bhaktimarga swami (367)

The Crawl by Bhaktimarga Swami


A poem sent and written by an anonymous follower

Walking has ceased

Reduced to a crawl

Services change

That benefit all

A sacrifice made

Traversing great lands

Causing tide’s change

From feet to head and hands

Though a temporary tide

We share in the pain

For knowing the love

Of this kindly Saint

Is on earth and land

And lake shore pretty

Or on cement’s soil

Gardening souls in the city

“Hang tough!” We cry

It won’t be long

Before your feet

Resume their song

May your mind be light

Your pain

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This Day by Bhaktimarga Swami

8645746687?profile=RESIZE_400xTemperatures were mild. There was a thaw. My ceiling told me so. A slow leak of brown water was coming through. It’s interesting how it travels from the roof. Clumps of snow and ice meet the sun and hence a drip makes its way from the rooftop to the floor in the bedroom.

“We’ll get it fixed,” says our maintenance man.


Whenever a bit of humidity makes its entrance, arthritic joints feel it. Today is a good example of the elements visiting this second building — the body. Legs, knees and

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At the Pots by Bhaktimarga Swami


There is bliss in service. That bliss is demonstrated by those in the devotional realm of bhakti. One person, whom I snuck up on, who characterizes this joyful practice, was a person in the kitchen of our ashram. Uttamananda is a kind soul — and a kind soul is usually a happy one — and in the early hour of 6 a.m. he was immersed in pot washing. That’s how I was able to get in from behind him. The pot sinks are against the wall, so anyone who has that designated role of pot washing has a wall in

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Inspiring Captain by Bhaktimarga Swami

8577692501?profile=RESIZE_584xA poem I wrote to honor the guru (Prabhupada):

Inspiring Captain

Bless that a new power be bestowed upon me

To be humbled as if standing next to the big sea.

It’s what I’ve never known, never seen

For behind the ears, I’m embarrassingly green.

I am small, I am petite

Searching constantly for what’s labelled as sweet.

Conceit is the weakness that brings this about

Causing an entrance, an exit — I’m in, I’m out.

I find a straw-in-teeth so hard to swallow.

Pride ‘n snobbery is what I’m up t

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8570569489?profile=RESIZE_584xThe message came from Ohio. It came from a fine fella who considers himself a punk, perhaps an X. His name is Kaustubha and it is good news — I’m sure he doesn’t mind me sharing the message regarding a new trail. Seems like he would go for trail blazing it. That’s his offer. He’s wondering if I still have some steam in my tank for a marathon. My answer is “Yes, most probably, but after some work is done on the knees.” Here is his message:

“Just saw a wonderful article about a new walking/biking

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In the Jaws by Bhaktimarga Swami

8502271057?profile=RESIZE_400xThe king of elephants, Gajendra, found himself in a difficult spot. After spending some leisurely time in the water with his female friends, the fun stopped when one of his legs was locked by the jaws of a menacing crocodile. Recalling his habit of prayer from his former life as a human, he suddenly took to such supplication, calling on help from Vishnu. Vishnu responded to the devotional plea of the elephant and set him free from the perilous mouth of the reptile.

The above story, outlined in C

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8492961272?profile=RESIZE_400xThe corner of Avenue Road and Roxsborough is notorious for auto accidents. I was sitting at my usual corner, inside what we call Prabhupada’s quarters, when I heard a slam/bang sort of sound. I looked outside to what I perceived as the source of sound and sure enough two vehicles clashed. Sad! Damage was done. Both motorists appeared unharmed. Police came very fast and efficiently. Paramedics too, just to see if there was a need.

From my view, glancing through the third-floor arched window, I co

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Walking Reflections by Bhaktimarga Swami

8488387484?profile=RESIZE_400xEsa had his cremation today in Philadelphia. Memorial events will take place in both Philly and Port Royal, more specifically Gita Nagari, a rural community in Pennsylvania.

Thats a state I really enjoyed walking through. Lots of farms, lots of hills. The Appalachians. The Amish. It was in 2015 in the autumn, so the colors were just stunning. Temperatures were just perfect — a bit on the cool side in the morning but that is ideal for walking. New England was pretty too.

In reflecting on the rest

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Some Talk In the Night by Bhaktimarga Swami

8478099656?profile=RESIZE_400xTuesday afternoon is a fairly bland time and the evening can be even more so. I had the fortune to at least get some walking in. That in itself is an adventure even though minimal.

Midway through my walk a call came from Texas. The caller was reaching out with some questions. That alone put a little spark or sparkle into the night. Questions are always welcome. They stimulate the brain or activate the intelligence.

Now, I’m not going to tell you what those questions were because our conversation

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A Walker Gone by Bhaktimarga Swami

8442899078?profile=RESIZE_400xIt appears to be the month of death. Not Covid related, however, another case of someone I know passing, was a young man from Philly who gave up his life — suddenly. I got to know him on my walk across the U.S. He joined me at a few spots on the east coast. It rather choked me up to hear about his ending.

