bhaktimarga swami (516)


It is wrap up time for my visit to B.C., and I am receiving all kinds of gifts (such as a watch) that I'm not worthy of, a pack up lunch for the plane, hugs and goodbyes of all sorts and kinds. Satyabhama has been so sweet with daily unch during my stay here, and her son, Arjuna, in his teens, offers comic relief. Vishnu Priya pops by for gifts too, and Makunda Madhava, who offered me teabags of valerian for my insomnia, stood there to hear my testimony on how this substance worked for me for t

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Visits and visitors by Bhaktimarga Swami

The Vancouver Krishna community celebrated the birthday of Balarama with chanting, class and feasting. I took the opportunity to read my poem, "About Balarama", a synopsis of his pastimes and why we honour him so. He is just one of those many avatars that enrich the lives of bhakti practitioners. He is indeed colourful and precious. When we chant the Maha Mantra, the words Rama Rama refers to Balarama. Being the half-brother of Krishna, he is bound to demonstrate wisdom, love, and playfulness.

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Another Place by Bhaktimarga Swami


After a long prairie ride on that familiar TCH (Trans-Canada Highway) from Saskatchewan, we finally landed in the next province, Manitoba, and more specifically, the city of Winnipeg, at 2 am. The next morning (today) was the inauguration of Winnipeg's Ratha Yatra (Chariot Fest), and for that, our team of four was required to be there at 10:30 am. Fine!

The popular Hindu temple on St. Anne's Road was the venue for the event. It was a good choice. The temple became packed in no time prior to our

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The hawk was in flight and had something clutched to its claws, and while the bird was beelining itself above me, I saw a second bird, a blackbird, making irregular dashes at the hawk. More than once it lunged towards the larger bird. Within seconds, the smaller bird gave in and took its own course, most likely frustrated by its intruder who likely stole something from the tinier bird.

This outdoor trekking that I do in the morning offers dramas such as this that you won't find when pacing on a

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By The Serpent by Bhaktimarga Swami


Everyone loves Nikhil. Now, with his initiated name, Nityananda, he appears even more lovable. That's just his disposition. He was kind enough to drive me to Serpent River, a usual destination point for our Krishna Culture bus tour. It is nature 's fun place, the only thing is that Chirag lost his phone to the rivers water. It looks like the serpent nabbed it.

“Farewell, Nityananda. You are off to Alberta for new opportunities. Keep Krishna in your centre.”

The fellows from the Festival of Indi

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Brian Carwana Always manages to bring a great set of people over for a religious encounter experience. The last time he came was in May with folks mainly from the States. Today, he welcomed to our temple people from North America, including some Californians and those from Scotland. From our place he arranged for a visit to a First Nations centre, and then to the Hindu Sabha for an arati (service).

It is my opinion that the caliber of people Brian shows up with are about the best on the planet.

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Covering School by Bhaktimarga Swami


In order to get some walking in today, I decided to start with earlier morning sunrays instead of the forecast steam to come later. I enjoyed the track from 1626 Pie IX all the way to Jeanne Mance Park. It's a clear 8-kilometre hike. Sunday morning couldn't be quieter. Of course, on the more commercial streets, one can witness the aftermath of a Saturday night fever. It's rather disgusting what party animalism produces in the way of refuse. This is not a criticism on the city of Montreal per se

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Tough is sweet by Bhaktimarga Swami


It was tough for a second night in the bus, and not due to intense night heat in sharing space with thirty other people. An additional AC unit was installed. It was the irregular driving from the detours on Hwy. 90 in New York that caused many turns on secondary roads that made the ride somewhat uncomfortable. We were heading north to Quebec where it is a bit cooler. Hoping those notorious fires from Canada were subsiding.

I'm relatively happy despite inconveniences. I have all these younger fo

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Our bus pulled in from Washington into the ISKCON Brooklyn centre on Schermerhorne at 6:30 AM. A jump into the shower and a second jump into the street level temple room for conducting a Bhagavatam class was like a sudden splash into the water off the dock. Kichari, a mix of rice, dahl, and veggies, is becoming a constant at breakfast time. From energy giving to energy expending with a drama practice, our bus crew took to the New York subway to the Bhakti Center for darshan – a view of the Radh

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Still A Monk by Bhaktimarga Swami


The fellow at the Air Canada agents desk took my flight documents so I could secure my boarding pass that would take me to Washington, D.C. He was curious.

“If you don't mind my asking, are you one of those martial arts masters?”

“I'm a monk, a Krishna monk.”

“That's what I meant to say, ‘monk’. That's interesting. Great!”

Another passenger in line before customs asked, “are you a Tibetan monk?”

