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Blogs From Around the Web

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Bhaktimarga Swami, The Walking Monk - Thu, 2014-04-03 21:01
Toronto, Ontario
Dharma Protects
My destination point isn’t usually a tattoo parlour, but it was today.  Down the street I went.  I turned degrees, opened the door, walked to the receptionist who said, “He’s in today, just go to the second floor.”  Up the stairs I ascended and into one of the cubicles.  There he was – the chief.   Owner and operator is Cuban born, Jovany (AKA Jamuna Jivan), who was my cook in 2007 during a walk through northern Ontario.  He’s become adept at the artistry of tattooing, and he’s in the middle of crafting.  And no, I’m not there to get a tattoo.  Monks in our order use temporary tattoos with something called tilak, an earth based substance which washes off at each shower.  And if not that, the sweat will erase it.
Jovany was working on a young man’s bicepted left arm.  The design looks great, if I must say so.  The owner of the arm, which is pivoted under a pillow with work in progress, is Faris, who hails from the middle east.  Jovany stopped his work when he saw me and presented his obeisance right there in front of me, while he uttered, “This is my guru.”
The two of us got to talking while Jovany kept working on Feris’s arm with gorgeous armour like design.  Jovany was talking about life and its bumpy surprises.  I indicated that if dharma is executed, then there is always protection.  Feris then got into the conversation, “So, what’s dharma?”
“To follow the duty which is natural to you.  When a person is dutiful then it’s beautiful, righteous.”  I elaborated, of course.  Feris mentioned that he’s originally from Dubai, to which I responded, “Oh, I’ve been there.  I walked a good stretch one morning in that city, but I was restricted from wearing my robes and had to settle for civies (civilian clothes).”
Our conversation went on with me doing most of the talking, and while watching the penning of ink into Feris’s skin.  With one glance I noticed a poster of Ghandi on the wall with a caption that read, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  This hinted at karma, but ourtalk stuck to dharma, which ultimately leads to good, inherent reactions of karma. 
Feris, the client, was listening intently.  So was the chief, Jovany.  I’m not sure that most tattoo parlours get into deep discussions.  At least, the other cubicles seemed a bit mundane in spirit when I passed by them during my exit from the shop. 
It was a walk and a talk well worth being part of.  I think I’ll browse around more in the tattoo making department in the future. 
May the Source be with you!
5 KM
Categories: Personal Blogs

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Bhaktimarga Swami, The Walking Monk - Thu, 2014-04-03 20:57
Toronto, Ontario
Be A Fool

I passed through 61 April Fools in this one life.  At the Tuesday Sanga, the evening’s presenter, Praharana, spoke on how we are all more or less fools for being in this world of suffering.  She, however, explained that joy could be had by taking to the spiritual component.  Her message spoken at the ashram was well received.

It was only after the time of her presentation that I went on my daily walk.  Vrindavan, one of our dedicated devotees in our community here, drove me at my request, to his home.  From there I would walk back to the ashram, a mere 6 KM distance.  I recall when I first tackled the longer stretches for training.  A couple of my colleagues at that time thought I was slightly foolish to go on a 22 KM trek (a first), and to do it on a winter afternoon when a snow storm suddenly hit.  I had lost directions while trying to reach my destination point, the home of a friend.  Eventually I was found through the aid of a call by payphone.  No panic, it was fun being a fool.  Anyways, it was all done for the training perspective. 

This fine afternoon I had a second visit from Michael over for lunch.  One year, Michael had trekked the nation from Newfoundland and then to British Columbia.  He’s experienced.  We discussed a number of things, even the possibility of doing some walking together this summer.  In our talk, he concurred that no one really understands the practice of marathon trekking, what positive effect it has, until you just go out and do it yourself.  In fact, anyone who has taken up the challenge of lengthy pilgrimages will wonder, “Why doesn’t everyone do this?”  As Michael confirmed about his noble walk, “Those were the best days of my life.” 
My remark would be, “If you can’t be foolhardy, then you’re just a bland bro.”
Be adventurous, be a fool. 
May the Source be with you!
6 KM
Categories: Personal Blogs

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Bhaktimarga Swami, The Walking Monk - Thu, 2014-04-03 20:56
Toronto, Ontario
Walking Helps
Two mature women noticed me ambling along on Bloor Street.  They began to speak and ask me if I was praying after seeing my right hand fingering my beads.
“Yes, as a matter of fact.”
“Maybe you can help us?”
“I’ll see if I can,” I said, and prepared myself to listen.
“Did you know that medicare in Canada could get compromised?  You know that Tommy Douglas brought medicare to this country?”
“Yes, and by the way, last summer I was on a pilgrimage and I was walking in the district where he was born and raised.”
“In Saskatchewan, right?  Well we just came from a meeting and his daughter was there, she’s about 80.”
“Is that right?”
“Please help us.  Fill out this form, put in your vote for the Government to renegotiate for the new Health Accord.  We are really concerned.”
“Sure, give me a few of your forms for the people in my ashram.”
“So, you’re a Buddhist?”
“No, Hare Krishna.”  We parted congenially.
The big concern in the US today is just that, medical health.  Obama is trying to secure a reasonable health care system for Americans.  It seems there’s a need.  There is, of course, a lot that can be said about investing in preventative illness through education.   If you look at the average diet people are on in North America, it’s no wonder ailments are on the epidemic level.  Anyways, I vouch for and would vote for healthy food and a karma free diet for all human beings.  Walking helps.
May the Source be with you!
5 KM
Categories: Personal Blogs

No perfect match

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 20 March 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.12.6)

Pure devotees of the Lord are only interested in satisfying the senses of the Supreme Lord, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.2). They are not concerned with the material world because they appreciate that in the material world, everything is only temporary and therefore any relationship that we have with the material energy, will not endure and therefore it will be painful.

