Hare Krishna! Part 1

A year ago, I started planning (and dreaming) for a Masteral Degree in Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines. While browsing their site, I saw this advertisement about an Indian Festival called the Ratha Yatra Festival. I have an unexplained penchant for India since God knows when so I called Jogs and asked her to come in the festival with me.

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During the festival, people were chanting HARE KRISHNA (the Mahamantra) for a couple of hours. It’s a foreign concept for me as I was born and raised as a Christian. But one thing I observed is that I enjoyed it and actually chanted Hare Krishna even after the festival. I have said to myself that I want to learn more. I want to know what this Hare Krishna Movement is all about. But it never happened last year.

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Last week, while we traveled in Manila for the Chinese New Year, we went to this hidden Buddhist temple in Divisoria. At the entrance, I saw a tall Indian Guy wearing clothes similar to that of the Hare Krishna Devotees last year in the festival. He was carrying this donation box for a certain feeding program.  I am a social person so I greeted him “HARE KRISHNA” and he answered with a “Hare Krishna” ,a smile and a bit of confusion. He’s probably thinking “A Buddhist who greeted me Hare Krishna” or “A Christian in a Buddhist Temple greeting me Hare Krishna”. I asked myself the same thing “A Hare Krishna devotee in a Buddhist temple”.  Well I have to say that this interfaith thing is beautiful. 

After lighting some incense, I went back outside to meet the Hare Krishna Devotee and talked to him. (Yes, I really do talk to strangers).

“Hare Krishna”, I greeted him again and dropped a P20 in the box.

“How did you know about the Hare Krishnas?”, he asked. I explained the whole story I mentioned earlier.

“Do you have the Bhagavad Gita? I have been searching for the book last week. I saw one online, but I’m not a fan of ebooks”, I asked.

“I have one here. Actually this is the last copy. I just brought 3 Bhagavad Gitas with me”

“Wow. How much for this?”

“It’s up to you.” and he smiled at me.

I dropped another P100 in the box. That time I was completely broke.  Then he gave me his calling card.

“So your name is Vraja Kisora Das. I assume this is your spiritual name.”

“Yes it is. You really know a lot about us huh?”

“I’ve been reading a lot lately about faith. I consider myself as a seeker”

“Can I have your number?”, he asked.

“Sure”, I said.

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After a couple of minutes. He texted me:

You see how Lord Krsna reciprocated with you. You have been sincerely been looking for a Bhagavad Gita and Krsna arranged for your meeting with me.. So please take advantage of it and take it up more seriously and I am sure Krsna has a lot more similar surprises for you in store. 

Like last year, I told myself again..”I want to learn more.”

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To be continued…

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