Sunday, September 28, 2008

sad vidham priti laksanam

dadāti pratigrhnāti
guhyam ākhyāti prcchati
bhuńkte bhojayate caiva
sad-vidham prīti-laksanam

Translation: Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another. (NOI. Verse 4)

I've always noticed: It's one thing to spout off philosophy but its another to actually experience it first hand. It's the difference between jnana and vijnana. I consider myself intensely fortunate, as I have been blessed to experience these six symptoms of love shared amongst devotees.

Just this past Friday my wonderful devotee friends here in New Remuna dhama (Toronto) threw me a farewell party. I will be leaving Toronto (at least physically) this coming Wednesday....back to Ottawa and then off to Mayapur for 4 months where I will be attending the deity worship course.

The night was so incredibly special. Two wonderful devotees had just moved into their new apartment on Thursday night and I later found out that they eagerly volunteered to hold the party at their place the very next day. Moving is always an inconvenience and its hard enough to get oneself settled, what to speak of hosting a party for over 25 people the very next day. I was so touched. It is the nature of a devotee to always set aside personal inconveniences for the pleasure of others and this was no exception.

And the! Despite having a long Friday at work and school, another group of devotees made a feast of veggie burgers, french fries, salad and for dessert an incredible banana and carob cake. And these are devotees who not only go to school and work but during the week are involved in running and organizing yoga programs, university programs and so much more.

The evening was filled with soul-stirring kirtans, laughter, feasting, joking and touching realizations.

Who am I to be the recipient of so many blessings because that's exactly what it is. Krishna consciousness is about loving exchanges and most importantly loving exchanges amongst devotees. But it can be hard. Amongst working on our own anarthas, surviving in the material world, juggling that balancing act amongst maintaining our spiritual and material needs and taking time for ourselves it can be very hard to cultivate relationships. That's why devotees sometimes feel burnt out and comment that its easier to have relationships with those who are not devotees.

Toronto is a jewel-filled mine in that respect. There are so many wonderful younger devotees who are willing to give their time and energy not only for doing service but more importantly in making sure that devotees are being nurtured on an individual level. Slowly but surely devotees here are trying to become more and more person-oriented and friendships that are heart-deep are forming.

I cannot describe the loss that I feel knowing that I will be away from this incredible sanga....but I know that no matter where I go that these devotees are more than my friends...they are my family....and Toronto will always be home.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Working on my Servant's degree...

Today was a whirlwind of a day...But a wonderful day! It started off bright and early where I attended a fall retreat arranged by Urbanedge Yoga. It was fantastic. A bunch of yoga enthusiasts, a day full of activities and the main facilitator: HH Bhaktimarga Swami. Need I say more? It was amazing. And sharing realizations about Krishna with others....I gotta say, there is no greater high than that!

There were many highlights to my of which was a very nice conversation I had with HH BMS. Maharaja is one of the most amazing, humble and genuine devotees I have ever met and I feel so lucky that he is one of my mentors. I was telling him that I had just finished my defense and had received my masters and he said something really interesting....."So now that you've obtained your Masters degree....what's next? Working on your Servant's degree??" We had some nice laughs at that...but what a deep and significant underlying presumptuous is it in modern academia to present one with the title of Master? It conveys the "I am the controller" attitude that surrounds us daily.

Instead I am proud to say that yes, I AM working on my Servant's will be a lifelong (perhaps many lifetimes long) journey, but I know the goal at the end of it will be the sweetest of all...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Whew.....It's been 2 days now since I defended my Masters thesis...something I worked on for over 3 years....

Funny thing is I don't know how I feel...guess the best word to describe would be overwhelmed! So many thoughts and emotions....However one emotion I feel very strongly and that is.... I get to spend more time with my beloved Radha Damodara!!!

And that's exactly what I did this morning....yesterday I went to the house of a very dear friend who is about to leave for India today....and what did she send me home with?? A bag of fresh, huge, beautiful tulasi manjaris! She has two gorgeous tulasi plants which she takes care of with a lot of love and devotion....and so today my beloved Damodara got a beautiful garland of these manjaris....Sri Sri Radha Damodara ki JAI! Srimati Tulasi Maharani ki JAI!

Friday, September 5, 2008

My most beautiful Damodara


So I never thought I would succumb to writing a blog....but as the next couple of months are bringing new adventures and beginnings I thought it might be a nice idea to write down my realizations and thoughts. Pls feel free to comment and share your realizations! Hare Krishna!