Sunday 31 January 2010

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Charming Things

Berbice, Guyana

This creature that caught my attention was neither a rat nor a pig. It was a bush-hog and was foreign to my eyes. It never ceases to amaze me what new species enters your purview when you travel. I was totally distracted from kirtan chanting for a good 5 minutes during day 2 of Padayatra. This rather handsome looking hog is considered a rodent. I would estimate a good 3 feet in length from head to hind, this animal is a herbivore like most of the participants in Padayatra, festival on foot.

After tearing and munching on grass this slightly bulky guy took no interest in what we were doing. He went straight for wallowing in a mud hole. He was loving it. He didn’t have a care in the world.

I admit to leading at least half of our human flock astray. Whatever the swami does people will follow. I pulled out of the procession and stepped but inches away from my new found friend. The chanting persisted while I watched in wonder another remarkable creation by Krishna.

Fascinating also was receiving a squash potato curry on a lotus flower pod. You cup the pod in your left hand and eat with the right fingers.

Our evening closed with friend Ajamil leading a chanting session with that Caribbean flavour of a sound. Somehow the lead guitar helped. It got everyone off their chairs and on their feet. This is a festival on foot indeed.

8 KM

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The Best Car is a Cart

Berbice, Guyana.

It is quite an astounding thing. By 5am there is already a traffic jam in Trinidad on the country’s freeway, as I was boosted to the airport for Guyana. Several people informed me that there are more vehicles per capita in Trinidad than anywhere in the world. I believe it, I was seeing it. And it’s not necessarily a great piece of information. Since when did the automobiles bring jubilation? Perhaps it has become one necessary evil but where do you draw the line between necessity and outright laziness.

Life in Eastern Guyana is somewhat more calm. Here we were set to glorify a different kind of conveyance. With the first of a 5 days Padayatra, festival on foot, a hand pulled light-weight eco-friendly cart was the main visual attraction. Assembled in Canada by an Eastern European man and designed by a Cuban monk, is this snazzy vintage looking cart which facilitates deities of the two foremost propagators of kirtan chanting, Chaitanya and Nityananda from 15th century Bengal. Each night Padayatra, a procession of sorts takes participants to different sections to the Berbice area. Residents come out of their homes, to have darshan, a viewing of the people chanting, the cart and the beautiful deities. They came to hear the sound of voices and drums and receive invitation to the stage show for the evening.

It’s quite a joyful undertaking and I was impressed with the new coastal road, freshly paved to accommodate local cars who share space with our unique-looking spiffy cast. Except for some diversions to side-streets the new road offers very best display for the Padayatra in Guyana 2010.

2 KM

Saturday 30 January 2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

When the Sun Take A Rest

Debe, Trinidad

I just finished showering. I consumed a small amount of Gatorade and some grape seed extract for my joints. At 2:00 am I was out the door. My companion is a fitness instructor, a runner and a massage therapist. You couldn’t get better than that for support. His name is Kartamasha and he is about to retire from the army after 20 years of being in that spot.

We started by taking a country road at Longdenville then eventually met up with what’s called the Old South Main Road, a pedestrian non-friendly two lanner. Sidewalks are few but we survived and made the trek through a hustle and bustle oil refinery and natural gas industry district.

The heat was on and I admit by 7:15 am I needed a break. I lied down under some mangrove vegetation after spreading my chauddar cloth over top a crab-holed patch of dirt. I let Kartamasha have a chance at easing my feet. He was telling me how he maintained his vegetarianism even while he was in training in the army. There are certain leaves from trees that he would survive on in the rainforest. That was his diet.
Part two of today’s walk brought me more associates. After a long stretch of avoiding the sun dozens of companions come to join me for more trekking. One police officer in civilian clothes came next to me to take part. He gave me an interesting ear-full about what he has to deal with. I also contemplated the agony of Haiti’s earthquake victims, particularly those who were struck under rubble for twelve days.
By the time I competed round one of the day’s walk. I had to contend with blisters on the feet as well as serious heat rashes that turned bloody. But my pain could not come anywhere near the severity of the turmoil of Haiti’s people.

There was a Part three of today’s trek. The goal was to reach Debe and after kirtan chanting and a sit down talk on “Pedestrian pastimes” to an assembly of devotees, 8 more kilometers had to be accomplished. By 11pm Kartamasha and I succeeded in reaching that target and safely saying that I completed walking Trinidad.

A further reflection: In the early hours Kartamasha and I encountered heaps of dogs, some behind secure fence and some not. There were moments that their barking and growling and following us, caused my arm hairs to stand on end. I had to resolve within that its dogs that are sniffing out surviving people after being trapped for days giving people hope.

Dania Maharaja, a reporter from the Trinidad “Inside News” called twice asking questions on the significance of these spiritual walks. And so I obliged.

There were many happy honkers amongst motorists in the evening. That’s the time I like to walk in Trinidad early morning or evening, the times when the sun takes a rest.

43 KM

Friday 29 January 2010

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Trinidad: a new trail

Port –of –Spain: Trinidad

I landed with Caribbean airline on Trinidadian soil at 5 am. By 7 am I had been picked up at the Port-of–Spain airport by a learning devotee.

Data something or the other, I will refer to him as ‘Data base’ a type of person who keep in touch with all people. I told Data base that I will not bathe but begin a walk as soon as possible. In honour of the earthquake victims of Haiti. I mention that I couldn’t afford to waste time showering as each moment that passes here leads closer to the inferno.

Temperature here rises to 34 degrees celcius. He agreed by 10 am you will need to be peeled off the pavement after melting on it. “I’m a polar bear” I explained.

I was sorry to have missed my Canadian friends, a couple, Partha and Uttama. What bad timing! Their flight was at 6 am. I Just missed them. I was curious to find out from them how their seminar on “tightening the bonds that free us” went. Their explanation about reinforcement of strong family values have a strong impact wherever they go.

In a class I was asked to give at the Chaguanas' Temple ,I registered that stable family attract people to our communities. ”You may have a great philosophy, but when you have a strong back bone in the shape of strong family values in practice then you have something much more appealing to offer”.

