Sunday, 30 April 2017

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Toronto / Cleveland

Vrndavana Meditations

Vrndavana Meditations, with photography by Bhurijana Das is a flip book of pics and sayings that I'm having a look at in the home of Mike and Paurnamasi in Cleveland.

The photos are just excellent images of the sacred land of Vrndavana where Krishna played and roamed as a youngster.  One image I'm seeing is of a turbaned man sitting at the edge of a marvellously carved fa├žade of a roof top.  And before him is a large rustic pot with smoke emanating from it.  The caption reads, “O Sri Radhika!  O Giridhari!  May the breeze of Your mercy clear my smoke-filled mind.  May it transform me, a fool, into a true sadhu, chanting Your names with taste, attachment, and longing at ancient Keshi Ghat.”

Radhika refers to Krishna’s consort.  Giridhari refers to Krishna’s affiliation with the hill.  Keshi ghat refers to the water hole where the notorious and vile Keshi was slain.

Our minds are usually not clear, but cluttered.  Smoke obscures our vision.  The more we chant attentively, the more our mind behaves.

My comment on chanting is, if we do so, in sweetness, then we start sounding like those spring birds who are so prevalent in the atmosphere now.

Take on the Vrndavana spirit!  Clear the mind!  Taste the flavour!

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Toronto, Ontario

Before and After the Walk

After a walk, you come back home and are greeted with sometimes good news and sometimes not.  But it’s necessary to go away and let time play out its role.

I left the ashram in the late afternoon with monk, Karuna, to make our way to the ravine.  As I opened the door to exit, Subuddhi, a godsister in her late seventies, let me know that Balbir had passed away.  He and his family have been members for a long time.  Krishna, bless him.

Okay, I thought, I’ll dedicate the seven kilometre walk in his honour.  He was suffering, so it’s good he’s gone to a higher plateau.

Upon our return from the walk, Subuddhi came to me with another piece of news.  “Maharaja, please meet a lost soul that I found.”  She was concealing the mystery guest.  Someone stepped out from behind her.  It was Ratri, a godsister.  I hadn’t seen her in years.  She was all smiles.

It’s funny, because recently she was on my mind.  Can a monk think about a woman?  Certainly, if it’s out of concern for her well-being and if you think of her as a sister.

Ratri came to be reacquainted with Krishna.  She was inactive from Krishna’s service in recent years and so, she explained, she’s making a comeback.  She came to pick up some japa meditation beads.  She’s moved back to the city to look after her ailing mom.  Good for her. Good for her mom.

After our brief conversation, she left, but she’ll be back.

That was good news after the walk.

May the Source be with you!

7 km

Friday, 28 April 2017

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Dubai / Toronto 

Give me Walking Songs

Emirates play flying songs or tunes that carry that theme.  Frank Sinatra sings, “Come Fly With Me,” over the speakers as you enter the aircraft in Dubai.  I don’t care to hear that message after a four hour stay in the airport in Mauritius, then a six hour flight, followed by a five hour stopover in Dubai before embarking on a thirteen hour flight to Toronto.

Give me some “walking” songs, please!

To kill time I watch Richard Attenborough’s “Chaplin” film.  Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, liked Charlie and enjoyed watching him on the screen on the plane.  Charlie does make you laugh.  He produced films for five decades.

Personally, I like the people who break what could be routine.  They give sparkle to your day although they themselves don’t often share a happy life.  Look at Robin Williams.

The persons who make me laugh amongst my colleagues are Achyutananda from New York (now Florida), Badrinarayana Swami (when giving a class, but not at meetings), Brahma Tirtha and Pushkar, both from North Florida, and also Ekendra from Philly.  Ekendra does this comedic routine on a right-wing fanatical Krishna monk from the Black Sea.  He’s a favourite.

I also like to call Murari Gupta, a doctor in the States who exudes this optimism.  His laugh gets me going.

I have come to appreciate that every town has a clown.  God, also has a sense of humour.

It’s important to laugh even when you live in the spirit.

May the Source be with you!

0 km