Whatever we have, we become attached to and then it will disintegrate in the course of time. That’s the nature of anything material, so what is the point? “I love my beautiful sandcastle; it is so wonderful. But it will not last; it will be destroyed; so many dreams.

But the love for these dreams comes from the heart because there is a natural need within the living being for happiness and fulfillment. In this material world, we are always experiencing some emptiness within the heart, always experiencing some yearning, some longing for something, some hope that maybe it will happen. Whatever it is, whatever we want, “Maybe I’ll become rich… maybe I’ll become famous… or rich and famous! Maybe one day I’ll wake up and I’ll be beautiful… it’s doubtful but maybe somehow or other, a miracle will happen, you never know! It could happen, therefore, just wait, just in case. Hold onto to that little straw because maybe it will happen and I so much want it to happen. Oh yes, maybe my love will appear. Yes, the one that is my perfect match, the one that is designed for me, that one!’

Of course, that one doesn’t exist; there is no perfect match, it doesn’t exist! It becomes a boxing match sooner or later. It’s not a perfect match, it is not like that. It’s hard work to make relationships work. You cannot say that there is a marriage that just works. No, you have to work for it. It’s hard for relationships to work and then still you don’t really get what you were dreaming of. That’s the material world!

Anyway some say, “Yes, but better a blind uncle than none. Better something than nothing at all!” Okay yes, we want something after all. Alright have it, if you want to settle for something but let that something that you want out of the material world not interfere with your eternal progress! So it cannot be sinful because when we fulfill our desires in a sinful way, then we become bound up by the laws of material nature.

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ, (SB 7.5.31)

“Come one, don’t be a square! Yeah, it’s okay, everybody’s doing it, everybody.”

Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās, and the blind are leading the blind. Te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ, and the result is that we remain bound up in chains. The whole world is doing it and they all just remain bound up in chains, in this material world. The three gunas, sometimes known as the three qualities of material nature, other times known as the three ropes that bind us; that is what will happen.

So the pure devotee doesn’t even bother with such things. The pure devotee is thinking about Krsna. Krsna is important, Krsna’s desires are important, Krsna’s glory is important, Krsna’s service is important, Krsna’s name is important, tadīyānāṁ samarcanam (CC Madhya-lila 11.31); anything related to Krsna is important. Tadīyā, anything related to Krsna. The Ganga because of the dust of Krsna’s lotus feet. Tulasi Devi is related to Krsna, ‘tulasī kṛṣṇa-preyasi,’ anything related to Krsna.

‘ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ
viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi
tadīyānāṁ samarcanam,’ (Padma Purana, quoted in CC Madhya-lila 11.31).

Lord Siva said to Parvarti in the Padma Purana, ”Of all that are worshipable, the Supreme Lord Visnu is the ultimate worshipable entity. But greater still are those personalities and things that are related to him in service.’ That is wonderful!


Categories: Personal Blogs

Top Three Benefits of Lavender

The numerous benefits of lavender contain its capability to get rid of mental tension, alleviate painful sensations, disinfect skin, treat respiratory troubles, and so much more.

Please Join The Japa Group

Japa Group - Thu, 2014-04-03 17:15

Please share your realisations with other devotees from around the world...simply send me an introduction message and I will be happy to make you a member:

rasa108 ::_::{.at.}::_:: gmail dot com


Rasa Rasika dasa
Categories: Personal Blogs

April Fool’s Isn’t a Religious Holiday, but There Are Some Religious Roots

The day began in 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII decreed the adoption of the “Gregorian calendar”, which moved New Year’s Day from the end of March to Jan. 1.

The Third Eye

Traveling Monk - Thu, 2014-04-03 16:12
The holy abode of Jagannatha Puri, through the eye of a camera. Jaya Jagannatha! Kindly become visible to us. Jaya Srila Prabhupada! You so kindly gave us the spiritual world.
Categories: Personal Blogs

Glories of Aindra Prabhu

Traveling Monk - Thu, 2014-04-03 11:00
For those with a deeper vision, Aindra Prabhu spent most of his life chanting Hare Krsna in Vrindavana, serving his Deities, doing parikrama and his final act of service was to fall down in front of his Gaura-Nitai Deities. I am sure a flower airplane appeared and took him back to the spiritual world.
Categories: Personal Blogs

ISKCON's Sannyasa Ministry Would Like Devotees' Feedback

To expand ISKCON’s preaching mission Srila Prabhupada created sannyasis. Thus the Ministry for Sannyasa Service has established a website to provide information about potential sannyasis to the ISKCON community and to get feedback in order to help in the candidate's training.

ISKCON Disciple Course to be Prerequisite for Initiation from 2015

At the 2014 Annual General Meetings of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission in Mayapur, the GBC resolved that devotees wishing to take initiation from an ISKCON guru will be required to first pass the ISKCON Disciple Course. The resolution will not be effective until Janmastami 2015, so that ISKCON leaders throughout the world will have time to put the proper systems in place to make the course widely available.

Bali Harinama: Tirta Gangga

Niranjana Swami and the Balinese devotees spent a wonderful day doing kirtan at Tirta Gangga, Bali. A video by Guru Gauranga Das.

The Desi Cow – Almost Extinct

India is the world’s largest producer of milk. But in 10 years, we will be forced to start importing it. And the Indian cow will no longer exist.

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