Saturday, November 4th, 2023
I suppose you could say that I received a moment of honour this evening. 600+ people, largely from the Hindu community, presented me with a lifetime achievement award, and others received awards in different categories. The event held in OE Banquet Hall was well organized in that Oakville destination, although it ran an hour late and went a little long. In the tradition of bhakti, Vedic/Hindu recognition, love, and appreciation have been a strong component for centuries.
And it is a fact that ISKCON is very respected in Canada amongst the Hindu population. There are several reasons for this. One of them is the incredible Ratha Yatras (chariot festivals) established here and abroad. The popularity of massive temple complexes being built with restaurants and youth programs in India has created a buzz of optimism in other countries like Canada and the US. People are astounded by our gorgeous deity worship. And lastly, or as much as I can think about, when a peaceful protest kirtan was organized in honour of the Bangladesh attacks on Vaishnavas in that country, the turn out and response here in Canada was phenomenal. In Toronto we drew 500 or more people in front of Old City Hall to raise awareness. The local Hindu community caught on to our ability to organize an event like this.
I had a brief stroll down Bronte Creek with my driver, Ahmed, who was born Muslim. At our table at the banquet I sat with Member of Parliament for White Rock and Surrey in BC, Lynne D. Findlay, and Daniel Bordma, a Jewish chap who spoke well. Met the mayor, Rob Burton – nice guy.
MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU!