Tuesday 31 July 2018

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Calgary, Alberta

Edmonton—Red Deer—Calgary

Red Deer is a growing city situated between Edmonton and Calgary. There, we had lunch with an outstanding family from Fiji.  That brought me back to memories of my walk on three of the islands of Fiji, including a trek through Suva, the major city, and participating in their nation’s biggest event, The Hibiscus Festival.

Fiji, in my opinion by the way, has the best cuisine on the planet—diverse, tasty Indian fare with veggies you don’t find in most places.

Our major time was spent in Calgary for their Sunday program, which took a different shape today.  Datta’s magic show, and Ananda’s drumming went on, and then our combined kirtan and dance involving the parishioners.  In place of a talk on devotion, we executed all of this, and there were happy faces.  https://youtu.be/znneAZ6aWWg

Outside of our kirtan at the Krishna Centre, on NE 4thStreet,  there was much more music going on.  On an island, within the mighty Bow River, was the 39thAnnual Folk Festival, attracting 60,000 people.

We did, by chance, run into the gathering, and the vibrations were good where mellowness pervaded.  The only trekking, for me, took place along the Bow.  I mentally calculated it was a distance of 4.2 kilometres.  I can’t be too sure today, but that’s how it felt.

Kayaking and rafting are really popular here, but you have to have one of those tight suits on.  The waters coming from the Rockies are frigid.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

Edmonton, Alberta

The City of the Oilers

Our evening was interesting.  After the Saskatoon Fest, Kasyapa, the organizer, took to the steering wheel and drove our talent troupe to Edmonton.  Quite the sacrifice for him.  We left at 10:40 p.m. and were led by GPS to Highway 14, as the most direct route. It was also the most remote.

At 1:30 a.m., we ran into difficulty—a flat tire.  It took a while to find the spare.  Our van was borrowed.  Anyway, after changing tires, we finally made it home at 5:00 a.m., then were up by 9:30 a.m. and all prepared for Edmonton’s Chariot Fest.

It was another scorcher at 30 °C.

The audience so much resonated with our magic, and the drumming and dance lessons.  Thanks to Bala Krishna for assembling the whole program.  I met some of the dignitaries, an MLA, and a Minister. They were thrilled to be with us, chanting, feasting and all.

I made connections with Conner and family, his dad, mom, sister and brother.  Conner has this  good intelligence and is enthused to read the books of Prabhupada, in addition to learning the bhajansongs of bhakti yoga.

 It is usually in Edmonton that I go to have my clothes dyed.  The local pujarisees to it that they come out with a greater intensity of colour.  I was left with my swimming trunks to roam with Conner and Ananda in the South-Gate Mall area; an area full of shopping and dining opportunities for the Saturday day and evening public.  It is hardly a place for pedestrians.  In every direction, there are parking lots.  

Lord, give me trees and pathways.

May the Source be with you!
8 km

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Sask Sask Rocks

Breaking up your walking within a day can be smart.  It happened by circumstance for me; first in Willowgrove, a really well-looked-after neighbourhood.  The second leg was along Spadina, the actual procession of Saskatoon’s chariot fest, which is about 1.5 kilometres in length.  A third installment was along the Saskatchewan River as the full moon shone with pride.   Doing a day’s trekking in spurts can be a blessing—it keeps the machinery, the body, in operation.

Now about the Fest in general—it was great.  The Chief of Police, Officer Cooper, walked along with us for the procession and stayed at the site, Meewassin Park; he was a real success with kids and parents.  He sat through the entire stage session, watched and listened, then let kids borrow his cap to wear for photos.  His companion officers danced, with arms in the air, throughout the procession.  They were just great.

Sam Mitchell is a flautist and he was just incredible, playing against Ananda’s tabla.  Very professional.  Very devotional.  It was just the best act on the stage.

What also worked was getting the crowds to dance which involved leading them in step-by-step movements.  Engaging people in devotional exercise is what people will really remember.

There was a lot of enthusiasm in the atmosphere, and even during the procession, motorists slowed down, showing so much happiness.  This was noticed by Chief Cooper who mentioned it in his speech on Meewassin’s stage.

May the Source be with you!
5 km

Sunday 29 July 2018

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Report on Terrace Bay

Although the 4 kilometre walk with Ananda and Datta was memorable, with the flow of the Saskatchewan River next to us, I would like to highlight a response that was e-mailed to me, on the success of our Festival of India; an article by Gail Johnson, a freelance writer in Terrace Bay.  Thank you,, Gail.  In many ways, her writing sums up the show of our group, “Vedic Mace.”

