the walking monk (299)

All Good Stuff by Bhaktimarga Swami


We have such a great philosophy. I am not this body. I am spirit soul. I am here to serve. All good stuff.

When this body receives pain, the pain is eased because you tell yourself, “That is not me. It may be connected to me but it is not me.” I have to convince myself of this reality from time to time. One of those times is now. Weaning off painkillers and accepting some uneasiness. That’s the way to go through the healing of my left leg.

It was so generous of my friend, Paramahamsa, to drive

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Results Will Come by Bhaktimarga Swami


“You’re one of the top five,” said the therapist at Toronto West General Hospital.

“Meaning?” I asked.

“Of the five years I’ve looked at knee replacement patients you’re in the top five for recovery.”

Well, that certainly made me feel good. I had mentioned I’m a monk, a walking one, and I wore down my cartilage. The reaction to the marathon walks I’ve done astounded the physiotherapist, as did the Vietnamese doctor and a local assistant from Canada. Yes, I had three guys look at the leg and giv

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Bhagavad-Gita 10.7 and 10.8 offer a strong message of realizing our true position in this world; I am small and everything else collectively (God) is big. The moment this thought awakens in us then we are big — MAHATMA. This understanding of my smallness, compared to the greatness of all else, compels me to act in humility and devotion.

There’s something very attractive about humility. It means you are willing to learn, be on an adventure and ultimately crush the ego.

I would like to say that i

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I’ve walked by the above-mentioned park (actually it’s more like a sunken garden) several times off Yonge St. I never ventured inside. There are flowerbeds, trees of all kinds (northern breeds), perfect sod-lain sections for lawn bowling, tennis courts and then there is a grassy area perfect for kirtan. This very special place is tucked away from the world and is ideal for groups singing and dancing. That’s just what we did — a bunch of us — Russians, Indians, Canadians — whatever that means.


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I Shall Act by Bhaktimarga Swami


I want to thank Paramahamsa, from Guelph, who came to do some physio work on me today. I’m also grateful to Jhorom, who came as a special guest when I hosted him in the sitting quarters of our guru, Prabhupada, who spent a few days there in June of 1976.

Jhorom is loving the Bhagavad-Gita, As It Is, and since reading this exceptional text he’s been asking me questions. He is just intrigued with the conversation based on a fratricidal misunderstanding.

“Most misunderstandings, if not all, have t

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Busy in Bhakti by Bhaktimarga Swami


We have gone back, steadily, to our older program of stairway kirtan. Neighbours who pass by love it. As long as we don’t perform with symbols, drum, harmonium “in-their-face,” so to speak. Gentle, sweet and melodious is the way to go. Actually, the weather is conducive for outdoor kirtan and our group’s intent is to gain as much mileage with this presentation as possible.

In addition to the kirtan, which is now regular at night, 7 pm punctual, the morning and noon chants are also steady. I can

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I’ve known Devananda for many years. He grew up in London, Canada, area. I know little about his Jewish descent, but he adopted to eastern ways like I did. Pursuing life in India; living like a yogi/sadhu of sorts was his calling. He’s been active in China and India and teaches shiatsu and massage therapy.

It’s great when he comes around, being about the same age we have something to share about experience in the yoga field, although my chosen approach has been more in the bhakti line. There is

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It is quite the achievement, first of all, that there is a leadership college that trains men and women to be just that – leaders in a spiritual organization. I was invited to the GBC College Graduation and here’s a message from our graduate from Canada. His name is Anuttama. He sent me a letter tonight.

“Hare Krishna Maharaja (that’s me) and Prabhus (other blessers),

I wanted to inform you that I graduated from the GBC College leadership for Zonal Supervisor today. It was a longer journey than

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So, it’s the first day of summer but I was reminded of one other aspect of today. It’s Father’s Day. I spent the night with a family in Bracebridge. They have a gorgeous shrine in their front room. At 7 a.m., we all came together for chanting, puja, and a discussion on the Bhagavad-gita, 14.4, referencing Krishna on the topic of fatherhood, where He claims, as God, to be the ultimate Dad.

