Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Downtown, Toronto

Finishing With a Possum

After three years we have our invited guests, Vaisesika and Nirakula, to inspire us in the service to Krishna and His outstanding rep, our guru, Prabhupada.

He, Vaisesika, is doing a series of talks on “Save the Earth,” based on the teachings of the Bhagavatam. Nirakula is presenting a workshop for female Vaishnavas. In the meantime, I had the pleasure to Zoom a class with our regular Thursday crew from the Gita, 13.8–12. This highlights attributes pertaining to knowledge and they begin with amanitvam adambhitvam, humility and pridelessness. How Prabhupada defines humility is very perceptive. “Humility means that one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others.”

And, if I might add, humility and pridelessness are true features of success in life. The key.

Today’s walk, beginning at 6 pm, brought me and companion, Omkar, to the Spadina and Richmond area where condo buildings tower and impose a kind of humility upon the pedestrians. There I went to the residence of Rasheshvar for a great meal on his extensive balcony. The walk back, a distance of 4.1 km, took me through Chinatown. A great walk there and back.

My last few breaths before turning in for the day was spent at our ashram’s front steps. Four feet away from me and climbing expertly on a cedar tree was a possum. He was rather small but determined to reach the top. In Canada we are not accustomed to having possums. They are now multiplying in the Great White North. A possum is awesome. It eats such things as ticks and cockroaches. It was my first sighting of one in Toronto.

May the Source be with you!

8 km


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Concord, Ontario

Weddings and Walkings

A wedding on Wednesday? It seems odd but it did happen on this very day. The bride’s dad had invited me months ago. He recalls how I last saw her, the bride, when she was six months. Abhiramy Was just a toddler then but is now thirty. She certainly doesn’t remember the occasion, which is understandable. Her new husband is Ricardo, Mexican born; nice guy. The priest who conducted the vivaha-yajna, marriage ceremony, asked him to smile but, from what I saw, Ricardo carried the biggest smile since he arrived on what’s usually a white horse by Vedic royal standards.

“I came in a horse powered white horse,” said Ricardo, again with a smile. Ricardo’s folks were happy. So were Abhiramy’s parents. Her dad, Shati and I go way back to when he first arrived from Sri Lanka.

All went well with tying the knot. Then I paid a visit to Jivanuga (Jim Johnson) at the hospital’s rehab. This great hero suffered from an assault on the street which severely did damage to his skull and threatened his brain. Major surgery was done and with successful results. His recovery was quick.

Yes, fatalities, mishaps and accidents occur all the time. In fact, one of the couples attending the morning’s wedding asked for blessings because they were victims of a bad auto accident. Doesn’t it happen enough!? They are going through ongoing pain.

It was a second couple that came across the banquet hall to learn about my marathons and the safe way to travel. To them, and to the many folks I met, I offered my advice to get off one’s behind and walk as much as possible.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Toronto, Ontario

Light and Serious

I liked our discussion this morning at the Bhagavatam class, from Canto one, wherein two questions were posed by the last of the Yadus, King Pariksit. Question one lodged towards the sage, Sukadev: What should I be doing with my life despite any circumstances? The Second question gets more specific: What is the best way to spend the remaining days knowing I will die soon?

With our usual younger temple members, the Bhakti Academy, on a few days outing, I was in the company of a smaller mature group when we concluded based on the guru’s, Prabhupada’s, words, under all circumstances we are to get spiritual. One way is to immerse ourselves in the Absolute, in Krishna. The answer to the second question is the same as the first but, because it poses something more critical, it calls for even more intense meditation on the Lord.

So that discussion brought about a richness to the morning. By afternoon, I got a surprise from a visitor. Brian Gonzales came around. He was one of my first assistances on the first walk that I ventured on in 1996. I gave him a copy of The Saffron Path, where he became part of the content in the chapter where I speak about all the things that made me laugh on the road. Yes, there were a few occasions we got to knee-slapping sessions of joy. Spiritual life has its moments of gravity and its times for lightness.

May the Source be with you!

4 km