Here it is:

On July 19thTerrace Bay was treated to a Festival of India. The amazing performances in this variety show took place in the evening at the Michael King Hall.  Tickets for adults were $10 each and young children got in for free.  It was a full house.  Director of the show, Bhaktimarga Swami, known as “The Walking Monk,” introduced all the acts, took part and recited a poem he wrote.  This amazing guy has walked across Canada four times, the United States once, and six other countries.

The first wonderful act introduced was Mukur De from Calcutta doing classical Indian dances.  Her movements were graceful and filled with beautiful rhythm.  The gestures and facial expressions conveyed the music in a special way.  When she returned later in the show the children joined in on it by dancing below the stage in time to the beat of the music.

Before the next act, everyone took part in warm-up exercises led by “The Walking Monk” which involved doing stretches with the arms and fingers.  An unbelievable magic show followed by a guy known as “Data” which means master of magic and magic tricks.  He used rope to do a few tricks and then made the knot disappear.  With an audience participant, he did a disappearing Kleenex trick, then ate one and amazingly pulled out a whole long strip of them from his mouth.  Then came a comedy skit, ‘Satire on Yoga’ about two first timers at a Yoga Studio.  One person kept doing silly antics that made the other person mad.  She was trying to remain calm and keep him under control but it wasn’t working.  He just kept doing silly, annoying stunts.  She showed compassion for him near the end when he got hurt and she called for help.  Turned out he was faking.  This skit was funny and the audience loved it.

The last performance was Raga instrumental music, using western and eastern instruments, by some incredible international musicians.  Then a few more instruments were added and the audience began clapping to the beat.  After that, anyone who wanted to was invited to take part in some dance steps.  The music rhythm picked up and more people joined in.  At that point, there were more people participating than there were in the audience. When the show ended, Dr. Jani, the main organizer of the event, thanked everyone for coming and those who took part in the evening festival.  He then invited everyone for Indian food snacks set up close to the book display in the room.

Dr. Jani is a pathologist at the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital.  When spoken with later, he said, “The festival of India has been going on in Thunder Bay at the Marina for nine years but what took place here tonight is only part of what will be presented in the city on July 21stand we also have a parade….”

Good luck to all of you and thank you for stopping in Terrace Bay to put on such an amazing festival.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Winnipeg, Manitoba

On the Grass by the Sky

Here on the prairies, the bison used to graze in fields of unlimited tall grasses, but that has been replaced, both grass and animal, by homes and sod that parks are made of.  I walked along one of those parks in St. Vital, a type of rolling-hill park that seemed infinite, with a bench here and there and broken sidewalk.  I resorted mostly to the grass, devoid of morning dew.

Those bison of the past were kings of the prairies until the antagonists came.  I recall a song by Buffy Saint-Marie, “Now That The Buffalo’s Gone,” and how a whole culture was altered and devastated.  I would rather see those massive beasts of freedom than the trucks of today, that stir up the dust.  https://youtu.be/BCWJYTCfjSg

The skies were also without limit, as they carry, even today, a mystique of clouds.  Thank God, I can see them and they are not obscured by tall highrises.  Most homes here are bungalows, and the trees, some Manitoba Maple, are not too gigantic.

I was content to be here, almost solitary.  Only one man trekked on the grass while I took to a bench for a bit while chanting on my beads.  I sat there anticipating to meet Daruka, my walking support person, along with his parrot, Billie, who is thirty-two.  His pet will likely outlive him.

Daruka had just come back from physiotherapy.  He had been involved in three accidents since our last great walk together in 2014.  It’s safer to be on the grass.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Vibes of Joy

Five of us took to a trail in St. Vital, a suburb of Winnipeg.  I had requested a treed area, shaded from the sun.  It wasn’t a park, but for the most part, trees were doing us a favour in this one particular residential space.

Anand got interested in the cattails after our lunch of my harvested lambs quarters. He showed me chamomile which grows in Yellowknife where he lived for some time.

“Oh yes, we steeped and served some just yesterday in Thunder Bay.  It made a great tea,” I told Anand, as we continued our stroll.

We all agreed about the weather—breezy, overcast.  Just perfect.  A blessing.