After some time of grievance (it hit hard for a few hours) I thought less about the loss and his challenged upbringing. Rather, I focused more on his positive contribution. A man with a big hea

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8432175453?profile=RESIZE_400xI called my sister, Rose Ann, whose husband passed away from cancer. “Jim was a fine man,” I told her, “therefore he is fine,” implying that his destination was a good one according to the laws of karma. I was impressed with the way my sister was listening. Words of comfort and assurance are what she really needed to hear.

Another sister, Pauline, had joined in on the call over speakerphone, as she had come to visit and spend some time with Rose Ann to console her. She was keen to listen, as wel

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The Bench and the Sun by Bhaktimarga Swami

8343428480?profile=RESIZE_400xLike many pedestrians I will just take a pause when I get to a park and hit one of those benches. The sunlight was coming on strong, darting towards the northeast, almost as if pointing to that seat. I accepted the invitation and plopped myself down. A great location for a sobering time. Chanting one round on my japa beads is what I got out of it.

The park was located off of Barton St. I was not alone in the sunbathing. Others did the same; caught in their own form of meditation. I wonder if God

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8314912853?profile=RESIZE_400xIt was the second Sunday night in a row that I took a walk to Isabella Street to meet Vallabha and Michaela, the great couple that worked on our film, “Rolling the Dice.” My intent on the visit, which was outside their apartment for Covid safety, was to bring them a token of appreciation in the form of cake prasadam. Also, we needed to set some schedules to fine-tune our production. It was our first film.

My day was like a live-wire of bhakti, devotional service. At 6 a.m. I chatted with Vrishab

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8310533885?profile=RESIZE_400xI committed to time in the walk-in cooler where we keep produce of fruits and veggies but also flowers and greens. The lifting, stretching and reaching, to some degree, compensated for the day’s no-walking program. The sorting out had to be done and the coolness of the fridge made me feel as if, indeed, I was outside.

By the way, the cold rain and wind of the out-of-doors was a deterrent for me. First and foremost, the cleaning and setting things up for the sake of efficiency was my impulsive se

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Towards the Light by Bhaktimarga Swami

8289448476?profile=RESIZE_400xSubuddhi is in her 80’s and it’s a little bit tough for her to get around these days. For her group studies online she requested a copy of the mystical text, Brahma Samhita. She called me and asked for a copy.

“I haven’t yet walked today so I can walk over and drop off a copy. I’d be happy to,” I said.

The sun was in the west and to get to her place at Seaton Village I would have to head west. Great! I know the neighbourhood quite well with its quiet back streets. It’s pretty much and eclectic n

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High in High Park by Bhaktimarga Swami

8281312867?profile=RESIZE_400xIt’s strange but Toronto has been my home base since 1973 and in all that time I’ve never had, or taken, the opportunity to venture into High Park. It is rated as 4.5/5 and I can testify. When you’re there you won’t feel like you’re in the city.

Walking along the pond called Grenadier is pleasant as well as the main trails and off route ones. It’s always great to be in nature, with or without company. I’m not going out to even small home events but in nature’s social-distance venues I have no pr

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A Walk in the Quiet by Bhaktimarga Swami

8272789890?profile=RESIZE_400xI made an official call on behalf of our temple to an agency. It’s not my favourite type of service but nevertheless it must be done. My legal name was in their records but not my email address. I gave them my current email address but it did not compute with what they had. They were nice to me in terms of being helpful but the mood of service stepped up when I explained the following.

“Well, at one time I may have had You see, I’m a monk who’s walked long distances, fo

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Got Into Cleaning by Bhaktimarga Swami

8268963665?profile=RESIZE_400xI got into cleaning again, tackling another corner of the kitchen. In truth, there’s too many items and too much clutter. However, it’s therapy. Cleaning anything in the temple/ashram is like cleaning the corners of your heart.

Included in the fun is being in the room with two younger, Bangladeshi devotees. One is cooking and the other cleaning the pots. I have to be careful not to be too isolated in my upstairs room. Lest it be perceived as an ivory tower. I feel the driving need to give time t

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Usually by Bhaktimarga Swami

8261482099?profile=RESIZE_400xUsually at this time of year I’m in Varadero, Cuba. I am typically at the beach, under the sun, making visitations to cities like Havana, Matanzas and St. Declaro. We hold kirtan sessions, give bhakti lessons, answer questions, walk the streets, etc. etc. I do miss the wonderful people there. I also miss the good company of another monk, a Swami from Spain. His name is Yaduananda Swami. He’s kind, cool and caring.

With everyone in the world being grounded, reminiscence becomes somewhat magnified

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Permanent by Bhaktimarga Swami

8256884052?profile=RESIZE_400xI received my permanent bridge. It was installed in my mouth and it looks great. The word “permanent” may be deceiving. The only power that I understand to be of a lasting fixture is the soul. But, you know, I wasn’t about to have a dispute with my dentist on the use of the word. He even admitted it’s good for about 20 years.

The soul, the Supersoul, brahman, or the spiritual energy all around us, is eternal but that is not the same case for any dental office. The theme is “teeth” and such a cli

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