Now I am known as the Walking Monk and not involved in a personal relationship where familial ties is concerned. But still I would like to see families and communities function as they should. What a great time I had at that Temple while chanting. My only regret for that day was blisters that had developed while breaking in new sandals.

I shouldn’t fail to mention that one fellow we met while walking stopped his car and shouted out “What’s your message?”.

He got out of his car to greet me. I told him “It’s a pilgrimage, a prayerful walk for victims of the earthquake”. At that remark he blurted out ”its focus whose the answer, Jesus and only Jesus”. “I have no problem with Jesus, he used to walk…”

“Jesus, was the only word coming from his mouth, as he roared out his name. It was my cue to continue walking knowing there was no aptitude for a conversation.
Oh well, at least he came to greet me.

18 Km

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Beware Beware

Toronto, Ontario

I spent the night at the home of a Maurition couple, Advaita and Sita. Lovely hosts they are. We had a mini-sadhana program, a spiritual work-out, you can say followed by a breakfast of veggies. I insisted on these delicious from the night before. I have no fear of left –overs, as long as they haven’t been too leftover. From their home I took to walking north on Scarlett Road, over the Humber River by bridge and west on Eglinton Avenue.

The weather was around the freezing point but I was sweating in a tweed winter coat which I took off my back to carry under the arm. I saw dog-walkers and church-goers on foot and motorists up to some mystery.

The arrangement was for Advaita to pick me up for the 20 minute drive to the Brampton centre. There I met more gracious hosts who were most eager to here a message from the Gita. A young 17 year old boy, interested in psychology as future studies took a liking to the message. He particularly was humoured by the term I used ‘’ bhoji yogi’’, a term often used facetiously in the 70’s by speakers of the Gita to describe non-genuineness holy men. These do exist, of ascetics who cut the profile of the sadhu or holy man, look but who lead another life, a life of double standards. Bhogi is extracted from the word bogus or even bhoga which refers to sense enjoyment. Other pretty words have been used to define false renounciants, charlatans. A sincere questions asked by Arjuna in the Gita is ‘what are the symptoms of one who is realized?’. Then Krishna begins to elaborate. In essence he refers to the person that is free from sensual undertaking.

Beware! Beware! Of the wolf in sheep’s clothing! These might seem to be strong terms or words but for any seeker of the truth you want to sufficiently investigate a possible guide before accepting him or her as a teacher for life.
Beware of double standards!

4 Km

Sunday 24 January 2010

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

They will Gossip

Toronto, Ontario

Its worth repeating - the message about gossip. Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, worked very hard to create an environment of love and trust and a place virtually free of fruitless chatter. Where does one draw the line between the spiritual and material world?? I believe this to be the answer; the divide is between the place where spiritual encouragement is spoken ad the place where we have cynicism.

Here is what’s worth repeating from a letter from Prabhupada in 1974. “Your suggestion that the devotees visiting Vrindavan engage in preaching and chanting and not in gossiping is very good…. We have sacrificed our life for Krishna’s service, where is the scope for sleeping and gossiping?…

Your suggestion for groups teaching practical subjects like book distribution and Deity worship is also good. These things are wanted.

Then installing of telex communications for our main temple is not required. Then they will gossip more through the telex”.

The use of modern day technology is practically impossible to check. It can be appreciated that its utility is not used for mundane purposes. Gossip is very destructive. If anything, we can engage in God sip, sipping up what God is telling us.

10 Km

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Make A Life and Give

Scarborough, Ontario

“We make living by what we get but we make a life by what we give”.
This quote found on the back cover of a glossy magazine “Wheeling” which features 'The Krishnas' is very inspiring. They are the words of Winston Churchill.

I have it in mind to give my leg power to the victims in Haiti for the upcoming walk in Trinidad. I am not following the news in detail of the catastrophe but I am aware that after the devastation of homes and the displacement of people and the astronomical numbers of deaths, it is the suffering survivors that face fathomless calamity. I would like to dedicate the solitary walk (with occasional companions as they appear) to the earthquake victims.

What is consuming me is the great wonder, “How to accomplish such a feat/feet in two days?” I land in Trinidad this Monday at 7 AM at Port of Spain and will commence walking from there. It will be like a frying pan for me as temperature already rises above 30 degrees Celsius. My sponsor wishes for me to actually be in Guyana two days following to attend a Padayatra, a festival on foot and that is the reason for the restricted time. The anticipated walk goes from Port of Spain to Chaguanas, the location of a temple and then from there to Debe, the location of a spiritual commune. This like previous walks will be a pilgrimage about 70 km long. This time it will be “a prayerful walk for the suffering souls in Haiti”.

My evening was spent in the home of Anand, a former big star of cricket, playing on behalf of the Canadian Cricket Team. We completed the evening by singing bajans, devotional songs. The lyrics of these songs are deep and they penetrated the mind while wrestling with the thought only by God’s grace will I complete Trinidad in two days.

5 Km

Saturday 23 January 2010

Thursday, January 21st, 2010


Toronto, Ontario

Police in the city are reporting that too many deaths are occurring. The cause: a lack of space sharing between pedestrians and motorists. They say people who drive automobiles are multi tasking too much. Walkers are too focused on their MP3 players, wearing hoods and are careless when crossing at intersections.

This is merely a reminder to be attentive on the road. In the course of a day there are a number of intersections I meet. “Like a razor’s edge” our guru, Srila Prabhupada used to say, a little bit of inattention and blood will come. Our spiritual life is like that. When we pay attention to the details of our devotional endeavours moving with caution, then you avoid many potential problems.

I became guilty of a slight distraction. Hypocrite that I am, I peeked over at a vintage book store display while walking. There was a comic book collector’s issue of character, Archie. On the cover, Archie was confronted by a duplicate of himself in a spacesuit. The duplicate grabbed Archie’s shirt at the chest and proclaimed himself as the real Archie and threatened him with, “Scram! Beat it!”

This scenario may be a common enough theme. I was reminded of a story from the Bhagavatam of an imposter Krishna who aggressively approached Krishna declaring he was ‘the real McCoy’. Well, it turned out that the original Krishna let the counterfeit be known as to his actual foolishness and was actually put in his place.