The five of us, and a few more, converged on a yoga studio with Canadian-born Jitender. They have a group that meets for kirtan.  They call themselves the “Happy Hippy Fam Jam” community.  Today was different because the crowd became bedazzled by Dattatreya’s magic show, and Ananda’s drumming demo—he has various types.   https://www.instagram.com/p/BlpcP79Hkih/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=7f2zis85ulr9

We also completed the session with chanting and dancing to some standard but simple moves. For keeping to rhythm, I engaged everyone in the use of hands by clapping, then striking the lap and finally the floor, thus combining it all.

The three portions of cultural interactiveness seemed to please.

May the Source be with you!
3 km

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Thunder Bay / Winnipeg

Walking and Busing

I had a great trek from Dr. Jani’s house to the temple on Victoria, in Thunder Bay, after I discovered pathways through parks; they were somewhat of a short-cut. From there, Dr. Jani drove myself and the magician, Dattatreya, as well as wife, Radha, to the Greyhound Bus Station, for one of the last bus rides before the  closing of Greyhound operations in Western Canada.  I was surprised to hear the news about them closing down.

While at the depot, I was also surprised to see on the screen, news of a mass shooting in Toronto’s Greektown.  I’ve walked the area plenty of times.  It was a case of a twenty-nine-year-old man with psychiatric problems, letting loose bullets on an innocent public; once again, injuring over a dozen and leaving two young females dead.  Police stepped up fast to deal with the incident.

As we drove through a long boreal and lake expanse for eight hours, I dwelt on this green world in contrast to the world of concrete madness.  After all, Greektown is a nice place—very vibrant, a family-friendly scene—however, it is the material world.

When we drove through Kenora, I fell back in memory to my third walk across Canada, and how I met a young woman from Shaw TV who interviewed me regarding a recent attack of wolves upon deer.  Conflict! Is there any difference between the struggle of animals and the struggle of humans?  There is and isn’t, I think.  Humans get very nasty with each other.

We reached Winnipeg.  I harvested some lambs quarters (weeds) to put in the meal.

May the Source be with you!
8 km

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Bust the Bubble

Five members of our little travelling roadshow, the Vedic Mace, came by my accommodations to say farewell, before their eighteen-hour drive back home.  They had happy and grateful faces.  Their ten-day excursion was about to come to an end.

Another vehicle of five left at 4:00 a.m. this morning, for a long jaunt through some of the prettiest scenery in Canada—along Lake Superior.  For them it was pleasant good-byes as well.  However, for myself, I was to stay on for more nectaras we say.  The nectar or juice is not over.  It will be onward to Winnipeg by Greyhound bus, along with magician Dattatreya and wife, Radha.  For now, I decided to walk the eight kilometres to the Sanskriti India Bazaar to have darshanof the deities of Krishna, and then to follow up with a talk from the Gita, 2.67, to what could be a small turn-out. Yesterday’s “Festival of India,” took a lot of energy out of volunteers, and if anyone shows up for the usual Sunday program at 4:30 p.m. that would surprise Prem Kishor and I.

I trekked my way through and discovered “Recreational Trail.” I like those pathways that have  informative plaques along the way, telling of what particular wildlife, flora and fauna live there, and what is their typical behavior or characteristics—the raven, the skunk, the beaver, the cattail, the raccoon, etc.  Of course, human behavior is automatically evident when you come upon a pedestrian.  Some are very much in the present, and some are enveloped in thoughts that are very private.  I do find it’s best to burst the bubble and see as well as feel what’s actually going on around you.

May the Source be with you!
8 km

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Thunder Bay, Ontario

The Water and the Fest

Not much occurred today regarding walking.  Six of us out of our Vedic Mace group drove to Kakabeka Falls for a gawk and a walk in the area.  First of all, the falls are quite stunning.  You have to get over the tone of the water which is tea-like in colour. It’s not pollution.

The way the water falls and slides, in a type of cascade, is very dreamy.  The view impressed the boys with me.  Many tourists also came for a glimpse of nature at its best.  Thank you Krishna!

At today’s Krishna Culture Festival of India, I sat down with Linda Rydholm, acting mayor of Thunder Bay.  We spoke about the decline of respect and morals being pervasive, currently.  Confessing that she personally has deep religious convictions, she feels strongly that if you don’t believe in something there is a great void.   https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/festival-of-india-a-huge-cultural-draw-992078   https://www.facebook.com/Festivalofindia.Thunderbay/videos/2190355871010174/

That certainly resonates with us.

