This morning we heard from Durward Allan, a professional actor who spoke to our group of monks in the ashram about the early days of his search for a father (which ends up being Krishna). It was 1967 when Montreal hosted the World Expo. At that time, as a young struggling artist, Durward, a man at a bar, a man who invited him to a Hindu temple on Park Avenue where he had resided for the time being. Durward was a hippie at the time and had no place to stay, so he accepted the offer.
“It was quite a weird experience” Durward explained. The man had constructed a teepee for himself inside the ashram and there he lived with an iguana. It was the first time he had ever seen people wearing dhotis, Indian robes. All the smells and food were so new to him. It was another world for him.
It happened that for visa purposes, Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, was coming to the city and spending some time in Canada until his visa was approved. Durward’s impression was that here was a very powerful person. When he spoke and when it came to question time, Durward took the opportunity to ask about the position of Christ, since Durward was raised Catholic. Srila Prabhupada’s answer was that Jesus is the son of God, and Krishna is the father – the father of everyone. It was an answer that satisfied him.
Durward admitted to a bad smoking habit, which made it hard for him to consider permanent life in an ashram, but for his forty two years since then, he is content to have known his ultimate father.