Sunday, 18 March 2018

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Toronto, Ontario

Plaque and Statues

With pride, I read the newly installed plaque, at the recently renovated square, at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  There is a history of Krishna devotees distributing great lunches here for decades.  The operation still goes on, with energetic enthusiasm, to this day.

With an image-relief of the Hare Krishna founder embossed on it, the plaque reads, “Krishna Lunch: On July 29th, 1972, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishna Movement, addressed students here and inspired them to start Krishna Lunch.  Since then the Lunch has nourished the UF community with millions of vegetarian meals.  In 2017, Krishna Lunch and its alumni contributed toward the renovation of the Plaza.”

It was only yesterday morning that we strolled our way to the plaza to have a look.  I came back to Toronto just in time for a mini-installment of three gorgeous brass figurines to complete a permanent display of Das Avatars, that is ten incarnations or avatars.  They sit down on a unique wooden platform, which is actually the base of the bed slept on by Prabhupada when he visited us in June of 1976.

It is a stunning exhibit, really, located in what’s called Prabhupada’s quarters, a room with a wall that separates my room from his.  It’s a blessing to live in this area of our building.

My last message is about my lack of walking today.  I did, practically, a sprint down the endless corridor of the Miami Airport, but that was about it.  However, the equivalent to walking was a massage and meaningful leg stretches by Gopal, who also resides in our ashram in Toronto.  He did splendidly.

May the Source be with you!

1 km

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Gainesville, Florida

Conflicts We Face

As we all know, the world is full of conflict.  Conflict was the major topic of discussion at the Krishna house in Gainesville this morning.  Thirty students and facilitators are accommodated with living quarters in this flourishing little nook within the city.  There’s more than one houseful, in other words.

From Canto One, the story arises about the Yadu Dynasty, and they, being the most powerful empire of the time, were unconquerable.  By divine arrangement (if you will), the dynasty’s demise involved rice wine and its consumption, in group dynamic, which led to a flogging to the death of each other.  There was conflict ‘within’, which is where our thoughts brought us to, in so far as a point for discussion. We all struggle internally with our minds, perhaps even more than we receive pain externally.  It was interesting.

At evening time, Ananta and I walked his neighbourhood’s backroads to reach the home of Janmastami.  There we met for a converging of families.  For the children—I sat them in front of me; adults in the back—I read and ‘charaded’ the chapter of “Killing the Dhenukasura Demon.”  This arrangement pumped up the kids to no end.  The magic of this situation is that parents and others also feel part of the fun.  Kirtan and pasta were also featured.

I received a call from Daruka of Winnipeg, my trusty back-up man for cross-Canada walks of the past.  His mum, Marilyn, in her late 70s, is having a difficult time, physically.  I told him I would appeal to readers of this blog to offer prayers for this “strong woman,” as he put it.

May the Source be with you!

5 km

Friday, 16 March 2018

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Alachua, Florida

Nippy in Florida

It’s nippy in Florida.  I set out on foot at 6:00 a.m. when I could see my breath.  It was still dark.  An opossum scurried in front of me.  Once he crossed the road and hit the bush, I could hear a loud rustling.

By 7:00 a.m., I reached the temple.  Still dark.  I gave to and received hugs from those I hadn’t seen for a year.  Everyone is getting just a little older.  I have to be careful.  My hug might hurt some of them.

The young did come.  Punctually, every Tuesday morning, young Vaishnavas come from the local school to attend.  There were fifty of them (my guess), boys and girls, pre-teens.  I got excited.  When they sat in front of the low lectern where I was situated, I thought, “Yes, we’ll go for some interactive-ness.  Have them clap hands and sing the song, ‘Radha Madhava.’”  

Then I engaged them in charades with the day’s verse and purport.  The message of the verse had much to do with accepting a guru.  I mentioned to the students that all of them have a guru.  They were surprised to hear that.

“Guru means teacher.  You all have teachers don’t you?”


“Then you have a guru, or gurus—plural.”

I’m no scholar but in some way I tried to appeal to stretching their intelligence.  “We have to look at the word guru in a broad sense.”

We cracked some jokes.  At the end, during question time, I was asked about my U.S. walk.  So I delivered.  

Jenya came from Dallas to receive diksha (initiation).  His new name is Janaka.

My hour walk back to Ananta Sesha’s permitted me to see spring birds.  I have in my sight a cardinal.  I could not see my breath.

May the Source be with you!

9 km