My evening event was a talk I conducted, “The Fire of Desire”, at Urban Edge Yoga Centre. People were attentive with the message and we even engaged them in memorizing a verse from “The Gita”, kama esa krodha esa rajo-guna samudbhava. This translates as “desire, when too intense, leads to anger.”

I wasn’t sure whether my talk on desire and passion lacked substance. When it came to question time the majority of inquiries had to do with my walking experiences.

So I tried to please the crowd.

8 Km

Friday 22 January 2010

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Earth Knows Good and Bad

Toronto, Ontario

I really delighted in speaking from the verse of today out of the book, Bhagavatam. Before my presentation, our small group of devotees in the ashram had suggested that one of our three women living in the ashram speak. Even though I gave her sufficient time to prepare for it, she felt shy and declined my offer. Premavati, a Quebec born woman, is a fine example of what is a devotee of Krishna, and she is most qualified to speak and I do like to hear others speak and not just hear myself. Oh, well! We’ll give her another shot at it ‘down the road’ (a favorite expression of mine).

In any event, a chapter in Canto Five of Bhagavatam reveals the prayers of Mother Earth. The Earth is in reverence of Father God. Father God acts in such a way as to save the Earth from turmoil. In the form of a majestic boar named, Varaha, Father God protected Mother Earth from a big tyrant, Hiranyaksha. Mother Earth expresses gratitude for the job done.

In this chapter, residents of Earth speak of their realization which is highly philosophical and deep. I wish I could say the same for current Earthlings. There are a lot of good people out there and it is thoroughly encouraging to see the response from the world in prayer, in kind, in food, and other forms of aid going to Haitian victims. Please don’t mistake me. I firmly believe in the good of all.

However, let’s not be naïve. There is another side to us. I can’t refrain from having that balanced look at the human race. We could all and should all do better. Let’s face it, most of us are quite self-centered. I couldn’t help saying in this morning’s class that many folks live from refrigerator to toilet with little or no spiritual direction. We deprived ourselves of introspection and appropriate action.

Our frail Earth suffers when it shakes and cracks at earthquakes, and suffers again at the popping of its pimples (volcanoes); what to speak of wars and famines. Our dear Earth could be in a better and more tolerable way. We need only to improve our service to each other.

4 Km

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Bounce Back

Toronto, Ontario

Be aware of black ice! I deliberately avoided the ravine, knowing it would be a slip-n-slide affair, but on upper ground level, I assumed it safe. I was wrong. I hit some of the stuff and made a landing flat on the back. Ouch. I picked myself back up to my feet. I would say I wasn’t prepared. With white ice you are psychologically ready for a fall as I have been for years in a stuntman fashion. I have actually taken pride in being able to do this. You fall and quickly shift yourself for landing with the cushion part of the body being the contact point. From there you spring back up, ready to move on.

All is fun when young. When you approach your late 50’s it’s a different story. Most of us are not like strong man Bellini who recently died at 104 when tragically hit by a van in New York. He was a vegetarian and even in his later years could bend coins with his teeth, so the news reported.

The term ‘fall down’ is something that is used frequently enough in devotee circles. It usually refers to someone of spiritual status who is confronted with a dark hour and slips from standards of principles which were once well upheld. It is commonly the sexual push or the craving for past intoxication lures that nabs people.

Gurus usually advise that one who reaches a weak moment can simply pick himself or herself up and move ahead. The main point is to never give up. Had I just remained lying on the slimy black ice, I would be a quitter, and that we should never be under any circumstance.

9 Km

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Monday, January 18th, 2010

En Route


Two young fellows on the trail stretching their weekend, I guess, asked if I had a cigarette.

“No! No smoking for me, so no cigarettes.” I kept it brief. Learning from past experiences, early morning stragglers aren’t always the safest people to talk to. Even dogs on the trail here cannot always be trusted. I was lucky with Ugly Face, but today’s pair of canine creatures that I was confronted with did determine my direction which was to turn around.

At the airport, America’s favourite news vehicle, CNN, pumped out info on the world’s goings on from their monitors. What propaganda! Important though was being kept up on news about the Haitian earthquake which has taken a huge death toll.

At one instance of the news casting, I heard the Mamas and the Papas singing “Monday Monday”. But it was a more glum Monday than usual hearing the deplorable details of the earthquake. On the flight from Dallas to Chicago, an elderly couple was curious about me and my companions, Keshava, Praharana, and Nitai Priya.

“We’re Hare Krishnas!”

The woman asked, “Well, do you email and use technology? You have to know what’s going on in the world, don’t you?” inferring that it’s not a good idea to be totally cut off from the world. We concurred.

It was never intended by our guru, Srila Prabhupada, that our society be a cloistered lifestyle. Our intent is to give association to people, to offer spiritual life and in the process, some interaction naturally takes place.

4 Km

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Last Day in Dallas

Dallas, Texas

It was brahma-muhurta hour, a space of time ideal for spiritual concentration, that I took my steps walking on the Dallas centre grounds on Gurley Avenue. Just behind a Samadhi tomb of Tamal Krishna Goswami, a prominent monk and early pioneer of Krishna Consciousness, I spotted a moving object larger than a rat and bald as an old man. It was a possum scurrying along, making his way towards the temple. Off to worship? I don’t think so! Not in this life! He was just doing his thing; on a food hunt I suppose. Anyway, it perked me up.

At drama practice there are times I get to play out a brief part to demonstrate to the actors just what I’m looking for. That really seems to perk up our acting volunteers. It’s a change from just sitting on the director’s chair all the time. I must admit, this “becoming someone else”, even for a flash, is so much in me. It’s great to step outside of your own shoes and walk around in someone else’s.

What was really gripping for me today was attending a session on mental disease and depression that hits our communities like anywhere else in society. Our chairperson, Tamohara, from Florida, raised the question as to what do you do when you have someone in your ashram (monastery) who is stricken with mental challenges? I pondered on what it would be like to have this mental uncertainty in your life. Many people in the world suffer from depression, anxiety and lack of sleep. It triggers many other abnormal difficulties including physical problems.

Most of us have someone near or dear who have been suffering tremendously. My own mother had her challenges in this regard. It is a foul karma that people have to go through. This I remarked to a friend, Anuttama, who said, “If it’s not one thing then it’s another.” Such is the nature of an unstable world – this material world.

