Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 August 2020
Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I pray that you are all well and in good health and spirits.
By your blessings I am able to participate in this Hare Krishna movement, despite my disqualifications. Thank you!
14 Jul 2020 Old City Hall
16 Jul 2020 Old City Hall
19 Jul 2020 Downtown Guelph Harinam
23 Jul 2020 Old City Hall
23 Jul 2020 Walking Harinam Old City Hall to ISKCON Toronto
28 Jul 2020 Email/WhatsApp Sankirtan
11 Aug 2020 Janmashtami Sankirtan
21 Aug 2020 Old City Harinaam
Total 8 Outings
It has been a very nice summer generally. The Pandemic is a pity, because it is really hard to meet Canadians at close quarters when it gets cold. Yes, there is the phone, email, WhatApp, zoom, etc., Sankirtan, but a majority of “laying the groundwork” happens out there, on the street, in summer festivals, knocking on doors… The devotees have been largely absent from public consciousness.
As the Pandemic wears on, the attention to social media has waned, and many are not as receptive to online platforms as they were before. So, at least based on the reception we’re getting outside, the devotees should cautiously resume outdoor Harinaam Sankirtan, even though it will probably not immediately result in a lot of books distributed. Right now, we are circling amongst ourselves, preaching to ourselves, which, no doubt,needs to be done, but we also need to distribute the mercy outside of those we know presently.
I had some really nice experiences, in Guelph with Paramahamsa Prabhu, on Janmashtami, with Yogesh who had never been out on Harinam Sankirtan before. He took many books home with him, especially the smaller ones we don’t seem to be distributing a lot of these days. What is more, he is a customer for books that we could not distribute because they were “old looking”! 🙂 And Yogesh is reading those books intently – Mahaprabhu has already brought Yogesh into His tidal wave.
Especially now, the people are very needy for Harinam Sankirtan, while a lot of Harinam may be going on behind closed doors and behind virtual closed doors like Facebook and Zoom, we do need to get out there.
Especially in Toronto – the restaurants are open, the bars are open, the cinemas are open, the liquor shops are open and liquor is now being sold in the grocery stores. The brothels are open, the casinos are open, the malls are open, the offices are open. But the devotees are indoors. Harinam Sankirtan is a closed club. It is indeed a cause for concern that those who know we are not the body but spirit souls are sitting indoors even when the risk has gotten so low. We are supposed to be the fearless Hare Krishnas. Where is our “abhayam”? We are supposed to be surrendered to the Lotus Feet of Sri Abhaya Charanaravinda, where is our Abhaya?
Where possible, I’m urging devotees to get out there and not be lazy/afraid/overly cautious. Please, the world needs us and what we have.
Writing about one experience from yesterday, though there were many more…
I was on Harinam yesterday… Many were responding, many were not, but one man, unsteady on his feet due to being inebriated, cigarette in hand, came close. He asked “Indian song?” I said “yes I am from India but this is the song of the heart”. He listened really intently, thankfully he kept his distance. But I felt somewhat uncomfortable… I mean, it is easier to be ignored than to be scrutinized like that. He then started singing, suddenly asked me, “Do you need some change”, I asked him “Do you need a book”, so he took 2 books, one by Srila Prabhupada and one by my spiritual master Sankarshan Prabhu. He gave me a donation and immediately started reading the book. He did say “Always Christ” and I said “All the way my brother”. I was intensely praying to Lord Chaitanya “please give this man your mercy and the Lord did shower His mercy upon that soul! So we can see how one can get instant feedback while out on Sankirtan.
Go out where you can. Go out when you can. Go out in ones or twos. Go out with a mask if you have to. Stay outdoors. Wash your hands, stay far away from others, but let the sound of your voice become the humble vehicle for the Holy Name to go out there and do His magic. There is no other way, no other way, no other way, except Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan.
I reported my Sankirtan outing this morning and my spiritual master was pleased. So, dear devotees, please let us please our spiritual masters.
So we have to be very careful. The age is very bad, the Kali-yuga. You are experiencing. We have to simply take shelter of krsna and always cry,
krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!
krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!
krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām!
krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, pāhi mām!
krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, raksa mām!
rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, pāhi mām!
Like that, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught us. The time is very dangerous. And still, in this dangerous time… Just like in epidemic condition where every people is being contaminated and dying, still, the doctors appointed by the government, they have to go into the epidemic area and try to treat the person and save them. Our duty is like that. The whole atmosphere is epidemic, whole atmosphere, this Kali-yuga. And still, by the superior orders we have to preach this krsna consciousness movement. Therefore our only shelter is krsna. krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām. Very dangerous position. The foolish people, they are thinking that “We are very happy and we are very safe.” But nobody is safe. Nobody is safe. So we have to deal with persons very carefully, and at the same time, we have to push our missionary activities. Aho kastam dharma drsam.
– from SB 6.2.1-5 in Calcutta, India
My 2020 goal is 108 outings, and I have 88 left to go, with just over 130 days left. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.
Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.
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