Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Monday, June 28, 2021

Ramsden Park, Toronto




Our maintenance guy, who hails from Croatia, placed his phone close to my face and with a beaming face said, “Look Maharaja, at the message that just came to me.”


So, I read the message that came from the immigration department starting with, “Congratulations… you are a Canadian citizen.” This no doubt was a great cause for joy for him and the feeling is shared by his wife, Michaela, who was not actually present at that moment over lunch. Vallabha Hari (with his first name legally, Vladimir) also has a daughter with the same status. It may be a citizenship that carries with it a certain level of respect, but it is not a freeing position of moksha or nirvana. We are all entrapped in a body and are highly attached to bodily identity.


It is our guru, Prabhupada, who writes in the introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, “One who wants to become free, who wants to become liberated, must first of all learn that he/she is not this material body. Mukti, or liberation, means freedom from material consciousness.”


Anyway, I was happy for the family, which is probably toasting on soft drinks this evening. There is a lot to rejoice about. I’m alive. I’ve got a human birth. I practice spirituality. I’m working towards freedom and the ultimate love with the Supreme.


Vallabha is already one of the happiest people I know because he moves with that higher consciousness.


May the Source by with you!

2 km


Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Niagara Falls, Ontario


An Affirmation of K. Consciousness


Last night, when I walked in the Cabbagetown area of Toronto, an Asian woman standing in front of her residence, a high-rise building, noticed me and instantly asked her question.


“What religion?”


“Hare Krishna!”


“Oh! From India!” she concluded. We chatted.


My answer was simple; there’s a lot included in those two words, “Hare Krishna.” There’s a whole culture, philosophy and way of being. Today, I came to affirm what that means in a practical way.


Madhava, Govinda, Sarthak and I headed for Niagara Falls. It would be Madhava’s first time seeing the splendour of it, but first we stopped at the beach of Port Dalhousie for the sun and the water; to take care of ourselves – the body, mind and heart. We then proceeded along the magnificent gorge till we hit the Falls. To see them puts one in awe, reverence and gratitude – traits or signs of a Hare Krishna.


Lastly, we proceeded to the juncture of the Chippewa and Niagara Rivers, to King’s Bridge Park, to gain sangha or the company of other bhakti-yogis. We ate. We sang. We talked. These are major practices of Krishna devotees. The centre of all such activities is Krishna and that’s what makes our lives somewhat distinctive. It is about the growth of the spirit, where we downplay self-centeredness – always a work in progress.


May the Source be with you!


Saturday, June 26, 2021

High Park, Toronto


Groove in the Green


High Park is actually a beautiful space, but like most natural settings they have their drawbacks. This park is appealing, but there is a slight problem with the gypsy moth caterpillars. I’ve never known a forest without tics, mosquitoes, flies and the like. Avoiding natures creatures altogether by sticking yourself in a room all day in front of a screen is probably a worse scenario. Better to build up some strength, resistance, and immunity if you can. That’s the problem with city slickers who do not touch nature.


At least one caterpillar came to our kirtan spot, in a rustic pavilion, to enjoy our temple groove. Our Billy from Philly (now Tilly for Toronto) set the pace for chanting and then some ecstatic dance beats to the mantra. Oh, it was fun and it was pure, in a sense. Our group was not in a Saturday Night fever mode. We were in singing and dancing for our soul and at the same time drawing other souls to our little powwow.


Billy is particularly good at attracting people to the mantra scene and, before COVID, was conducting an actual temple groove, which certain orthodoxy may not understand. I say, “Let the dogs bark.” If a program lifts the consciousness of the crowd, let it reign supreme.


Tomorrow I’m looking forward to the kirtan in Niagara Falls for more of the same.


May the Source be with you!

6 km