One important thing that I gleaned from Tamohara’s presentation is that victims of such instability should never be abandoned, even if living in the ashram is to be terminated.

6 Km

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Play Bold!

Dallas, Texas

A big part of the joy of walking is not just the physical workout and the great benefits derived from working all those muscles from head to toe, but it’s the air. I came to Dallas to attend meetings and even though weather here is mild compared to the Canadian outdoors, its nippy enough in the morning if you were to sit still. Meetings are rightfully held inside for privacy sake, lack of distraction and temperature. The air indoors leaves much to be desired. It’s virtually dead, trapped in square units we call rooms. I just need more movement of air and oxygen for the brain than what’s provided.

My walk on the trail along Santa Fe Avenue in a predominant Mexican neighbourhood is life-saving even though it is dark in the early hours. I saw a fellow in a wheelchair coming out of a small factory parking lot. I wondered what he was doing there. And at that hour. It seemed irregular.

During the day I did shuffle between meetings and drama practice with the local youth. The final outcome of the drama “Lonely People” performed by these youths being well anchored by our devotee actress, Nitai Priya, was good. It was well received and was my main contribution to the meetings.

I took another evening walk for winding down after the performance. A bus whizzed by me. In large lettering, an ad read “Bold Work / Bold Play”. Well, that we did, and all in the service of Krishna.

6 Km

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Ugly Face Dog

Dallas, Texas

I might speak about people and the things I pick up from them that I learn. I may even see some of them as gurus in the sense of having taken inspiration from their actions or words, whether it was intended to help me personally or not. Things just happen in the course of the day that are instructive or point the way or give some direction. And it doesn’t always come from humans.

After a long day of meetings and drama practices with our local youth, I took to a trail, an old railway line converted into a paved path. It was late. What to do? A dress/tech rehearsal took us to that point in time. I thought to start my japa (chanting commitment on meditation beads) for the day and get an early start.

Over that stretch of time – 1 ½ hours – I met no one except for what seemed to be a displaced woman walking down this trail situated along Santa Fe Street. Out of the dark came a bark. It was a dog, no doubt. He appeared homeless – a stray dog sniffing about going here and there. We were curious of each other. I let him know I’m friendly. This is a déjà vu because I’ve met plenty of dogs in the past. Dallas, I understood has some free-roamers.

I stopped for him and beckoned him forward. I bent over, outstretching my hand, so he could receive me. He did come forward and as he got close, I could not make out what breed he belonged to. As I got two hand lengths from his face, I could see that he was an extraordinarily ugly dog which might explain why he was on his own. I overlooked his looks and accepted him as companion. I was happy to have him with me.

He walked by my side and would periodically go to the side to mark his territory in the way dogs do. What did I learn from him for the short span of time I was with him? Well, detachment. Let the whole world be your home. And may everyone you come upon be your friend. Important points for sure!

This dog with the most homely face just didn’t cut it with the looks, but he had a heart, and I was kind of hurt when he left me, frankly. I missed my pal with the ugly face.

7 Km

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Flower Ghosts

Dallas, Texas

I had been at the carousel to wait for luggage at the airport. A young couple sat nearby when the woman noticed my robes. She was compelled to ask which group I belong to.

“Excuse me, but who are you with?”

“Hare Krishna!” I responded.

“I thought so. My father told me just the other day that he had lived as one of your monks in the late sixties. He is from Italy but now lives in the Honduras. Do you guys sell flowers?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“My father told me that he had to sell flowers in the airports and he didn’t like it, so he left.”

“That’s too bad,” I said and explained that in its infancy, the movement was trying out various means with which to sustain and grow. “We have now built up congregations and are functioning quite differently. And it’s not that we have anything against flowers. In fact, we use them all the time in our ceremonies. Please give your dad my greetings.”

“I will” she said.

After I had the dialogue with her I felt good having met a young person with some background in Krishna. I also pondered this, “Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, attracted quite a following from the flower children days in the sixties.” That lifestyle of “love and peace” had practically wound down by the eighties if not earlier, but if you go to one of our Krishna temples today, you may discover that the flower power genre of some sort still exists in Hare Krishna communities. Haight Ashbury in San Francisco have its flower ghosts, but Krishna Consciousness moves on.

5 Km

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Good People

Toronto, Ontario

I had the pleasure to meet some great people yesterday. First of all, a young man, a student from a school of gifted individuals, came by for an appointment. As I greeted him at the reception, I could see he had a camera. He intended an interview on the topic of his choice, which was “Enlightenment” for his English class.

Well! All went well with questions and my answers though I consider myself to be a true novice on the topic. He seemed satisfied. I was impressed with his choice of subject matter since he had a vast opinion. His search was genuine. He truly wanted to understand “enlightenment”. I started to respond by looking at the word’s core, “light”, from two angles. First of all he appreciated the notion of light meaning not weighted down with bad habits and being very light-hearted or not anchored with mundane passions. Secondly, we looked at the word “light” as meaning being able to see with spiritual vision. From these two springboards, we dove deeper into the subject.

I admired one other quality in this student. He was an intense listener which is how enlightenment begins. What a breath of freshness this young man was!

Later in the evening I took the opportunity to speak with an especially reserved kind of couple. They have been coming around to our Govinda’s Vegetarian dining lounge and also taking vegetarian cooking classes. I’m glad to have met them. They are my kind of people because they are walkers. They explained that they will stroll from Yonge & Eglinton all the way to the waterfront, a length of two hours, and back to their apartment. They appear to have strength in their legs as well as strength in their words. I found that I could sit down with them and have a very pleasant conversation.

It really makes your day, nay, your life when you have good people that cross your path.

5 Km

Monday 18 January 2010

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Lecture - Bhaktimarga Swami - SB 8.24.30
Dallas, Texas

Dallas, TX

SB 8.24.30


O my Lord, possessing eyes like the petals of a lotus, the worship of the demigods, who are in the bodily concept of life, is fruitless in all respects. But because You are the supreme friend and dearmost Supersoul of everyone, worship of Your lotus feet is never useless. You have therefore manifested Your form as a fish.


