bhaktimarga swami (368)


We are keeping it up. Every day Dharma Prana and I attend the noon services, called Bhoga Arati where I play the mrdunga drum and sing in a type of serenade to entertain the deities of Krishna on the balcony or altar.

My beating that drum becomes a kind of needed work-out. Also, for the Tuesday night garbage pick up, the trash must be ready for bringing out to the street. To prepare for that I saw the opportunity to crush the accumulation of cardboard boxes. Our produce arrives in those boxes w

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In the morning the sun shot out to bless the sky and earth. By noon clouds closed the doors to a usually welcome sun.

But the sun did shine on my day in the form of three Zoom talks; the first on the topic of Vedic hero, Bhishma. Truly, he is one of my favourites. Moments for honoring him was possible by the request of Kirtan Vancouver, although I expected that the request for my conducting a discussion would probably be on the Mother’s Day theme. Bhishma was one of those noble men who looked a

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Before Zoom classes began I took advantage of the beckoning sun. I was sure this was not a singular thought. Sure enough the craving for sun, green-ness and crisp air was apparent. My favourite bench was available and only good things I could see. Hither and thither: walkers. A dog park replete with happy humans and canines. Men, women and children; black, white and brown. Not one person with a cigarette. Kids playing. Adults talking.

A relatively young dad was carrying a bundle of the gathered

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It was quite the humid day; cool to the feel. The wind was up and trees were dancing with their upper bodies while their trunks, as usual, were anchored stiff.

When my services were completed for the day, which included a Zoom chat with our Halifax crew and another on plans for our next film production, I took the opportunity to walk a stretch. It wasn’t long but it was…

The other day when I did a walk the length of Ramsden Park, I took a gayatri mantra break right next to the tennis courts. I

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8902515495?profile=RESIZE_400xI walked to a different park bench, plopped myself down and began chanting with the aid of my beads when a neighbor walked by and stopped. He has seen me around. Hugh Smiley is his name.

“So, you’re chanting? I chant sometimes. I learned it from the Park Avenue bowling alley in Montreal. It became a Krishna Centre.”

“Nice to meet you, Hugh!” I said this to the nice guy who became a Baha’i teacher living in South America for seven years on that mission. Hugh never forgot the pranam mantra to our

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Gently Weeps by Bhaktimarga Swami

8898588864?profile=RESIZE_400xThe sun captivated everyone. Motorists rolled down their windows to take in the good air as they moved along slowly; as is usual on a Friday afternoon. I had my window down also. I could hear pedestrians and music blaring from the autos.

One guy did it deliberately — had his music pumped up and loud — as he coasted along near our temple. It was “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison and the boys, the Beatles. I was actually having my lunch at the time and I had an additional tantalize

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Cycles by Bhaktimarga Swami


The day was gloomy, chili, overcast but necessary as a part of a cycle. Rain came. It’s needed. The night came in with a waxing crescent moon just as it has been some nights before in the cycle. Then we love our seasons. “Of seasons I am flower-bearing spring,” states Krishna in The Gita. This welcoming season has come full circle. There’s a pattern also with the sun. “Here Comes the Sun” (the Beatle’s song). Visible and not visible.

Then we have “The Circle of Life” (Lion King). Yes, we have o

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8830997495?profile=RESIZE_584xI would devote the day in my service to guru’s mission with a stride in the park. It was dark and some young men from the neighborhood just completed shooting basketball. I was on a bench fingering on my meditation beads and, as they walked by, they very respectfully nodded or made remarks such as, “Hi!” Or “Good night!” I was impressed. Decent people do exist.

In one conversation with a member of our community he expressed that people are having it tough, even amongst the devotional types, bein

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Kind donor, I thought, and that was my last thought (to my recollection) before shut-eye and saying goodbye to the day. A good sleep.

Our Vancouver centre received a nice donation from one admirer (anonymous) to the tune of just less than a quarter million. That’s super kind. So, I was informed. Good heart, I thought. More hearts like that are needed. Our project in the centre of the Greater Vancouver Area is in Burnaby; a great location. A new facility needs to go up and will cost 15 million.

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8792983454?profile=RESIZE_400xCalls continued to come from well-wishers. Thank you!

I spent a good chunk of the day reviewing the draft manuscript for “The Saffron Road,” which details my walking experiences throughout the US and Canada, as well as a host of other countries; mostly more tropical. Then there’s Ireland – very moist.

