Monday, 24 October 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Scarborough, Ontario

Getting on with Kirtan

I really had to think over what I would speak about at the Brampton ISKCON Sunday program. I was in the premises just one day before conducting workshops on kirtan standards, which went well. So, it dawned on me that not everyone attended from the congregation. “Let me try an abbreviated version of the previous day’s workshop, now that I have a larger audience today.”

I took full advantage of the situation. The end result is that people listened, were delighted and informed. The president of ISKCON Brampton, Radha Gopinatha, even asked, “Please do this again in the spring.”

I said, “Alright!”

What was so gratifying about the second half of the day, at a home function (at Amul’s place), we had a series of people singing, someone from Ukraine, another from Jamaica, from Canada, from Bangladesh – always simple tunes, all melodious - and with great participation from everyone. It went so well with the guidelines on kirtan being followed and these were vocalists and musicians who didn’t attend my workshop. It felt that it was a reciprocation from above. Oh, dear Sri Krishna is pleased with the efforts of giving some direction with respect to chanting. Of course, we have to credit our beloved spiritual master, Prabhupada, for bringing light to the all-powerful importance of this most cherished of devotional activities.

May the Source be with you!

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Saturday, October 15, 2022

Brampton, Ontario

A Good Workshop


Because there is a need to regulate and standardize the practice of kirtan in ISKCON centers, I have taken up the task to do so in my areas of influence, which is referred to as zone one within the context of several US states and all of Canada. Last Saturday, by God’s grace, we pulled off a successful standardization workshop in Montreal. Today it was Brampton. The attendant was approximately forty-five, and to my surprise some of them were children, well behaved.

The questions that naturally arise in the minds of chanting enthusiast are, “Why is there a need for some kind of standard?” And “Who set those standards?” So, we address the issues because most people on the bhakti path require some foundation. That is the case in all areas of endeavor whether in the workplace, the educational field or recreation as in sports.

There needs to be some rules and our guru, Prabhupada, has set some regularity and uniformity for the benefit of practitioners in our lineage. He took the time during his stay with us, from 1965 to 1977, to help in the field of “standards” on all levels, even dance.

I especially like this portion of my presentation. We all get off our chairs and with buttocks off the floor and we then move gracefully and gingerly in dance steps. This is fun.

There is a saying about resting on one’s laurels, which means being satisfied with one’s previous achievements but making a little effort to improve. In other words, we get set in our ways and become a little complacent.


May the Source be with you!

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Friday, October 14, 2022

Queen’s Park, Toronto

Kapila, The Monk


The class today was mine to move and shake a heart and brain. If I was able to do that with just a pinch or an inch of effectiveness then I consider it at least a minor success.

The topic of this morning was about the monk, Kapila. Born of outstanding parents, Kardama and Devahuti, he was an obvious product of pureness. In the book Bhagavatam he is put in the category of Mahajan, being one of twelve trail-blazing bhakti masters. He was a teacher of sankhya philosophy which delves into details of the physical world and its root cause, Vishnu or God. The soul is also addressed along with its human obligation.

Talk about breaking items down, he certainly achieved such in his delivery to his principal student, his very own mother. In reality the lessons are for all of us to cater to. He taught that while our seva or service are often rendered with the influence of the modes of nature, we should strive for cleanliness inside and out.

In the class there were reactions of attentiveness, some laughter and interaction. By the mercy of Krishna, we had succeeded in having our group listen with questions to follow in this morning class.

Such was the case in the evening as well. A Zoom group from the west end of the city got on board to explore 2.20 from the Bhagavad-Gita. In this chapter we explore the nature and qualities of the atma, the soul. While our attendance was a little down (some of our members are in India) those who were on the Zoom were just great. I assigned each of them to be a mimic pandit themselves and to give a three-minute class. They appeared to like the challenge. Kapila would be pleased.


May the Source be with you!

5 km