The demigods like Indra, Candra and Surya are ordinary living entities who are differentiated parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord expands Himself through the living beings (nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam). His personal visnu-tattva forms, which are all spiritual, are called svamsa, and the living entities who are differentiated parts are called vibhinnamsa. Some of the vibhinnamsa forms are spiritual, and some are a combination of matter and spirit. The conditioned souls in the material world are different from their external bodies made of material energy. Thus the demigods living in the upper planetary systems and the living entities living in the lower planetary system are of the same nature. Nonetheless, those living as human beings on this planet are sometimes attracted to worshiping the demigods in the higher planetary systems. Such worship is temporary. As the human beings on this planet have to change their bodies (tatha dehantara-praptih), the living entities known as Indra, Candra, Varuna and so on will also have to change their bodies in due course of time. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, antavat tu phalam tesam tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam: "Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary." Kamais tais tair hrta jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah: [Bg. 7.20] those who do not know the position of the demigods are inclined to worship the demigods for some material purpose, but the results of such worship are never permanent. Consequently, here it is said, yathetaresam prthag-atmanam satam, padopasarpanam mrsa bhavet. In other words, if one is to worship someone else, he must worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then his worship will never be fruitless. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat: even a slight attempt to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a permanent asset. Therefore, as recommended in Srimad-Bhagavatam, tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam hareh. One should take to the worship of the lotus feet of Hari, even if this means giving up the so-called occupational duty assigned because of the particular body one has accepted. Because worship in terms of the body is temporary, it does not bear any permanent fruit. But worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives immense benefit.
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Kirtan - Bhaktimarga Swami - Guru Puja

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Tuesday, January 12 th, 2010

Counting on life

Toronto, Ontario

While in Thunder Bay over the weekend at the Jani residence I had a relaxed few-minutes where I sat down with their son, Krishna, 8 and his sister, Priyanka, 12 and their Mom and Dad. We came up with a rhyme which I have vied to call:

"Counting life"

When you're 1 you do have lots of fun
When you're 2 you learn to use the loo
When you're 3 you are finally free
When you're 4 you could be a bore
When you're 5 you really come alive
When you're 6 you start to mix
When you're 7 you're 4 from eleven
When you're 8 you're feeling really great
When you're 9 you're feeling just fine
When you're 10 you go into your den
When you're 11 you're really far from heaven
When you're 12 you start to evolve
When you're 13 you start to be mean
When you're 14 you're 2x more mean
When you're 15 you refuse to clean
When you're 16 (for a girl) you think you're a queen - (for a boy) you need your machine
When you're 17 (for a girl) you try to be lean - (for a boy) you become very keen
When you're 18 you act like Mr.Bean
When you're 19 you get into the scene
When you're 20 Money? you need plenty!

And after all of this when you're 21 how dare you think that you're # 1?

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Monday, January 11th, 2010

Leaving Imprints

Thunder Bay, Ontario

If you ever try to track something down, it can be the easiest thing to do after a fresh snowfall. That’s exactly what happened last night. The white blanket left a perfect fingerprint for the feet. I spotted the prints of a two hoofed creature – the deer. Before long, on Mountain Road, a second set of deer hooves appeared along side the first. The second set were much tinier than the first. Surely they were traces left by a doe and a fawn.

The larger prints maintained a more focused track while the smaller ones seemed to end up hither and thither. That would indicate the frivolity of the young one. Not but a few minutes walking further on and I could detect what were fox feet. It’s quite exciting. It’s like reading tea leaves.

In the book, Bhagavatam, we read of how the gopis (milk maids) speculated on the foot prints of Radha and Krishna and at some point through reading the foot marks in the earth that two footprint tracks became one, indicating that Krishna hoisted Radha in the air and then carried Her.

Another tale told is of Ram and Sita in the Ramayana. Ram was searching for the kidnapped Sita. Ravana, the abductor, left foot prints in the forest floor which Ram detected as his. He also spotted Sita’s footprints. As He stepped further along in the foreboding Dadaka Forest, He saw both images of feet become muddled, indicating some struggle. This left Ram to imagine the worst because Ravana’s reputation as ruler of a cannibal race was not put into question. So much can be told merely by reading the footprints as examples have been given.

How relevant is all of this to our lives? Well, there is something to be said about following in the footsteps of the great saints. These steps may not necessarily be fossilized, etched in stone or left as imprints in the snow or mud. But when we say “follow in the footsteps”, we refer to ‘doing’ as the great souls have done.

That’s always a good guideline to follow, isn’t it?

7 Km

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Decent Event

Thunder Bay, Ontario

The Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship Centre was the perfect venue and location for a presentation on the Nine Easy Steps of Devotion: The Yoga of Love. The space was rented in the morning for a class on Buddhism. The afternoon was our turn. Dr. Jani and his wife, Sneha, organized the program and food. The space filled up quickly.

Our opener was the chant, “Hare Krishna”, first hearing the mantra then response. From there I facilitated an interactive walk through of the 7 additional steps. I admitted to the group about the number 9 being a lie.

“There’s the 10th one – dancing.” The music stirred up people. The dance was spontaneous. And so people enjoyed and for the most part understood the best things in life are simple.

My introductory words were, “What we are about to present in walking you through 9 steps is not alien.” Life doesn’t have to be so complicated. It seemed to me that during the sessions, the word ‘service’ struck sensitive nerves. Aristotle wrote about serving as the fruit of wisdom.

A woman raised her hand saying that friends often criticize when she goes out of her way to provide volunteer service or to help someone. “Why are you being such a martyr?” they challenge.

If you believe in the physical law of karma, action with subsequent reaction, then let us take note of good responses that follow good reactions. Sacrifice is good and the world needs saints. Let dogs bark. My answer came off a bit more sophisticated, but there was the gist of it.

Several university professors came, including Prof. Berg, yoga teachers, philosophy students and people of various backgrounds. There was a good buzz in the atmosphere and the special topping on the cake, the prasad, blessed food, made the event so much more memorable.

Yes, at the crown of Lake Superior, said to be the largest fresh water body in the world, is the modest city of Thunder Bay. We always have a good time here.

