Thursday, 31 March 2022

Monday, March 28, 2022

22 College St., Toronto

Our Chant, Our Chat, Our Walk

For Ukraine, our residents had a chant.

From our west coast Gita Chat group, we discussed a host of things, some of which are as follows:

1) We are all in a conditioned state; meaning we are contaminated.

2) Getting free from this contamination is called mukti.

3) Consciousness can be described with the term “I am.”

4) When consciousness is contaminated, one declares, “I am Lord.”

5) When consciousness is purified it means, “I am servant.”

6) Purification comes in the form of co-operation with the Lord.

7) Prabhupada equated co-operation to love.

8) The Absolute Truth is referred to as the complete whole.

9) The complete whole is comprised of God, the soul, the material energy, time, and activity.

10) There are three levels of God realization – Brahman or spiritual energy, Paramatma or God in the heart, and Bhagavan or the loving source.

11) If God is whole and complete then God is also a person.

12) Many potencies emanate from God.

13) We are not whole, like God, due to our human defects, of which there are four.

14) The four human defects or frailties are: a) we are prone to make mistakes, b) we are prone to cheat, c) we are prone to be in illusion, and d) our senses are imperfect.

We did, indeed, cover a lot of territory.

After our hour-long read and discussion, I went for my walk, which was to the police station on College St. and back. It is 2.5 km from the temple ashram to the station and the same distance back with a total of 5 km. This is not triumphant, but a goal reached nonetheless.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Niagara Falls, Ontario

To Near the Water

Able driver, Gabriel, took us from Montreal to Niagara in just under 700 kilometers. It was a pleasant drive, though at spots wind came on strong as we were reminded that winter is not totally over.

Our destination is the town where water from an entire massive lake, Erie, descends 170 feet to create the Falls. In 1969, crews shut down the falls. Two bodies were found and millions of coins, which were removed (along with the remains of two corpses).

The Lions’ Club was kind to have us use their premises on Drummond Road. This was the second week for a physical gathering of devotees in this tourist town. We briefly touched on the topic of a desire to have a gorgeous temple there one day. It would be a mater of building up a community first before erecting a place for Sri Krishna. We also want to include a restaurant and beautiful landscape surroundings.

Our presentation included a viewing of the documentary, Play, Pray, Walk, Laugh – from Karuna Productions – as well as a talk based on the introduction of Bhagavad-gita, highlighting the five main topics of the great classic itself: God, the soul, nature, time, and action.

Speaking of action, I engaged the crowd in a circle-dance to the beat of the drum and mantra. A good feeling came out of the whole event, as usual when conducting anything devotional. We are happy about our new admin structure. Young families and mature congregants are coming.

May the Source be with you!


Saturday, March 26, 2022

Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montreal

Something to Say

To say that there is unrest in the world is certainly an understatement. Right at the location where our chanting party was to set camp for two hours was a demonstration by people of Tunisia. The nation’s flag of a red background, bearing in its centre a white disk with a red star, was waving in the air. Here in Montreal, Tunisians are expressing their dissatisfaction with their political leader, so you can imagine how much greater disturbance exists in the homeland.

Our chanting party decided to relocate to the La Baie department store, where devotees have been for years, dispersing mantra vibration. Five minutes into our kirtan and another protest group appeared, holding multiple flags from Ukraine, the simple but bold yellow and blue bars. Like the Tunisian protest, megaphones and speakers were utilized in outcry over the way. Theirs was a procession, moving along Rue Sainte-Catherine, where we were situated in a fairly lively kirtan.

Our chanting was sandwiched between an amplified jazz musician group to our left and to our right, Evangelical messages were projected from their speakers, spreading the Good Word of Jesus. The merging of all these sights and sounds made for a barrage of communication, mostly of dismay.

 What to do?

People will always have something to say, either of a disgruntled nature or of optimistic solutions. We will always be noise-makers. One thing is for certain, our chanting of mantras drew the most smiles.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


Sunday, 27 March 2022

Friday, March 25, 2022

Rue Sainte-Catherine, Montreal

Where We Started

It was back in 1968 that Hare Krishna devotees first appeared on Canadian soil, at Phillips Square. The popular world Expo, which began the year before at Canada’s 100 year celebration, was extended over from ’67. Well, faithfully you will still see the Krishnas at that corner, the juncture of Sainte-Catherine and Union. Due to renovations, the Square is blocked off, hence our lively chanting troupe of today went kitty-corner in front of a heritage church.

What is really appealing about recent renos on the street is that pedestrians now enjoy a beautifully widened street. Formerly, there were four lanes on this one-way thoroughfare. Now, you have three. It means that the sidewalk is broadened, making way for a city that has a vision for pedestrian-friendliness.

This latest change also makes it easier for any chanting that we stage. Traffic also moves slower. Indeed, we could see motorists roll down windows just to hear our tap on the drum and the voices projecting. The public received us well. We had all the right ingredients. Spring is in the air. The sidewalk interlocking looks classy. It’s Friday afternoon. Covid restrictions are being relieved in this province.

It’s all good. All favourable for some spirituality on the street. Sweet it is when the externals and internals are synchronized. 54 years later.

May the Source be with you!