Monday 31 August 2020

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Toronto, Ontario


From All of This


“Govinda’s,” the dining facility, which some people call “the restaurant,” was open today for the first time since the Covid-19 closure, and patrons are back. It has been a patient wait for folks. Over the months past I’ve been approached plenty of times by Govinda’s fans, in the course of my evening walks. It has been tough to tell people, “We’re closed!”


But now, that’s over. We’re closed on saying “we’re closed.” The food (prasadam) is the big attraction, as well as the atmosphere being a spacious, satvic environment. And so the response has been good. It’s a Wednesday, not traditionally the greatest day of the week for attendance, but people are hungry for the special kind of eating.


This distribution of prasadam (sanctified food) is a big part of the mission — people receive a special amount of mercy while at the same time satisfying their pallet. There are certain types of draws to this Krishna Consciousness and the sacred food is one of them.


One chap, a young guy, from small town Southern Ontario, came by and expressed how he’s quite thrilled about the lifestyle. What I gather from him is that a few items drew him to this higher consciousness and they are the philosophy, the sacred sound of kirtan, the sacred food and the love he receives from all of this.


May the Source be with you!

4 km


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Christie Pits, Toronto


Exercising for the Exercise


Knee extension, leg extension, glute stretches and clamshell are all exercises I under took today, as physiotherapy for better walking performance.  Paramahansa and Krishna Chandra guided me in movements which I must keep up on a daily basis.


I set the regular walking as a service to guru and Krishna, because it is through the body that I render service. I perceive today as a time to dedicate to Radha, Krishna’s most dear.


Various functions were executed, mostly online, to honour the Goddess. A white and pink cake was also prepared by chef Sistyna. I guess that makes her a baker. The cake was excellent.


On special days like this one, one tries to do special services. It is by the inspiration of Radha that one may think and act out-of-the-box. I got passionate about wiping the southern stairs and other temple floors by an old-style method, on hands and knees (now that my knees are more fine-tuned).


The last offering to Radha, for me, after leading kirtans and delivering one class, was the walk itself. Aisvarya joined me on Dupont Street for a great urban trek. I was somewhat regretful that our fifteen minute staircase kirtan was the last at our location, since the stairwell is the entrance to Govinda’s restaurant, which reopens tomorrow.


Oh well, we will find another stair case from which to lead kirtan.


May the Source be with you!

6 km


Monday, August 24, 2020

Christie Pits, Toronto


Radha on the Road


Today is a warm-up for tomorrow’s dedication to the goddess. Her name is Radha and She is the eternal partner of Krishna. Krishna has many queens but She, Radha, is the special one. We are not in a position to imitate Krishna due to the transcendent nature of Krishna, whereas we are individuals struggling to keep up our lives together. We are only able to do so with the resources that belong to the Supreme Master, Krishna.


When we chant the powerful mantra known as the maha mantra, we receive the benefit of Radha’s name included in the sound vibration. When the name “Hare” is uttered we are addressing Radha.


When I took to walking east on Bloor, I was chanting names of both Radha and Krishna. There were no interruptions on my journey to the Pits, however, on my return I met a person who once was a man and now is a woman. I had personally known this individual, who has come to our temple over the years. When she originally made the switch I had a hard time accepting the change but I’ve grown used to it. We chatted for a bit and unfortunately we became occupied in Covid conversation. I believe I mentioned about Radha’s birthday tomorrow.


Radha is the female aspect of the Divine. Krishna is the male aspect. They are two in one. They don’t need to switch as they are permanently situated as Divine Mother and Divine Father.


May the Source be with you!

6 km


Thursday 27 August 2020

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Gananoque, Kingston, Belleville


House Hop Jagannatha


The sleep was deep in the Prime Minister Suite and after that morning shower, which has become more or less ritual, my window to the south revealed a flowing, wide Saint Lawrence, shady trees and the balance of the inn’s structures—something out of early 1800s history books. From the veranda I was chanting my gayatri mantras when Nimai Nitai came to my side. It was time to go.


Where did we go?


After a stroll through Gananoque’s downtown and the ferry docks for the Thousand Islands, Nimai took me on board his vehicle for a second day of House Hop Jagannatha. Yes, the community of Gujarati decent got right behind the program’s organization. We ended up visiting 28 different homes. For me, the main feature is the chanting, in addition to gift-giving. Prabhupada’s books were presented to the hosts.


I was hankering, during break-time, for a cooling off in the Saint Lawrence, however, time did not allow. It definitely was another day of roasting in the sun. Most homes we visited are new. Being in the suburbs you don’t have mature trees to offer shade.


All the fun culminated at the residence of Mukesh, who owns and runs “Day’s Inn.” The food was tasty.


Nimai and I drove back to Toronto but stopped in at the city of Belleville for a stroll along the Maria River. It’s always precious to touch nature before you book it in for the day.


May the source be with you!

4 km