence of the Absolute, hence its title. Verses twenty through forty outline these special reflections of the Absolute.

For the sake of both of us remembering as many of the names or items as possible, I read once, then twice, and on the third read, I asked Krishna Chandra questions, more or less with a fill-in-the-blank approach. He answered them quite well.

A sample: “I am the __________ in the hearts of all living entities.”

 

Another example: “Of the senses I am the __________.”

 

See if you could answer this one: “Of bodies of water I am the __________.”

 

Again, try: “Of immovable things I am the __________.”

 

More: “Of weapons I am the __________.” “Of secrets I am __________.” “To those who seek victory I am __________.”

Anyways, I believe it is a good way of learning. We were both engaged in doing something – he, the massage, and me, receiving it while repeating the words of Sri Krishna. From this chapter we can perceive God more and feel or see His presence in the things around us.

May the Source be with you!

3 km