8 Km

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Nutmeg: A Krishna Scent

Thunder Bay, Ontario

While trekking and making the crispy sound with feet on dry snow, I flashed back to the night before. I was in the home of a couple offering me a light meal. Cauliflower cream soup was on the menu. Warm and tasty at the first slurp, it threw me back to 50 years before. I must admit I had that moment, a real moment of an endearing past. Mom was there and I could see her with the hot pot of the same dish. The nutmeg spice made the difference. It was that aroma, if anything, that helped to capture the nostalgic moment. I was about to explode in emotion. Only a tear was about to slide off into the dish which did not prescribe any more salt. Now back to our current time. I sat curious about the prep’s ingredients. All was there as Mom used to make. I got hurled back to the 50’s, to the country house at supper time. The atmosphere was ‘family’. It was comforting.

The cook, a very calm woman with an equally calm husband, is a family lawyer by profession.

“You must see a lot of broken hearts amongst clients?” I asked her after inquiring about the recipe.

“A lot, an awful lot!” she said affirmedly.

“What accounts for the great amount of dysfunctionality?”

“Too much high expectation,” she said, “is one of the main causes.”

Back on the road (Moutain Park Road to be precise), outside Thunder Bay, I was completing my routine daily walk and heading back for a meal with the Jani family. There they had invited Professor Berg of Lakehead University. He is a lover of “The Mahabharata” and “The Ramayana”, and a teacher of those epics. When nighttime did befall Prof. Berg arrived with companion. We immersed ourselves in the flavour and taste of something so very eastern and not the cauliflower soup. The post meal dialogue was the consequential ethics of The Gita’s subject matter. “What is moral?” was Arjuna’s quandary. It was so refreshing hearing a scholar’s view on the depth of the Gita and how it includes the subject of family and teachers, and acting in their defense and offence. Bhisma and Drona to be sacrificed.

For the evening chat, issues of the Gita were explored, but in the end, it was nutmeg, a flash of Krishna’s scent, that occupied my thought as eyelids closed for the night.

8 Km

Monday 11 January 2010

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Killing and thieving! Thou shalt not do these things!

Scarborough, Ontario

My driver to the Scarborough Centre described his recent trip to Vrindavan, India. Not all people who go there have such pure intentions as he had found out. He had been in the courtyard of a very popular temple and ended up by circumstance where a group of elderly women were standing for adoring the deity of Krishna. It was rather crowded situation and people sometimes joke about congestion in the Indian public “you get a free body massage just by standing there.”

After he offered his pranam and obeisance by getting on his knees, he noticed that the wallet from his side pocket was missing. He lost his money, ID and other documents. It was painful for him at the time.

Pick pocketing is common in many of these sacred places. It’s a vulture’s game. Pilgrims are vulnerable. My friend was “taken aback” (as he put it) that some female visitors would be the culprits. By talking to others in the area, apparently, age and gender draw no line in this habit when it comes to theft. It seems that people are not well informed about karmic repercussions.

On the more positive note, my friend did convey his joy about a major conquest back home in Scarborough. He spoke about a family that he recently converted to vegetarianism. “A whole family- Dad, mom and four kids!” he said it as it was a great triumph. I have to agree. Animal slaughter is an extreme means for obtaining food.

Killing and thieving! Thou shalt not do these things!

After an evening of lively chanting, talk and food, my friend drove me home to the ashram. It was 10 pm and I hadn’t yet walked for the day, so I told him:
“Thou shalt walk!”
“Thou shalt chant!”
Of course I was referring to myself, so I did those two things until midnight.

7 Km

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Sisters and a Brother

Toronto, Ontario

She has been or continues to be a good sister. Her name is Ksiracora (pronounced Keer-chore) and I say “has been” from the point of view that she will be moving away to the province of BC. She will come to visit her friends in Ontario in the future. A gathering at a small vegan café was the venue for a going away party.

She worked hard with the rest of us, selling lollipops on the street, raising funds for the down payment on the current temple, a century building. We were all young then. I first met her on the street in the summer of ’73. She and her friends were so energetic and wholesome-looking. I saw them and thought “What good karma kids they are!” I invited them to our ashram. They came and their lives turned around. She was 17 at the time and she looked very pretty (even a brahmacari, monk could see that), and she still is even now in her grandma years. Her soul is even more beautiful.

Earlier on in the day, another sister came within the purview of my day. Both sisters are called sisters because we share the same guru father, Srila Prabhupada.

This second sister, Bhadra Priya, who also has a beautiful soul, is struggling with cancer. It is confirmed that her days here on the earthly plane are limited and she is doing her utmost to make the final days the most spiritually saturated of all. We pray for her because she deserves all the love and respect. She worked very hard for the mission. She is very pure and courageous.

She and I received our diksa (initiation) from Prabhupada at the same time. It was on a Saturday afternoon in the fall of ’73. Our priest was Sri Pati, a Krishna devotee from the UK. It was about the quietest ceremony even seen on Earth. There was the sacrificial fire, Sri Pati, Bhadra Priya, and I. Once in a while a person would pop his or her head in to see how all was going on.

She is doing everything just right – hearing, chanting, looking at the archana (deity) and associating with like-minded friends. She told me something shocking along with another sister, Nirmala. “Our god sister, Rasajna has passed on.”

“Oh my God!” I thought, “such a gracious soul.” Our guru had called her the greatest actress in the world. And she was. She played Surpanakha, the vixen from “The Ramayan” and Consort Sin in “The Age of Kali”. Bless her, Krishna!

My final God relative for the day was Rsi. He came by for prasadam (blessed food). He remembers those old times so well. He does great impersonations of characters that would visit our humble ashram on Gerrard St. Wow! Has he got details down! Rsi has had it somewhat rough in his life but he has been busy, has a good wife and a stepson.

I’m very happy for Rsi, my brother, and all the sisters previously mentioned. Their lives are all anointed because they chose the spiritual path of bhakti, loving devotion.

10 Km

Thursday 7 January 2010

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Clearing the Smoke

Brampton, Ontario

The man puffed out dancing smoke from his mystic stick; the cloud rose to merge with his salt and pepper beard and blurred the view from his bi-speckled eyes. I don’t think he is proud of his habit. There is no look of glamour there.

