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Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Friday, November 17th, 2023

Russell, Ontario

Before tucking into bed last night my host, Sreyas, a doctor at one of Ottawa’s hospitals, brought me to see his father, 91, recovering from surgery. This is one of those comforting obligations that goes with the priestly portfolio. The next morning, however, I had the pleasure to visit, not the aged and mature, but those classes of youngsters at the Bhakta Prahlad Montessori School.

Krishna Dulal, who is sometimes described as entrepreneur extraordinaire, is also the manager of the school, and along with his wife, Vraja, invited me to engage the children in mantra meditation. They were most responsive. And franly that is what I offered to Sreya’s dad the night before—some chanting.

In our Gaudiya Vaishnav tradition the monks deliver mantras which are therapeutic for everyone, young and old. The mantra serves to calm the mind, something good for all. Back at the base in Ottawa, our morning program consisted of mantra sharing.

Our group of all guys chanted to honour Krishna as the loveable child in the form of puja, and we also sat together to reflect on the story of young Prince Dhruva, who received from his guru, Narada, the mantra Om namo bhagavata vasudevaya, which translates as, “let us all praise the Absolute Supreme.”

That’s generally how the day begins for a Vaishnav. It is a practice that we prefer to never leave us. It’s mantra power.

As I complete writing this blog I'm stuck in a stationary train and I’ll resort to chanting the mantra.

7 km

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