As I sat there in that Krishna Temple and looked at the people leading the chanting and singing, I saw happiness. It was a cheerful gathering to celebrate their beliefs and to sing and give homage to their Deity.
Posted on 17th July 2011 by Hollywood
The day began like almost every other Saturday; the Sun broke slowly over the eastern mountains spreading its rays across the valley, still steeped in slumber, beckoning everyone to awake and witness the beauties of the world around them. In the summertime, you can watch the rising sun dance and wink off the surface of the lake. In the wintertime, the ice laden trees refract the sun like a prism, showering each passerby with glittering speckles of rainbows.
This particular Saturday morning was packed with the normal weekend chores, ie laundry, vacuuming and straightening up each room in the house. I was also filled with an anxious tension as I contemplated attending the Llama Fest at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple later that day.
By Faith and Tradition, I have held onto the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or “Mormon” religion. I would inject that a lot of energy has been put into defending my faith and belief system. In the past, I am not sure if I would have stepped outside of my comfort zone to attend an event sponsored by an organization of a different faith, believing within myself that I would already have to be on the defensive; throwing up a wall against anything that slightly disagreed with what I had been taught.
One of the quotes that I had on this blog was from Aristotle which read, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” When it came to religion, I lacked an educated mind. I lacked that ability to be able to entertain new dogmas about God and Spirituality because I was afraid, I would not be able to logically backup my own beliefs. My belief system has been the very thing that is destroying my Spirituality and Freedom.
As I went and participated in the Llama Fest, something just short of miraculous happened.
In a spirit of undiluted curiosity, I shed my shoes and opened the doors to the Temple,and found myself greeted by the sound of drums, guitar and the chanting of “Hare Krishna”.
I can’t remember the last time I smelled incense, but I think it was back in the late ’70s when my brothers, Gary and Terry would burn incense in their rooms. A thousand memories collided in my mind as the host welcomed us and gestured toward the center of the room which was covered with people sitting cross-legged on carpets.
Stepping through and over people, I found a spot on the floor. Joining the masses, I turned my face towards the front of the room where the source of the music was coming from.
Looking around at the various trappings and murals on the wall and ceiling, I was reminded of a trip I took to visit my brother, Chris out in Nebraska. He attends the Church of Christ and teaches at one of their colleges. What came to my mind was attending a morning assembly at the college. The young people of that college all joined together in Singing and Praising God . . . and they really seemed to enjoy it. It was a happy event.
As I sat there in that Krishna Temple and looked at the people leading the chanting and singing, I saw happiness. It was a cheerful gathering to celebrate their beliefs and to sing and give homage to their Deity. A celebration.
After about 15 minutes, my wife nudged me and asked if I was ready to leave. I leaned over and whispered, “Not yet. I think I’m having a Transcendental Moment.” We stayed and I chanted and swayed and clapped. I thought about what I was missing in my own form of worship and what was impeding me from feeling that connection with God.
Witnessing the the sun reflecting on the lake, seeing the sun refract on the ice laden trees and sitting on the floor of a Krishna Temple, may not constitute a Transcendental Moment by the full definition of the phrase, but those events certainly have been epiphanies of Spiritual enlightenment to me.