the walking monk (462)

Share the journey by Bhaktimarga Swami


I accepted the offer by kind Rsabh for the interview on "The Avilash Podcast".This meant a trip to his apartment in Brampton where he has a set up studio for such a program, He asked questions that naturally would be of interest to his audience, queries about what would hasten the public to ask, "What's a westerner doing living the life of a monk?" "Why the long walks".

So, for a full hour my interviewer and I went on to describe a journey, my own personal one, in meeting renunciates traveling

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Get To A Tree by Bhaktimarga Swami


In these days of devices and screens one is expected to use or maybe over overuse them. I'm enjoying myself in the spring weather of Bengal when especially this year we are encountering the most pleasant breezes yet still it is hard to stay away altogether from a cell phone which does almost everything one needs for the community. One of my actors from Africa needed me to record his lines for the proper pacing in order to hear it over headphones again and again to get his part down as best as

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On May 30th, 1845, a ship landed at the Trinidad shoreline with a massive group of indentured labourers from India. They were promised by the British a life of labour and love. Love was somewhat questionable, because life, at the time, was one of great sacrifice. A century later, one of those pious Hindu fellows, from that strain, asked for permission to build a temple. Authorities said, “No!” The man’s name was Sadhu Seva.

He decided to build a small peninsula by bringing stone after stone,

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Patience was tested with airlines. “Delay” was the common word. Passengers even made their way to board the plane. We sat for two hours inside with a promising “ready to go” when (out of the blue) we were assigned to “deplane” and “come back later.” I was quite impressed with people’s tolerance level. There is always something to be learned from others and it doesn’t always come out of a book or one’s personal guru. Messages are heard (or should be heard) from all angles. God, as guru, is every

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Although some people consider me a nomad, always travelling to somewhere, I’m actually rather grounded by having a home base. This permits me to see people repeatedly, and Wayne, a super artist, who lives up the street on Roxborough, is a regular. He wears this distinguished hat with a wide brim, so I can spot him from many metres away. He’s gone through about three different dog-pet reincarnations. What’s different now is he uses a walker to get around in the park. Still, he’s Wayne, a nice n

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Under the Mango Tree by Bhaktimarga Swami


The anniversary of the great dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. The anchor person to this sublime conversation is someone by the name of Sanjaya, who is quite in a blissful state when relating it to the blind king, Dhrtarastra. Here’s how he felt in Sanskrit:

rajan samsmrtya samsmrtya

samvadam imam adbhutam

keshavarjunayoh punyam

hrsyami ca muhur muhuh

“Oh, King, as I repeatedly recall this wondrous and holy dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I take pleasure, being thrilled at every moment.

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Books in their hands by Bhaktimarga Swami


From what I can see, Cubans are readers. After Ganganath and I took our dip in the ocean (a 30 min. one when we chanted our morning mantras), we met some workers. The first one was a painter, friendly as you can get. His warm-heatedness earned him our gift of the Bhagavad Gita. The second recipient was another local Cuban, with tools in his hands. This guy had torquoise eyes like the colour of the water we were in and had a build like warrior Arjuna. Was he ever overwelwhelmed by the beautiful

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No Blues by Bhaktimarga Swami


Tuesday was the day for me to return the heart monitor which had been affixed to my chest for the last two weeks. The Toronto Medical Clinic for returning was at 826 St. Claire West. I Ubered my way there but happily trekked my way back to the ashram.

It became very evident that winter is around the corner. That was confirmed by the Uber driver. There’s now a chill and a fairly hefty wind bringing down the leaves. The afternoon brought on a cold rain which had a second shot at removing the leav

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Getting Connected by Bhaktimarga Swami


It was great seeing one family again. They had come to Niagara from Hungary to participate in his parent’ 50th anniversary. That, of course, is a great milestone.

The family – Nila Gopal, Sukhayanti and two daughters (twins, actually, at 8 years) – began their spiritual life here in Toronto some years back, then moved to Hungary for a rural life and school for their daughters. Nila trains oxen. Sukhayanti is an organizer.

In such circumstances, when acquaintances meet after some years of separa

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Flight 872 via Air Canada was pleasant enough. The meal, a trite bland, was healthy. You don't want to overeat anyways when not being too active. About the most I do on these flights is mobilize my fingers on the right hand while chanting on my japa beads.

Once my prescribed 'rounds' are done, I read, which is nominal movement, and then treat myself to a National Film Board of Canada documentary. Tonight's film was on the topic of throat singing by an Indigenous woman named Tanya. This means my

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A Need In Barrie by Bhaktimarga Swami


Georgian College hosted an event to encourage students, and it was Mohit, Naina, their son and daughter, and student, Yash, who made the connection for bhakti yoga practitioners. I was really taken by the duo Indradev, on drum, and Ekanath, on harmonium. These boys hail from Lithuania and Latvia. Their bhajan songs were sweet, as was a cozy room we were given to sing and speak in. I didn't mind the high ceilings and glass walls at all; there was a very good energy.

The fact is that many student

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Stuff Along The Way by Bhaktimarga Swami


Uday and I agreed to meet at Yonge and Bloor for the subway train to head west for a live Gita class session. And on my way for the 5 o'clock juncture, a Palestinian man walked next to me. "What are you?" he asked.

"A monk with Krishna."

"Are you Indian? You dress like one, but you are white."

"I thought I was beige. My parents are from the Netherlands. Mom looks Dutch. Dad's got some Italian in him, so I speculate. And what are you?"

"I come from the land stolen by a thief. The name starts wit

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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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