So, we are moving along and getting closer to the book’s release and I’m hoping you will all be looking forward to it’s reading. Frankly I feel that it was almost a previous life that I am looking

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To Get a Call by Bhaktimarga Swami


It’s nice to get a call, like the following, once in a while (it’s paraphrased).

“Hi! I just wanted to introduce myself. I am Jorge. I live up north, have a family, work at a factory. Right now, as we’re talking, I am walking my two dogs on a forest trail that I frequent almost every day. I have a mother who is a devout Christian and, as I grew up, I would accompany her to services; so I appreciate the tradition very much.

“It was a friend of mine who introduced me to the Bhagavad-Gita. I’m rea

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Dates by Bhaktimarga Swami


I’m going on close to one week since starting my two-week quarantine. It’s relatively an easy one to tackle. For members I also want to acknowledge that this year marks 125 years since the birth of His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Celebrations have begun to recognize his great efforts and contributions to this world.

As expressed in words in a recent letter to me the other day, referring to Prabhupada as “the one who I believed radically changed American society in ways that

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Changes by Bhaktimarga Swami


One of my dear friends from the area, Mr. Prasher, gave me good news. In India, Vrindavan and Varanasi, two sacred places in the state of Uttar Pradesh, are going back to old ways. Restrictions on animal slaughter and, according to him, liquor sales are now implemented. Good news indeed.

Now, how far such restrictions are enforced is another matter. India is traditionally the land of dharma, meaning a place of high principles, but with a thousand years of invasion, influences are such that it h

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I walked again, to the park, for the purpose to light a little spark. I’m not the only one. There are many who come to lay out a blanket and then lay themselves out on it. Tennis balls are flying from within the court fence. There are lineups. The playground is vibrant with kids and their guardians; parent or nanny. Young men hop, bounce and leap balls through the hoops. The dogs are frisky while owners look on with care.

Benches get occupied fast. As soon as one occupant leaves another slides

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Hey! I made it to the park, but on crutches. David, who lives in the ashram with us, accompanied me. I couldn’t have done it without him. We sat at a bench bathing in the sun. People walked by, many of whom were wearing green. Yes, of course, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and those who take to the green carry the spirit.

David and I were talking and wondering if anyone really knows much about him aside from him being some very kindly man from Ireland. “I think he has something to do with a shamrock, o

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By Bhaktimarga Swami


The 8 verses are an expression coming from Chaitanya addressing His full
appreciation for Krishna in the form of His name, carrying the spirit of
the feeling of separation:

Victory to the sacred sound, that cleanses all around.

There’s filth in the heart, piled up from the start.

Many births of desires, have burst up like fires.

Therefore, the kirtan charge, is for humanity at large.

It’s a practice so cool, like the rays of the moon.

It’s the fruit of wisdom,

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A bit of a mile stone for me: I managed to walk fairly straight along the not so trustworthy balcony, without crutches. Yahoo! Perhaps Jayho! Which means pretty much the same thing. A sigh of relief, victory and healing. It tallies at 1 km.

Cameron is just a great help to me. He is with the Red Cross, does mostly construction work but took time off to take care of matters in the temple, and me. I’m grateful.

He brought up my lunch — a plate laden with asparagus, curried veggies, exquisite dahl

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Productivity by Bhaktimarga Swami


The Lotus Foundation is an initiative of learning about basic principles of dharma. As one of the directors, I was asked to promote the initiative, which has been up and running for its third year now. The participants are young and it is attracting families who want to gain some insight into Vedic culture. Some of the subjects learned are hands on yoga, nutrition, plant-based diet and the values behind it, gardening, chanting mantras, basic elements of etiquette and even learning of the three

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Blessed by Bhaktimarga Swami


Cameron, who comes over to check on me quite regularly, took a lotus position and within that safe six foot distance, mentioned to me, “This room has a powerful energy.”

I agreed. “Why sure. This is the place where our guru, Prabhupada, stayed. Right where I am laying now (recovering) was the location of his bed. To my left is the washroom and tub he used and next to us, behind you, was the greeting room.”

“The vibes are good,” Cameron reiterated in his Aussie accent.

It has been a week since I

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Our roofer, Victor, did make it up above me. I could hear his clumping on the flat roof overhead, the very place where squirrels race back-and-forth; never on a schedule. It’s just frivolous, whimsical play. Their footsteps are light compared to Victor’s firm and less speedy moments.

Below me, on the main floor, is Sri the Pea (that’s what he calls himself) getting already for Govinda's take out. It Involves mostly the use of water, the washing of trays and laying out of the day’s spread of tas

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