I also met Tedray Kirton for a third time.  He’s fifty-eight, and he’s shaved off his dreads, which hung down to his behind.  He’s got plans for them.  He still plays great on the djembe, and joined Dhir and the Vedic Mace group, on the stage, as we belted out the maha mantraduring the last act.

The weather co-operated so well—overcast, with temperatures in the lower 20’s Celsius.  Karuna Sindhu remarked that he was in a happy consciousness seeing the crowds (maybe 9,000, maybe more) and all very regular local folks.  People love the vibes.  Also, a big part of the success—credit goes to Prem and Suniti—as I mentioned to Linda, acting mayor, “There is no liquor here but good clean fun.”

May the Source be with you!
2 km

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Thunder Bay, Ontario

By the Old Chief

Dhruva, who’s 19, accompanied me from the Sanskriti Centre, on foot to the Marina Park. He is a resident of Toronto and walks about daily.

“It’s about 1.5 kilometres I do, every day,” he said.

I suggested that at his age he would do well to add on a few extra kilometres; that it’s a good habit to practise.  He was agreeable.

We met people along the way, on Memorial, and to our surprise, a number of them knew about the festival tomorrow.  10,000 people attended last year.  That makes it close to 10% of the population who came to engage in hearing, chanting, dancing and eating, all on the basis of tasting higher consciousness.  That’s good reporting.  Let’s see how things unfold tomorrow.

Once Dhruva and I reached Marina Park, we met with the major balance of our crew. A pleasant kirtanensued.  https://www.instagram.com/p/Blfk2EeF7L7/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=vhapukfzxhey    It was a promotion for tomorrow, in as much as it was done for our own purification.  We were in view of the Sleeping Giant rock formation.  Anyone new to the area, when it’s pointed out, can see the legendary chief lying down in his restful pose.  Even young Saihaj, age nine, could make out the image.  By the way, he’s not a bad singer. Accompanying his mum, our dancer, he’s really thriving on this trip.  He’s made many friends—us, all adults.  It’s an adventure for all of us, being in a new venue each day with logistics being what they are, and being in some kind of divine flux.

May the Source be with you!
7 km

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Terrace Bay, Ontario

Seagulls Above

A restful stay in the Holiday Motel in Sault Ste. Marie allowed for a rejuvenation of energy.  I told the boys in Room 25, where we slept, “You know the routine; I’m going down the highway.”  And while I did so, they showered and got ready, this time for a long scenic drive through vistas of Lake Superior, on the way to Terrace Bay.

There are always seagulls about—like the one that flew above me—gliding through a clear blue sky, not noticing me.  His pure whiteness seemed to flash on and off as he waved his wings up and down.  Motorists passing by on Trunk Road were the same, focused ahead.  I got my seven kilometres in before Marshall and Karuna picked me up for the long haul.  I did feel like I was flying, like a seagull.

A stop at Marathon was cherishable with the view of Lake Superior before us.  Marathon is a gold mining location, but the real gold, in my opinion, is rock, water and the cloud-smeared sky.  There I met a sixty-nine-year-old retired Canadian of oriental origin.  We talked.  He was fascinated with my tale of joining a monastic life in ’73 and being a pioneer, at least for Canada, of the Krishna Consciousness movement.  He related to our movements inception, the summer of love presence of our guru in Frisco, and the meeting of the Beatles in London.

I imagined him to be a retired businessman who’s travelling the country, looking at its wonders and feeling, “Now what?” as in, “What do I do with my life now?”

Our performance in Terrace Bay, at Michael King Centre, went super.  Just under 200 people came.  Not bad for a town of 1,500.  Great response!

May the Source be with you!
7 km

Thursday, July 18th, 2018

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Tweak Your Work

While the rest of our Vedic Mace troop got themselves showered and ready for a full day, I decided to take that early stroll near Ramsay and Minnow Lakes.  Darshan is a young Indian professional who hosted the monk portion of our group (we are thirteen now).  I decided to have some fun and go out and greet the sun. The chamomile is showing itself along the edges of the sidewalks here, where curvy pathways are laid out to circumnavigate some of the earth’s oldest rock and the many lakes found in the Sudbury area.  I looped back to Darshan’s for breakfast with everyone, after which we quickly left for our next destination, Sault Ste. Marie, population 72,000.

