A sannyasi monk came to visit our temple today. He was from a mission other than ours while at the same time I’m sure we share similar values. Perhaps in his late 50’s, I spotted him reading the plaques alongside the paintings of Krishna. Minutes later we had the chance to sit and talk.
He told me his name and where he’s from. He explained he’s from Gujarat (the name was inaudible to me). He was pleasant and inquisitive. One curiosity was about our participation on the ethnicity of our community.
“There is a large response from people of Hindu decent,” I explained, “but you’ll find a good number of people from all backgrounds, including local people. The thing about Canada and the U.S. is that they are nations of immigrants who quickly become accepted as citizens.” I referred to the influence and magnetism of our guru, Srila Prabhupada, who came in the sixties, and drew an attraction from people, whether black, white or brown.
The swami nodded his head. “It was the time of the hippies who were looking for spiritual answers. They were on a quest.”
We both were on a consensus. The times were more innocent then, an era also of liberalism and with that comes openness, respect, many good things while simultaneously inviting promiscuity. It is another form of duality. Hence, we are talking about the material world and its very nature of being good, bad and ugly.
The swami struck me as being highly orthodox and well read. After a few minutes he and his two lay member associates decided to part, their curiosity appeared satisfied. Warm protocol followed. As they left the room of our conversation I wished and hoped that I had done at least a fair job at letting them have a good experience.
Anyone who comes to a spiritual center should have a good experience and should desire to make another visit.