The glamour is to be found in the ravine just off of Yonge St. a bit east. The day was clear. I could see my winter breath. It didn’t come out as casual as the smoking man’s special effects. I thank guru for sparing me of what I could have been doing. Could I have become a cig addict?

Descending the metal staircase to the ravine’s depth, I took to the day’s getting lost – lost in thoughts which were mostly positive to do with devotional service. When I found the end of the rigorous trail I turned back and prepared for an evening satsang in Brampton. The family host was thrilled. Ajamil, a bhajan buddie, accompanied me. I was amazed at the turnout for a Wednesday, the next to the worst day of the week, Tuesday. Actually, in devotional life there is never a dull moment, although it’s not out of human range to make something exciting look pale.

Life is a blast in the spiritual lane and a road of misery otherwise.

When the satsang ended, I put a book, “Journey of Self Discovery”, authored by Prabhupada, into the hands of a gracious seeking recipient. That was a good feeling. Another good feeling came. Earlier, while I trekked that rigorous trail east of Yonge, a person came to mind from two years ago. The person sought counseling and expressed the struggling desire to get out of a bad relationship. I gave my spiritual advice about surrender to dharma. I wondered what happened to that entangled soul from two years before? Will I ever see this person again?

Lo and behold, that soul was sitting in the crowd at the satsang. That soul smiled. I asked “Is everything alright now?” during a more private time.

“Yes” was the reply while the spouse and kids stood by all in smiles too. It seemed that the smoke had cleared.

I can’t think of anything more mystical. It’s all His doing. It can’t be coincidence.

6 Km

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010


Toronto, Ontario

The trail on Moore Park Ravine was a whisper-friendly space. Quiet wind hurled barren looking trees. One of those trees gave a crack of a sound. I looked and could not detect which tree was speaking. It was one of those swaying giants behind me though.

Maybe the one trying to communicate was trying to release itself; its soul wanting freedom. The snap, crack or pop sound came again. At least I know that the forest was expressing its fragility through the sound because one week prior when I made this trek, a few meters behind a tree did made its crash. It had done its service and now it was time for its demise and its soul to jump to its next form.

I was not there when he came down for the tumble. I did not have to shout “timber!” like some lumberjack. I did not have to play beaver and move him on to build a lodge. I let him be, had to let him be. Not enough strength. The park’s wardens would do that because that jolly giant became an obstacle for trekkers and runners.

Anyways, I was alone but not alone. I was with them – the trees. And I was with their maker.

It was a dark but a perceptive early night because of the presence of nature’s frozen milk – the snow. It was all white; nothing yellow even though dogs make their way through here with their masters.

In truth, there was only one master in this ravine, and I and the trees were the servants, equally.

9 Km

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010

For History

Montreal, Quebec

There is something I’m most excited about. Last fall in a gathering of Krishna devotees in Venables Valley, British Columbia, a firm decision was made to archive documents and any related matter to do with early ISKCON Canada. We are looking at getting ourselves organized for the posterity cause. This afternoon, a second generation young woman, Radha Krishna, accepted the offer to head up the project. With her background in archival education, you could not come up with a greater find. Thank you, Radha.

Theologians and history buffs should like the kind of stuff that we will gather of the recent past – ’67 and on. We are anticipating a book or books on the early struggles of establishing or transplanting an ancient culture to the New World. It is remarkable what transpired; that in the core of counter-culture emerged a consciousness of Krishna down in the lower eastside of New York. The essential teachings of Earth’s human cradle, in India, surfaced in the spearhead civilization of the 20th century, America. Canada was the second recipient of this happening and that will be the focus of the project. Thank you, Krishna!

While this decision occupied happy moments, some time was reserved to address personal attacks via internet. It is indeed unfortunate that internet has been the medium for a ‘put down’ culture based largely on hearsay, rumours and gossip. Shame!

That all redeeming activity – walking, puts to temporary ease, anxiety of various kinds. And, of course, it can’t go without chanting the maha mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

3 Km

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010


Montreal, Quebec

It usually happens. After New Year’s, winter comes on in full force. Today is no exception. I took the economy mode of travel, car pooling it to Montreal on $30. A snow storm doesn’t look at your poor man’s way of going from point A to B with sympathy or cast any mercy. Mother Nature can be ruthless.

It is because of weather that I ended up late for the reunion of early Hare Krishna converts from the Montreal district. In 1967, the year of Canada’s centennial, some American Krishna followers came north of the border to initiate or start a chapter in Montreal. In the following year, the founder, Srila Prabhupada, came to deal with immigration visa issues. Without presenting details, a rich history started – a history about a surging form of spirituality.

On this evening, some of the early Montreal pioneers of ISKCON of that period came to tell of their experiences to a full house at the ISKCON centre on Pie IV Blvd. A number of these souls come rarely for various reasons. Life gets busy I guess. Nevertheless, it was a great idea organizing such a reunion. It’s nice to see some golden oldies coming back for a return.

Once the program was completed, I was successful in recruiting two people to a late walk with me on quiet residential streets followed by a quick glance at a wildlife magazine. I’m a fan of the wild and I couldn’t help being struck by an article on “The Return of the Black Foot Ferret.” It has been my own experience from trekking through the prairies that prairie dogs (a type of gopher) rule these grassy flat plains. Ferrets, which vanished 70 years ago, were predators and controlled the prairie dog population. Apparently a plague, yersinia pestis, was the culprit.

Thanks to the Toronto Zoo, this cute creature has been bred for purposes of releasing them back to their natural habitat. This past year, stocks of these whiskered, slinky rodents were let loose to do their thing in Grassland National Park in Saskatchewan. It’s another one of those ecological victories.

By the time I rested, I was content on two counts – the return of the ferret and the return of the Vaisnava pioneers.

4 Km

Sunday 3 January 2010

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Who Is A Devotee?

Milton, Ontario

An early hike in Sawmill Valley, Mississauga, was the main physical activity for Peter from Detroit, Rajasuya, who is accustomed to indoor treadmill walking, and myself. Bumpy hard ice was what constituted the walking surface. You have to hold your traction in order to save yourself from a fall.

