Sunday 28 March 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Ramsden Park, Toronto


Valuing Distance


Our virtual Thursday afternoon Gita sessions have been very stimulating for me and if I gauge properly, others on the call are also having a great time. After a sweet time in the park, pulling in the sun’s Vitamin D and working on the next poem, I sat myself comfortably to share this week’s verses from The Gita, 9:12, 13 and 14. We took special note of the subject: mahatma (mentioned in the 13th verse), and what the qualities of a “great soul” are. The first point I discussed was that a mahatma is not deluded and is enveloped in divine energy. What does that mean practically?


It literally means to disassociate with mundane-ness, with negative people, and to keep dearly to your heart all things spiritually favourable.


In a conversation I had over the phone in the evening, with a person in Montreal, we came to the conclusion that the nasty world that we live in is fraught with a pejorative spirit; that it is imperative to extricate oneself from hate and contempt. In the name of “freedom of speech” people can say anything, which may actually be harmful to the spirit.


To give an example, these days people are encouraged to keep a distance from the virus. Even for myself, I’m having to self-isolate due to the fact that on my recent visit to the dentist I was close to a Covid-positive person. So as of this evening, I’m staying physically safe and hoping for the best.


May the Source be with you!

0 km


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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Ramsden Park, Toronto


More at the Bench


When you frequent a place, people of that area get to know you. This is the case for me, at the park, as well as David, who resides with us. He spends more time than me, enough to see the things I miss. He spotted a fox, rare to see during the day. And he always comes back after his walk to say whom he met and just what’s going on. He’s making nice friends.


Now I use this green space to rehab or recoup my worn-out legs. So, I’m getting to be more present. It was two hours that I sat on a bench upon a mound with blue spruces nearby. I could swear that from the moment I parked on the bench to my leaving, more green had come through on the grass; the chlorophyll was activating before my very eyes. It was stunning. It was more amazing than seeing that falcon in-flight as I entered the space.


What about people? Well, two elderly women made the gradual climb up the mound to what I thought was a deliberate move to connect with me somehow. I was on the phone which sat next to my lap talking to another part of Canada about Vyasa puja, an annual publication which expresses gratitude to the guru (Prabhupada) when suddenly these two women said something I couldn’t decipher, but it was intended as polite.


It was time for me to get up and move around. A gentleman, also elderly, was trying to say something kind. He had a device attached to his throat. Impaired speaking. He was commenting with a smile and that’s all that mattered. I was walking by the tennis court and a middle-aged couple stopped their game for a minute to ask, “Is your restaurant open again (because of Covid)?”


“Yes! For takeout! Please come!”


May the Source be with you.

1 km


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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Brampton, Ontario


Chaitanya’s Versus


With the coming birthday of Sri Chaitanya on Sunday, the 28th, I wanted to share this poem; a sort of rewrite of His eight verses known as sikshastakam.


Chaitanya’s Versus


Victory to the sacred sound that cleanses all around

There’s filth in the heart, piled up from the start

Many births of desires, have burst up like fires

Therefore, the kirtan charge, is for humanity at large

It’s a practice so cool, like the rays of the moon

It’s the fruit of wisdom, with joy that’s arisen

So sweet to the taste, we go there in haste


You who are Divine, this sound is sublime

With thousands of names, they all are the same

In them all energies are invested, the names are the same

Rules? Not hard and fast, it’s easy to pass

Out of sheer kindness the sound is sure to bind us

Attractive! Accessible! Approachable! Doable!

But what is most unfortunate… I can’t always appreciate it


To approach the sound, one must be humbly-bound

Like the straw in the street, one has to be meek

Like a tall, stout tree, tolerant as can be

I’m telling you brother, it’s the ego we have to smother

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.... respect is how it should be

With the right attitude, the constant sound has platitude


Oh, power behind the universe

I’m not looking to be fabulously rich

Not to be overwhelmed by the lustful itch

Nor entangled in the name/fame hitch

I’ll have my bhakti list, though birth persist


Oh, son of Nanda

I love you and I will assist you

But I’m in an ocean, drowning without devotion

Pick me up from this ocean of death, before my last breath

While those lotus feet are handsome, place me there like an atom


When will the time come, when tears of love will run

And flow so constantly, while chanting in ecstasy?

When will my voice choke up, in the course of shake-up?

When will hair stand on end, as we chant to transcend?


Govinda is your name, separation makes me insane

One moment lasts forever, like twelve years or whatever

Tears come like rain, your absence gives such pain

This vacancy in life, creates so much strife


But I know only you as my lover, there is no other

Even when it’s rough, I’ll never have enough

Of heart-felt embrace, or when we find no trace

Of you in your freedom to act, so I’ll state the fact

That I love you, I love you, I always will love you


May the Source be with you!

0 km


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