“A Krishna monk.”

“Oh, I’m a Christian, too!”

“A Hare Krishna!” Said his wife in correcting him. Fro

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Acquaintances by Bhaktimarga Swami


Durward is an old friend of mine, and he called me about something important. When I say old, I mean I've known him since 1973. Also, he's in his 80s. His message was, “I don’t think I’ll be here much longer. My breathing is not good. Please come to my apartment and take my deities of Krishna. I know you’ll give them a good home.”

Gabriel and I acted on his request immediately and met Durward, who is a member of ACTRA, and is a retired actor living in the Performing Arts Lodging. It was difficu

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When you pet a cat it gives a purr
Showing there's so much contentment in her
When a cat starts to whine
It is clearly then a sign
She is indeed not flaunting
But expressing she is wanting
I think the Earth is like that
Yes, like that of a cat
When you walk on Earth's surface
It does not make her nervous
Your footsteps are actually a massage
You are treating her like a Maharaja
It is a form of pampering
Something for which she is hankering
Now, I've been doing the walking marathon
And Earth ma

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To The North by Bhaktimarga Swami

It is my love, like anyone else who likes to share higher consciousness in the bhakti tradition, to receive questions galore on the science of serving the Absolute. At a retreat on an inland lake, quite remote, was a group of thirty young leaders of the Bhakti Yoga Club, mostly from Alberta and Ontario. Some of them less familiar with the tradition sat down with friend Braja Bihari from D.C. With their great queries. One girl comes from a Muslim background. Another guy and girl have their exp
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While much of Canada is consumed in forest fires (and there are videos out there of a hazy New York skyline to prove it), wherever I have been travelling within the land of the Maple Leaf, I see nothing but water, whether it be the West or east. You certainly don't hear of blazing flames in the far north.

As Nakula and I make that drive South towards the south, we encounter clouds and rain, and for a fraction of the day, that welcoming sun bursts through. Global warming? Well, I don't see avoca

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I had the good fortune to have my ‘go bro’ (godbrother), Krishnadasa, at the temple/ashram today, so we were ‘shooting the breeze’, but not speaking empty words. Our sit down together is never devoid of concern for the world and a need for higher consciousness. We shifted from one corner of the cozy basement to another, and then to Govinda's, which is the dining room on the main floor. Then he had to depart, and I shifted once again to a place of comfort and coolness (yes, the head Has suddenly

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11518386652?profile=RESIZE_400xThe fellow next to me on the WestJet flight from Calgary had just placed his guitar in case in the overhead bin. He made it clear to the flight attendant that it is a special, very expensive guitar, and that's where it is going to stay occupying the entire bin. He was adamant.

I thought there was going to be a scene, especially when the attendant said firmly, “That's not how they do things on this aircraft.”

“It's not moving,” said the guitarist. It almost felt like a showdown about to happen. B

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In both cities, Edmonton and Calgary, at the Radha Govinda Cultural Centre and Radha Madhava Cultural Centre respectively, the attendance was not what I expected. Post COVID era (A.C. if you want to call it) is seeing the floodgates opening up with people. Edmonton's Sunday program commences at 10:30 AM, and I would say that the turnout of congregants was the smallest I've seen, though the kirtan was lively. Of course, I personally get super excited when someone beats on a djembe while respecti

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I was westbound to Alberta in that northern city of oil and gas, Edmonton. The province of Alberta was a smoky place for about two weeks with forest fires. I was a little concerned about stepping into what could still be a smoke-filled place. Even though news informed us that thousands of people had to be evacuated, including horses and livestock, I was travelling like a missionary.

Fortunately, when I landed, I saw the sky to be clear, while there was still need for more rain. A small party ca

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Some walkers by Bhaktimarga Swami


After getting some dental cleansing done in Brampton, I was kindly driven to my home at 243 Avenue Road, Toronto. Nanda Drove me to the dentist, and Rasaraja drove me for the return. I took my walk accompanied by my japa beads. It was evening darkness now, and a couple passed by. I got that remark from the woman which is quite common, “That outfit you're wearing is really cool.”

“Thanks, and it's really comfortable.”
“Take care,” she said.

I returned back from Ramsden Park, which i

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On our Zoom “Gita Chat” call, our group discussed chapter 15, “The Yoga of the Supreme Person,” wherein There's a whole description of the banyan tree. Near the end, we dwelt on all kinds of trees. From that discussion time, i left for my walk connected with trees (especially the lilacs), and then people.

On my way I met four religious students from Tennessee who came with the group on Monday. They remarked how their visit to the temple was a highlight.

Further on, kiddy corner to the Christi

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