Friday, 27 January 2017

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Toronto, Ontario

Favourite Song

It’s definitely one of my favourite bhajans (devotional songs) which we sang at 7:07 a.m. in the temple ashram.  It’s written by Bhaktivinod Thakur, and it’s called Narada Muni Bajay Vina.  The bhajan is about a travelling monk.

Here it is—the lyrics in English:

1)    When the great soul Narada Muni plays his vina, the holy name “Radhika-ramana” descends and immediately appears amidst the kirtana (chanting) of the Lord’s devotees.

2)    Like a monsoon cloud, the holy name showers pure nectar into their ears. Due to great ecstasy, all the devotees enthusiastically dance to their heart’s content.

3)    All the inhabitants of the universe become maddened upon drinking these intoxicating showers of divine sweetness. Some people cry, some dance, and others become fully intoxicated within their minds.

4)    Five-faced Lord Siva embraces Narada Muni and repeatedly shouts in ecstasy, while Lord Brahma dances very ecstatically and exclaims, “All of you chant ‘Haribol! Haribol!’”

5)    In supreme happiness, thousand-faced Ananta Sesa sings and calls out, “Hari! Hari!” By the influence of the transcendental vibration of the holy name, the whole universe becomes mad with ecstasy as everyone relishes the mellows of the holy name.

6)    The holy name of Sri Krishna has fulfilled all my desires by thus manifesting on everyone’s tongue. Bhakativinoda, the humble servant of the Lord, therefore prays at the feet of Sri Rupa Goswami that the chanting of harinama may always continue in this way.

May the Source be with you!

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Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Houston / Toronto


Rajasuya fetched me from the Toronto Airport, and drove me to Burlington to stop at a medical clinic to see Dr. Pandith.  Pulse and blood test was done.  I was weighed.  At 215 lbs I could do better in terms of trimming down.  You would think all the walking would do that.  Less food is most likely the answer.  Auala from Hawaii, sent a comment and now Dr. Pandith says the same, in addressing the excess uric acid which crystalizes and groups around the joints to create an inflammation, or what is known as gout.

I’m learning.

“It’s common among people of European stock,” said Pandith.

“That’s me—at least my ancestry.  I don’t recall my parents talking or complaining about it.”

“Fewer purine foods,” said Auala.  And so that’s what we have to go with.

“Watch the paneer and the dahls,” cautioned Guru Bhakti, back in Houston.  These are the opinions of the medical people.

When I got back to Toronto and the ashram, slick mrdunga player, Gopal, mentioned that the early morning (4:30 a.m.) sadhana is no fun if you can’t dance a bit.  That’s true, and imagine someone who’s been doing pilgrim marathons?  It’s hard for him to stand for any length of time.  My passion for exploring new trails hasn’t actually subsided.  I’ve always felt these walks to be like time with God.

But you have to do what you have to do.

“Retreat from the apparition.  Refresh.”  If I think in militaristic terms, “Regroup!  Regain strength and attack again.”

Go back for the challenge.

Be smart about it.

May the Source be with you!

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Houston, Texas

How I Was Treated

Since posting a photo of my feet on Instagram, I’ve discovered I have a lot of well-wishers.  Some are from the medical profession.  In looking at the gout which is attacking my left foot, recommendations—including prescriptions—are mostly of a diet-nature, ranging from juice-fasts to raw food, to putting restrictions on high protein foods.

I really do appreciate the care and attention coming my way.  Thank you!

Let it be known that it’s a first time for me on this discovery.  I admit to taking pain killers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory pills.  Without these I likely could not have gotten the rest needed.

X-rays show there is no bone fracture and from blood-testing the diagnostic reading has determined there’s an excess of uric acid in my system.  There was no warning that something like gout was about to visit me but somehow it’s arrived.  I’ll double check with my family doctor when I reach Canada tomorrow.

I need also to mention how hospitable the Houston community was in taking care of me, and practically the only time I took away from extra rest was to direct a play with the local youth.  I figured if I can’t walk these days, or sit down at the sometimes gruelling meetings, then I can at least get excited about something creative.

After a collective eleven hours of practice, the local volunteers of average age 15/16 were prepared (ready or not) for a performance everyone was pleased with.  We had fun.  The audience was lifted.  Even my foot was happy and painless after the show finished and the curtain was lowered.

May the Source be with you!

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