When there, we went to White Pines Theatre to meet Greg Marshall, our sound guy for the night.  We chatted with him by his motorcycle while we waited for our second van to appear—the van with the artists.  Speaking with Greg was invaluable, just as much as it was talking to a seventy-two-year-old
man after the show.  He was like an avatar, God sent!  I had been praying to Krishna for some direction for our show.  

“How are we doing?  What are we doing that is wrong, or right?”

Well, the Sault Avatar spoke his mind.  “It was too long,” he said, referring to the forty-minute chant at the end.  

Yes, we did go overboard with the length.

“You mentioned the Beatles in one of your talks, why not sing one of their songs?”

Good point!  We did make many pitches for the pure culture of India, but not enough relevant stuff for our predominantly Canadian audience.  The venue was top notch!  So was the show—performance wise. We need to do some more tweaking before the staging in Terrace Bay.  

May the Source be with you!
7 km

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Sudbury, Ontario

To Sudbury

I was sad to see the railway station in Huntsville closed.  Not enough passengers to warrant having the Iron Horse operating. Too much obsession for the automobile, I imagine.

One advantage to driving is you can see some wildlife, like we are experiencing, then you can stop, turn around and sight the creature for a second time. That happened.  On our way to Sudbury, I spotted a bear cub foraging. He was quite close to the road and appeared to be all by himself.

I happened to look out the window when he was showing his hungry side. Unfortunately, he must have dashed off after Marshall, our driver, made a quick U-turn.

Bears love this time of year for the food.  When our group of monks pulled over for a call of nature, we became like bears and ravaged the wild raspberry patches at our disposal.

Our destination today was Bell Park, at Ramsay Lake, in Sudbury.  What a great spot and facility!  The path along the lake is a portion of “The Great Trail.” For me the city of Sudbury is memory lane.  It was here that I met five Krishna monks at Christmas in ’72.

I relayed that message to the audience tonight, letting them know I had been a fine arts student at Cambrian College, and how my cousins owned and operated the popular Rocky Mountain Ranch just north of here.  The people were a gracious crowd.  Organizer Dr. Jani was pleased.  Mayor Brian Bigger also came to offer a message of goodwill.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

Thursday 19 July 2018

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Huntsville, Ontario

Huntsville Again

I hadn’t been to this cute cottage-country town since 1996 when I ventured out on the first Trans-Canada marathon walk.  Well, today I was here for a different purpose.  The local Lion’s Club became our venue for Muskoka’s first-ever Festival of India.  Our group called “Vedic Mace” performed for an appreciative audience.  Because of some mishap with a twelve-seater rental van, half of our crew couldn’t be present until the last minute.

That meant making appropriate adjustments.  With some divine creativity and innovation, we pulled something off which was very much engaging, especially for the younger kids. I was able to employ charades and introduce simple dance steps to the crowd.  Everyone got up onto  their feet.

It was all good, including the food.

Whew!  The day was a sticky one.  After the show, I had the opportunity for a short jaunt to the newly-opened “Marigold Unique Flavors” restaurant of Indian cuisine on Main Street.  The owner asked me to come and bless the new facility, which was formerly a bank.  Nice job done on the d├ęcor, I must say.

Locals saw me as a curious sight, not something you see in the Muskokas, as I walked beneath  the shafts of light radiating down from the street lamps.  At the Roadway Inn, clients were sipping beer and looking on, out onto Main, hoping for something to happen.

Well, nothing major happened, really, except for some monk passing by who might have spurred  on some spiritual interest.

May the Source be with you!
2 km

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Toronto, Ontario

At the Island (Centre Island)

Bhakti Prabhava Swami is one of those true-blue monks—honest, well-read, simple—who hails from Belgium, and came to the city for the Chariot Fest.   https://www.facebook.com/festivalofindiato/videos/10156990155405656/

This morning was our second day to stroll about with a small band of devotees as we executed our japameditation.

Dominique from Detroit was also with us.  I had a question for him, “What was the contribution that Dominic, who was a saint, gave to the world?”    

“The rosary,” said the Detroit young man, “and he started his own order of monastics.”

“Okay, so he was so immersed in God as sound and he had a following?”

“Yes,” said Dominique in a very reserved type of tone.   https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Dominic

Our talk took place over the preparation of some new initiates going through diksha.  Yuluja is now Yashoda Priya, Pankaj is now Pushta Krishna, Taruna is now Tejasvi, Sunny became Srivatsa, and Shalini is nowShriya.  Two persons, Subhal and Rasaraj, took their second initiations.

