Durban, South Africa
South Africa and Me
I started coming to South Africa approximately ten years after apartheid was dissolved. Apartheid refers to the separation of the races when a white minority ruled. I had not witnessed the changes the country went through when Nelson Mandela influenced them. What I do know is there is much dissatisfaction by the public with the current rulers in South Africa.
This spirit of being disheartened regarding political policies is a global issue. What can be said? There is a wish that morality (dharma) could reign supreme if spirituality can’t. I recall something our guru said, “If you can’t be a sadhu (holy man) at least be a gentleman.”
Changes? In South Africa? Well I can only say I’ve seen changes in Krishna devotee’s lives. I started coming to South Africa to assist in the entertainment for the Chariot Festivals held during the Easter weekend. With the help of the organizers, we have succeeded in making the drama the biggest drawing card. The actors I’ve been working with, starting in 2000, are a bit older and I’m working with their offspring now.
Paramananda is an example of this. He was one of my first actors who knew martial arts on an exceptional level. He and wife Radha Sundari (whom I harnessed also for her ballet skills) now have five boys. The oldest, Shukadev, is eighteen, and he often plays leading male roles. Next in line is his younger brother, Sanatana, and then still younger Gambhira. They are both involved. The kids of the original cast have “come of age” and I’m happy as this unfolds.
That’s the change I see.
May the Source be with you!