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Friday, July 14th, 2023

Centre Island, Toronto

It was a day of devotional intensity with the building in full vibration of mantra. Swamis and congregants young and old took the lead with schedules. It was a real quality presentation by participants. I mean to say that good voices and easy to follow melodies were executed, keeping in mind the need for inclusiveness.

I was given the honour to begin the 12-hour celebration of the name. The couple, Mahapurna, spun off from there with a rocking kirtan. Now, I was not present at every single session. That is not possible. I need to eat like anyone else. Plus, you have people coming in from all over the world and they need some attention. For instance, the swamis that I mentioned. It is just so grand to see so many great devotees come out of the woodwork.

As part of preparations for the follow up two-day Chariot Fest, I took it upon myself to go to Centre Island where festivities will take place. Pradeep, who is a great helper in the kitchen, drove us to this piece of paradise. Once one disembarks on the ferry, you are welcomed by all the green, various species of trees, and a sign that reads, “Please Walk On The Grass.” What really is attractive about this location, apart from being an island, is that you have no cars here. And that is a blessing of peace.

Frankly, when I returned from the island after making adjustments to the stage, I felt a kind of relief. The temple, although buzzing with all that good energy, was so busy with all the excitement, I just needed to get out for a brief downtime to get in some good lake air breeze just to keep my sanity. When you are a monk in the public eye, you crave some space for privacy.


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