Cross-pollination

Ben Reist, my Reformed Theology professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary, told the class, “If a little bit of Jesus rubs off on the Buddha, that’s good, and if a little bit of Buddha rubs off on Jesus, that’s good too.” In the liberal reformed tradition, I was a part of, my background as a Radha Krishna devotee was welcomed as an asset, and I was able to see my Christian service as a Western version of my Radha Krishna devotion.

Now that I am no longer ministering in the Christian church and have returned to my Radha Krishna devotional practices, I find that most Radha Krishna devotees are fundamentalist, literalists who think they have the ultimate answers to Truth and that their answers are superior to anyone else’s. When I interned at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California, Pastor Larry Peterson said, “Remember, your truth is truth with a small “t” just like everyone else’s.” I live in a relativistic, pluralistic world that is open to truth in all forms. I feel it is our unique opportunity at this time to be able to take the best teachings and practices of all paths and integrate them into a multi-faceted whole which gives a more complete picture of Truth than any one path could do alone.

I happen to find the eternal service of Radha Krishna in their spiritual realm of Goloka to be the most attractive vision for eternity. Yet, I feel a need to update it, give it a new look and adjust for life in the West. In this way, I wish to present a non-sectarian version of Radha Krishna devotion which I feel would be pleasing to my param-guru, the 19th century visionary, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.


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