Ohio Rocking With Krishna
Even if you are clothed in holy robes and play the role of a monk or a priest, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be referenced as people from the secular world. Akhilananda and I had a photo taken of us because we were perceived as JFK and Kevin Spacey look alikes according to inmate Arjun at the Warren Prison yesterday. Is that a compliment? You can decide.
By the way, things are percolating in Ohio from a Krishna Conscious perspective. Last evening a packed room was drawn at the home of Don Foose (aka D.Nitai). People came to hear kirtan and some message from the mind of a monk (me). Don is producing of a more mellow heavy metal sort these days. His lyrics are great, very devotional. And while something happens on the weekday on Wednesdays in Cleveland on the west end of town, there’s a whole other active group on the east end of town with an active program on Sunday.
When Akhilananda and I arrived at the Krishna House in Columbus, we met Ananta Dev, a brahmachari monk from the UK who’s embarking on a project in Cincinnati. Plans are to open a large spiritual complex there. And in Columbus, renovation is going on to define a new space in the basement at Krishna House – all to facilitate a student population that’s coming to the centre.
A congregant member Naveen, conducts a weekly vegetarian demo in the student’s centre called Arpac at the Ohio State University. A meal follows, it’s for free, kids love it. They scrape the pots clean and eat it. According to Prem Vilas, the Krishna House coordinator it’s “the only healthy deal in town, it’s so successful.”
And last night an eclectic group attended the Krishna House where I was asked to speak. In Dayton, the university program also takes place which features kirtan chanting and discussions. Perhaps one of the most exciting elements in the Columbus community is the monthly delivery ahimsa (non violent) milk products from the local Kentucky farm called Chintamani Dham. In his excited tone, Prem tells me, “You can’t believe it they bring this yogurt and milk sweet preps like sandesh and srikand.”
Now this may not sound appetizing to the vegan community, let it be known, “dairy tastes great, especially when it comes from protected cows and bulls. In summary, Ohio is rocking with a brand of spiritualism that I guess it deserves.