Thursday, 13 May 2021

Monday, May 10, 2021

243 Avenue Rd., Toronto

 

Happy Birthday!

 

Dharma Prana turned 72 today. Yes, the happy-go-lucky guy, who is actually a monk, had his birthday and we celebrated it in style – that is, in simplicity. Our cook put together a cheesecake, moderately sweetened, and presented it to Dharma in our modest eating space, the boiler room. Yes, renovations are underway and have been for a while with all the Covid hiccups happening.

 

Dharma is just the kind of person that everyone should be, a person who has a love for life. The fact that bhakti has been slapped onto his life, a choice of his own back in 1974, has made everything doubly joyful. He’s just great to have around. Everyone likes him, whether congregants or resident monks.

 

I spoke to his daughter, a mother of two kids, whose arranging for her dad’s vaccine. Yes, he’s going for it. Not everyone agrees with that course, but it’s his to take and this is definitely one way to respond to the aggressive virus that has come to humble us all. Incidentally major fundraisers are going on to ease the onslaught in current day India. Her red flag has been raised on the pandemic dynamic. Many of our community members have relatives or friends in India who have had their lives taken.

 

Condolences to you all!

 

In the midst of this globally ugly scenario of the pandemic, some light spots do spring up, like Dharma’s birthday. Happy birthday, buddy!

 

May the Source be with you!

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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Yorkville, Toronto

 

Three Talks Before a Walk

 

In the morning the sun shot out to bless the sky and earth. By noon clouds closed the doors to a usually welcome sun.

 

But the sun did shine on my day in the form of three Zoom talks; the first on the topic of Vedic hero, Bhishma. Truly, he is one of my favourites. Moments for honoring him was possible by the request of Kirtan Vancouver, although I expected that the request for my conducting a discussion would probably be on the Mother’s Day theme. Bhishma was one of those noble men who looked after and protected women. I tried to highlight that point.

 

My second session for the day was with the Cleveland community. Here we did indeed focus on the glory of motherhood, addressing some outstanding women such as Radha, Sita, Lakshmi, Kunti, Parvati, etc.

 

It was a lively group.

 

Lastly the final discussion was with the group in Saskatoon. At the request of hosts, Vivek and Amy, I was addressing the three different levels of food as outlined in chapter seventeen of The Gita. The fact is that there is food which is conducive for spiritual development and there is food detrimental to both one’s health and spirit. What about the third level? Well, it’s actually in the middle. Called rajas, food in this category boasts hyper-activeness. The good Lord knows we really need to calm down and the proper food to achieve this is available. Make it prasadam. Have it blessed.

 

May the Source be with you!

3 km


 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Ramsden Park, Toronto

 

Bright Yellow

 

The grassy green of the park is now spotted with the yellow of the dandelion. Yellow is a happy colour. In our culture we read about the striking yellows worn by Krishna and Vishnu, from the waist down. Also, I have a fond reflection of the colour yellow from the time I walked the prairies. The yellow tone of the canola (not my favorite plant) set against the endless blue sky is just absolutely stunning.

 

Rich colours overall. It can make your day.

 

There was more to my day than that long sit in the park in observation of colours. Today I spent some quality time on the phone with the Windsor group, speaking on The Gita, verse 9:30. The passage is most significant in that when one has a bleak moment in one’s bhakti, such as a “fall down,” one can be considered rightly situated by picking oneself up through actions of integrity. There are nine processes that one can take to for one’s rectification.

 

You see there is a bright spot, colour it yellow if you like, in life, or in the day.

 

A brilliant dynamic for me also came when meeting students from Sudbury; all happy and proud for having discovered bhakti. Their mentor, Darshan (can’t remember his initiated name) is training them well. It might sound strange but they looked like brilliant dandelions to me.

 

I also spent some time on the phone with Radhanatha Swami, another “yellow moment.” And, finally, I was so pleasantly touched by the heroic act of 18 km by the couple, Mahabhagavat and Arun Keshavi, who walked from their home to the destination point of our temple. Their son, Vittal rode his bike all the way. Not too bad for seven years old.

 

May the Source be with you!

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