We drove south to Toronto and on very short notice I was requested to give a class for our Vancouver Centre

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Merci Beaucoup by Bhaktimarga Swami


It’s a long day for sun endurance. Yes, we are approaching summer solstice. I enjoyed the bench and stretched my neck back to just catch some rain drops the size of tiny ants. The nostrils couldn’t help the perfumes projected from trees surrounding me. And there were people all around. I’ve never seen picnicking on the scale it is these days. 

There’s so much to be grateful for. That is the way I’m viewing the chanting I’m doing. The japa technique is soft and I like to say with it “Thank you a

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Last year my brother, Jerry, popped by to drop off vintage photographs of our biological family.

They came in two cardboard boxes with one of them labelled “Brownies,” which my sisters were members of. Likely that box contained Brownies chocolate bars or cookies, which were fundraisers for the organization. That one box, still kicking around with old pics in it, has been around for 55 years. The box itself is vintage.

In any event, I’m copying some of these photos for posterity’s sake and I’m h

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I had a great picnic with Parama, Rukmini and their young 19-month-old darling who was totally mesmerized by people, the dogs and the trees. It’s not that she hasn’t been to a park before. This one, Ramsden, according to her parents, is new and full of activity; something different.

The heat was on. That may account for the smaller than usual turn-out of people. Attendance did pick up in the evening, which was my second visit to the green space. At this point Nimai and Vishal joined me on the g

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It’s been a while since I met cousin Corry and our young Muslim friend, Victor, so we decided to meet again, as we used to before the dawn of winter and the Covid lockdown. A third person also came along; much to my surprise it was a distant relative, Jeanette. She’s not just an ordinary Jeanette. She’s “ScubaJeanette” and, as the name implies, she loves the water and has spent many seasons in clear and salty water exploring. She also has a shark scar bite on her left leg to prove her escapades

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So Happy by Bhaktimarga Swami


I was so happy to receive another submission from a godsister in Los Angeles. She had given her story of the early days in the movement in Canada, to add to the compilation of our upcoming book Krishna in the Maple Leaf. Her spiritual journey began at the young age of fifteen, when she heard about the Bhagavat philosophy. Interesting it is that the guidance counselor at her school encouraged her in her spiritual pursuit.

For myself it was just a pleasure to deliver two classes virtually for two

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I was trying to make a point by abruptly striking just one branch of a spruce tree. Suddenly, hidden in that limb of the tree, with all its sub-branches and twigs, came a cloud of golden pollen.

My dear friend and godbrother, Ugresh, was astounded to see that pollen, appearing as a light powder, suddenly manifest. “Stay away then, if you have allergies,” I recommended. Indeed, he does have that, acting up from time to time. Now is one of those times.

That gust I brought on to create that cloud

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Three Levels by Bhaktimarga Swami


An elderly woman came to where I was sitting. It looked like she had something to say, however, I started the conversation.

“How are you today?” I asked out of curiosity.

“Well, I’m a bit upset. The telephone company I’m with has not been giving service for five days.”

Now I don’t dress in a uniform from a phone company. I’ve donned my kurta (my upper garment), my dhoti (lower garment) and my uttariya (the third swami piece), so I don’t qualify for being a service man. I do, however, feel oblig

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We had a lively Zoom group, our usual Thursday gathering. Discussions were on chapter 9, verse 32 of The Gita. In Ranchor Prime’s translation of the verse it goes like this, “All those who seek my shelter, whatever their birth, gender, cast or status, attain the supreme destination.” It was a lively discussion.

Before that, I was soaking in the sun and, fortunate for me, people in the park were stopping to talk. One fellow goes back-and-forth on a jog for an hour each day. Today he stopped to o

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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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