Hare Krishna Temple: Godhead vs. Dullhead
Hare Krishna Temple: Godhead vs. Dullhead
By Reza Ganjavi
Once, I went to a Hare Krishna eco-village. It was a huge property, and they had a temple, an altar, and the normal things that Hare Krishna followers have. I had no proper meal for a long time because I was a traveler and busy, so I had no time to cook and had just been eating very simple things. So, I was really looking forward to eating there because when I called them they said that their food is obviously vegetarian, and 100% organic. Wow!
So, I enthusiastically got there, and it was still open despite the GPS getting one lost, my first question was if everything was organic? And the answer was no! Surprise, surprise! Do you have anything that’s organic? And the lovely lady from the kitchen, with her beautiful face, tall and radiant, came to the forefront and said, “Well, we have organic coriander, spinach, and kale which we grow”. I said ok then please give me a portion or somehow a little bit of each greens because I haven’t had greens for some days (in the country I was in, organic greens were not available for sale). So she paused and said, “Well I’m a professional cook so I can’t just give you these greens just like that, I have to prepare something”. I entheusiastically welcomed it. I said I’m not a fanatic so I don’t mind eating a little bit of something that’s not organic (but in reality I really prefer to eat 100% organic and I almost always do).
I remembered that that morning I had bought some yams / sweet potatoes. So I went to a car and got the yam, but realized I also had a bottle of organic garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and an avocado - all organic. I came back to the kitchen and said hey, can you do something with these?
She said “Sure” and she enthusiastically took the raw material and immediately started going for it. Then she went upstairs and found some other organic stuff and long story short, she cooked an amazing 4-course meal. I wanted to take-away because restaurant was so zapped with RF radiation from their WiFi router (which is very sub-tamasic+rajasic in yoga theory and not satvis) and I didn’t want to sit there. It wa the yummiest takeaway which I ate in the car in their beautiful, zero radiation campus.
One dish was avocadoes with a yummy zest but cut in the way a women cuts avocadoes which is artistic, on top of her being a professional cook. Then she made a plate with chopped sweet potatos with mixed green leaves which was delicious. Then the chickpeas dish with spices. Then organic amaranth mini pancake! It was really delicious and she told me I have to come back at 4 o’clock to see the deities in the alter. My plans changed a little bit so I came back to check out the deities. They were the same deities as in the other Hare Krishna temples which I’ve seen, in various places in the world, or lord Krishna and some gopi girls; Krishna had many girlfriends
I bought CD from the temple shop and asked if it has Maha Mantra in it because it’s the most common chant in that circle. She said, “Yes, it includes Maha Mantra” but it turned around that the entire CD was just one chant in different variations. Despite some of it being very beautiful, and I like the Maha Mantra, I couldn’t handle listening to more than some minutes of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
I met some Sanyasis, Swamies, monks and some young ones who are busy repeating the same mantra again, again and again maybe hundred trillion times a day, and it was funny to hear them repeat them because they were so mechanical about it that they say it just like some Muslims do their prayers just for the sake of fulfilling a duty – as quickly as possible. So, it sounds just like one rapid stream of sound. It’s disconcerting because this practice can make the mind dull. I felty sorry for them a bit because these young people could be training their mind instead of dulling it by nonstop repetition, based on a false and dangerous prescription that they will reach “Godhead”; Instead they will reach “Dullhead”!