The ambiance created by sacred and clean mrdunga beats was unparalleled.  I thank Rajasuya and Dharma for the ceremony.

A swim in Lake Ontario was so deserving.  It’s been a hot mid-thirties day.  The World Cup was won and having the game on at the same time as our Chariot Fest could have posed competition, but that didn’t happen this time around.

Our invited kirtanleader, Madhava, roused the crowds at the end; all were up and dancing.

May the Source be with you!
8 km

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Toronto, Ontario


People visiting us for the Ratha Yatra Fest have some wish to travel and see the neighbourhood, simply by going on a japawalk with me.  So, for those out-of-towners, I will take them through the winding residential streets of Rosedale.  However, what everyone will really get to know about Toronto, on this special day, is the southern-most stretch of Yonge Street, because that is the route of Jagannatha, the universal superhero.

CBC came with cameras to interview a number of us who are the organizers.  They stayed with us for the whole procession.

“It’s a 5,000 year old event involving Krishna, and His Brother and Sister, enjoying a chariot ride.”

“How many people will be attending?” asked the CBC rep.

Rukmini gave the total of about 1,000, for starters, and then explained that it builds up. It’s true.  From the reference library at Yonge and Asquith, where the procession of chariots begins, that is so.  By the time we reached the overpass at the tunnel near the lake, it was a good attendance, and the numbers just blossomed into the thousands.

My usual parrot friend from King City came over to rest on my shoulder.  Sunil, the pet owner, brings him to witness Jagannath on His chariot.  Both Krishna, in the form of Jagannath,and the Amazon parrot are vivid in colour.  People who are unaware of the traditional festival are just surprised—in a good way, of course.    https://www.instagram.com/p/BlJ0adugNfl/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=rrbgxu2uenow

May the Source be with you!
9 km

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Scarborough, Ontario


Today was special.  Some international kirtanchanters came to Toronto to converge for a 12 hour marathon of mantras.  The venue at 243 Avenue Road was decorated like the Milky Way.  It was awesome.  As per usual, during these events, when in Toronto, I have the privilege to start the chanting immediately after Sanskritist Dravida utters invocational mantras.

The main occupation for me today, however, was to stage “The Shakti Show” with a group of performing artists called Vedic Mace.  Our audience has roots in Bangladesh and we performed kirtan, a magic show, a satire on yoga, and classical Odissi dance.  It was much loved by the audience.  Held in Scarborough in their community hall, we opened up the program with food.  Yes, it was Friday night.  People came directly from work.  The show was to start at 7:30 p.m.  Not everyone turned up right then, naturally.  The management decided, with some input from my side, to serve the nice veg preps and kichari early, instead of at the end—10:30 p.m.  Can you imagine eating that late?

Five hundred plus folks came to see and hear of the Krishna culture in action. It is what our guru, Srila Prabhupada, encouraged us to do—present culturally.  He implied that the world would be won by this approach.  There is so much to share philosophically, and morally, in story format.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Toronto, Ontario

A Reprint

I was running out of mantra cards, or, rather, what some call business cards. “Can monks have business cards?” someone asked me once in a humorous way.

“Why not?” I challenged.  “The card is promoting walking—better than that, pilgrimage,” I explained.  I have an image of myself walking a trail in Mauritius where bats are ravaging the mango trees.  The image on the card doesn’t show any bat attacks.  It’s just something I remembered about the trail when I was walking at Bon Accueil.

I had to go for a reprint of the image with the maha mantraon the reverse side.  To get to the printers it is 1.0 kilometres, exactly, from the ashramwhere I live.  So what do you suppose a walking monk will do with such a distance?  Yes, walk it, there and back.

Unfortunately, I cannot boast any more measured mileage today.  It came to exactly two kilometres.  I rather invested more time into mopping the halls in the temple ashram.  It’s a different motion than a walk—more of a dance actually.

I mopped because it was needed.  Traffic is thick these days.  Foot traffic. People are coming from the far reaches of North America in preparation for the Chariot Fest in Toronto, perhaps the continent’s largest.

The Chariot Fest, traditionally known as Ratha Yatra, is now a fifty-one year custom since beginning in San Francisco, but enjoys a much older history dating back 5,000 years.  It also involves a ‘walk’ but not to the printers, perhaps a ‘cleaners’.

The act of walking along with the Chariot of Krishna is supposed to do some purging—a lifting of karma.

May the Source be with you!
2 km