blogs (356)

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Even Mother Yashoda could occasionally, for some moments, understand that Krsna was the Supreme Lord. But then, she would forget it once again. That is how it works with the eternal residents of Vrndavana. We also forget that Krsna is the Supreme Lord again and again, but in a different way. We forget that Krsna is the Supreme Lord and then we also forget Krsna Himself. The residents of Vrndavana however forget that Krsna is the Supreme Lord, but they still think of Krsna Himself all the time! 

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At Queen's Park by Bhaktimarga Swami

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There was a major birthday party for Ashu at our temple, with kirtan entertainment in Govinda's.  Special guest musicians were Amal Krishna and Hari Bhakti who were belting it out with voice and harmonium.

Ashu asked me to say a few things using the microphone, and so I had the chance to see face-on who had attended.  "I can see that the people we have here are of the ’80s and ’90s crowd."  They agreed with me.  It seems that congregations go in waves not all at once, but transitionally.  Pa
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Suffering Blissfully by Achyut Gopal Das

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"Whether we fear pain and suffering or not, pain and suffering will come to everyone. Why not keep our minds focused on where we want to go?" - Radhanath Swami

PURE SUFFERING
As soon as one takes to the role of being a preacher, one thing that invariably happens is that people come to you explaining their woes and sorrows. Probably because they see you as someone who knows a little more and is a little more spiritual than them and because they trust you, they open up their life in front of you
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Bed of arrows by Kadamba Kanana Swami

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Bhismadeva was lying on a bed of arrows. I do not know if you ever had any injuries, but if you did, then usually you call the ambulance and that is it; off you go to the hospital. One arrow is enough. You can tell that one arrow or one bullet will do. But hundreds of them is far too intense! But somehow, Bhismadeva was lying on this bed of arrows, and he was totally self-contained. He was not overwhelmed whatsoever. He was able to do this not just by sheer willpower, but by not identifying wit

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The other day in Saskatoon, Chief Pratt of the First Nations, was on the stage giving his speech at the Festival of India,  and said, "They used to call us Indians."  People laughed.  He then went on to explain that Columbus set sail from Europe in search of the bountiful land of India and then reached the shores of the New World thinking that perhaps they had accomplished their goal, or at least came upon a place of wonder —North America.  It was nice to have the Chief present.

When I arriv
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The Fest by Bhaktimarga Swami

The North Saskatchewan River is one of those majestic streams of water that connects with communities in the Canadian prairies of which this fine city is one.  Our Chariot Fest for this place runs partially along this River, culminating at Meewasin Valley Park.

The chief of police joined us as he did last year.  Chief Cooper is one of those cool officers, very popular with the kids.  And Vice-Chief David Pratt, representing the Seventy-four Nations (tribes) of the province got on the stage to w
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Good Chats by Bhaktimarga Swami

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It is a familiar location for me, as Ananda and I stepped carefully beside the pond in John Avant Park with its dry and sometimes slippery edge.  It's a man-made body of water, dug to address excess storm-water.  A great job was done with the landscaping, and tree and bush plant management around the pond and the adjoining creek.  Very pretty! https://www.instagram.com/p/B0WsnxOgm_a/?igshid=9xx3w5fsj5l3

A question came to mind, which I consider natural, as a visitor to this province and city
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Warming by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Gaura and Shivani hosted seventy-five people in their home for chanting, drumming, catching some wisdom, and eating.  It was Ananda and I who were the presenters, except for the Prasadam (blessed food) that we were not responsible for.  We were a bit cramped in a small basement.  I talked about the soul’s evolution and Near Death Experience (NDE)—based on the Gita's knowledge, of course.  But it was one young boy, age eight, who suggested I talk about global warming.

My response: "We don't h
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Connecting by Bhaktimarga Swami

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There is this guy named the "Gentle Bear Man" who operates a bear sanctuary in north-western  Ontario.  I went to visit him in 2012 when I walked in the area.  The wild bears in the region have come to know him, love him and trust him.  During that trip, he brought me into his Sanctuary with eleven bears all around us.  And because they love him, they trusted me to be in their midst.  I fed a female black bear a pastry from my hand.  I could feel her spirit.  She was not defensive, only a litt
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I trekked along Memorial Avenue in Thunder Bay, in a fresh moment of wind and with sunshine doing its round once again.  Destination was the Sanskrit Bazaar / Temple, and there our party conducted a mini, morning program with Reflections on Canto 1 from the book Bhagavatam.  The main message we absorbed from those few moments was, "Whatever you learn share it—share it because you will remember it, retain it and you also will benefit the recipient."
 
Our route to drive, once in the van, was Hi
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If not now, When? by Karnamrita Das

There is no perfect time or place,
so if we wait, we will never accomplish,
or sing the song which vibrates our heart
meant to nourish every cell in our body.

To breathe out, one only has to breathe in,
but we can’t hold our breath forever;
so begin today while you are still breathing
because there are no tomorrows or could-bes.

Only a string of nows, do-days giving potential
at least one step of progress on the miles ahead
though even a step back can help us go forward
on our forever journey of

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Darrel Left by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I guess Darrel has left to continue his long walk to Nova Scotia.  Apparently he did not make his presence known at the Festival of Colours, held at the same location at Marine Park, where on the previous day the Festival of India stood out in its glory.

What a day it was!  So many happy people.  So many people were chanting mantras.  A  big help in this regard was Malini Taneja, the dancer/singer extraordinaire who led most of the colour throws in the air.  She's young, pretty and talente
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In Thunder Bay, the day usually starts with the sound of a seagull flitting by one's bedroom.  It's the big lake nearby, Lake Superior, which attracts these entertaining birds who are aerobatic by nature.  I imagine the fish from the fresh water keeps them in the area.

Ananda, Gaura and I left our apartment, a condominium within the re-defined space of an old school, The Queen Elizabeth.  With a solid foundation, strong walls and high ceilings, our group of six men felt safe, had good res
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Observed by Bhaktimarga Swami

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As has been observed many times before, when I move about in devotional attire, I get noticed.  After a swim in Lake Boulevard, I had changed into a dhoti and kurta, when a cyclist slowed down and asked, "Hare Krishna?"
 
"Yeah, and I guess you'll be there for the Festival of India tomorrow?"
 
"Yes, sir!" he responded, and then picked up speed, off to his own destination.
 
At the harbourfront, the boys and I, in the midst of air-gliding seagulls, had just completed a kirtan/chanting sess
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How it's Going by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Our coordinator for this Vedic Mace traveling tour, is a competent person, a doctor from Thunder Bay by the name of Prem Kishor.  ‘Prem’ means love for the Divine.  It is Prem who demonstrates an actual caring for people, by organizing these events in venues throughout the towns in northern Ontario, where few folks get to the heart of the culture of India, and the heart of the soul.
 
Last year, we were here when a modest turnout of local people came. "This year you doubled!” said one woman wh
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In the Boreal by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Gaura and I took to the Great Northern Road as a head start to Terrace Bay.  So, on foot we tread with traffic roaring by our side until our van pulled up.  We spotted this perfect display of reversed karma: a sculpture of a moose on its rear legs, dangling an adversary, a hunter, suspended in the air from its front hoof.
 
We hopped into the van and joined our boys’ team to go westward through the prettiest scenery of nature you can imagine.  The boreal forest is very special, covering 60%
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