For the late morning we drove to the home of a Mauritian family for brunch. The main item, my favorite, is lightly sautéed asparagus, which I consider ideal walking food. A healthy attendance filled up the new home for this home welcoming event. I engaged the gathering in verse memorization. It was 18:68 from the Bhagavat-Gita beginning with, “ya idam paramam guhyam…”

In this profound passage Krishna reveals what really is pleasing to Him. He is impressed by anyone who shares his teachings. As a reward He paves the way for devotion and offers a return to His world for the efforts.

A person in the gathering asked about the term used in the translation of the verse, “It says ‘One who explains this secret to my devotee…..does this mean we should not share the message with the non-devotee?”

In answer to this I suggested to read the purport by Srila Prabupada. There it becomes clear that “devotee” means anyone who is receptive to spiritual subject matter.

Later in the evening a person visiting our temple in Toronto where I finally ended up for the day mentioned that he was not a devotee. In response to this I said, “You are definitely a devotee otherwise you wouldn’t be here. A devotee is one who shows even the slightest trace of devotion.”

9 Km

Saturday 2 January 2010

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Feeling At Home

North York, Ontario

Well, family came together. My sister Pauline hosted us. It was a two brother and three sister sibling reunion. Her twin, Paul, is way out west in Vancouver Island and did not attend. When you have led the monastic life you end up being a bit of a misfit amongst kith and kin unless of course, they ask questions to do with spirituality. In our case that doesn’t happen. They prefer to keep everything fairly family oriented and secular. I’m fine with that for twenty minutes or so. Then I start aching for kirtan (chanting) or engaging in philosophical discussion.

I like my family. They are great. Our bond is strong yet at the same time they and I are planets apart. The cultural differences are obvious. Pauline was kind enough to keep her great meal strictly vegetarian. That was thoughtful. My brother-in-law Jim is vegetarian and his partner, my sister is almost there. Out of eight adults at the dinner table you have got one quarter to one third of us who don’t eat body parts. It’s not a terribly bad percentage. And, after all, most people on a carnivorous diet do consume veggies and grains. That makes them part vegetarian.

The meal Pauline assembled had us all hitting some common ground yet still I felt to be in my own universe. When I am at the home of a devotee family there is a sense of oneness because everything is quite Krishna-centric. Still I feel the simultaneous black sheep or ugly duckling syndrome. I guess it’s because I’m single and a swami. There’s not many of us in the world. We are a rare breed. We move from temple to temple. We hold the same interests and are very mission oriented. We get together (Monks in Mass) and enjoy each others company at festival times. There was even a retreat organized for us swamis and gurus in Uttar Pradesh, in the city of Ujjain last fall. That association was just sweet, well beyond sweet.

It’s because I’m hooked on the swami lifestyle, very nomadic and very other worldly, that I’ve found a comfort zone. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.

Where I do get satisfaction is seeing individuals become inspired to move forward in their spiritual life. I see people wanting more of this higher consciousness and it’s very, very gratifying.

Yes, I do feel at home.

4 Km

Friday 1 January 2010

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The Start/2010

Toronto, Ontario

It is customary for members of ISKCON, monks and laypersons, friends and the like, to gravitate to urban centres at New Year's count-down. What a remarkable way to usher in a year of promises!

Our routine in this city is for chanting enthusiasts to jam themselves into subway cars and head southbound for Queen St. As the doors to the subway car close, all eyes are on me to take the lead in chanting. I must spontaneously pick a tune, and so at this night what came to mind was a popular tune established by legendary sannyasi (monk), Vishnu Jan Swami. The public in the subway car, mostly youths, picked up on the spirit of the chant and the beat of the drum played by one of the stars of our youth, Keshav Sharma. As we approached busy Queen St., I hit a nerve of caution. There's often security, city police, standing at the subway doors. I was feeling a bit sensitive about that. In fact, one year, as the doors to the subway car opened, a sudden blast of mantra with drums and loud cymbals blared out into the underground funnelled corridors where the public walked. I was rather boldly chastised by subway security. I remember what one irate officer said, "Listen, you may be having a good time, but others may not. Stop the noise!"

I had to think fast last night as to "What to do?" about this possible chiding revisiting itself. Then, spontaneously, I retained the tune, but instead of the religious mantra, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" being blared out, I jumped to "Happy Happy Happy New Year, Happy Happy Happy New Year / Happy New Year Happy New Year, Happy Happy Happy New Year." It was a compromise. When the doors opened there were 6 or 7 police officers standing near the subway exit ready to deal with any irregularity of activity. Anyway, our swelling group burst out of the subway as doors opened at Queen and with big beaming smiles we passed by the dutiful but formidable line. What could a bunch of officers do with a harmless group of New Year freaks singing "Happy New Year"? We looked composed and were not a threat. We had no booze on our breath. Once we hit the street, well, the flood gates opened with the Maha Mantra resounding, and any form of tension disappeared into oblivion.

For two hours we stood in front of the handsome Old City Hall and let the pulsation of mallets striking the drum and chant hitting hearts take over.

Happy New Year!

8 Km

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The Decaying of a Decade

Toronto, Ontario

It is wrap up time. The year comes to a close and also a decade. What did we see and hear? The year 2000, the start of a millennia, pulled off a colossal joke - Y2K. Who will forget? The following year we saw the world in a panic. The twin towers collapsed. Nature pulled punches and struck out in the form of Tsunami in the east. New Orleans also got hit by a major splash. There was global warming and cooling. Polar bears were drowning. The American economy experienced a major downturn which impacted the world. It was interesting over this past decade.

And for me personally two major walks brought me across Canada after completing one in '96. A devotee, Haridas, kindly suggested I try to venture beyond the Great White North, so I tagged on Ireland as a place to trek. Guyana came next, then Fiji's invitation. For at least a dozen good reasons, I now continue on a roll, like a sannyasi, or like a rolling stone (that collects no moss) by moving continually.

Each trip has been special, carrying its own sweetness of adventure, allowing karma to dissolve behind me as I take each step forward. One dear godbrother from Vancouver, Goshthakur, spotted one verse from a Sanskrit text, "Manu Samhita", regarding walking. The gist of it was that sins do deteriorate upon walking long distances. As you advance with your stepping and as you detach yourself from long periods of stay at any one place, karma has a hard time to accumulate. I look to future stretches on the road for the coming decade, if not decades.

5 Km