A Vision for Today

I seek to find the essence of the myth and give it a Western makeover. I’m kind of doing that in my own mind, but to make a public presentation, I would like to collaborate with you and other learned, mature devotees who can reimagine this. They language of faith.

I believe the kind of knowing I have come to depend on is what Bhaktivinode called sahajia samadi or self revelation. I have not been with my guru physically for 33 years, so I have come to depend on my inner guru. I don’t feel there’s much that Indians can teach me about being a devotee any more. I learned what I needed to learn from them, and now my challenge is to discover how to live it in my Western context.

It’s like Chinese Christians depict Jesus and his disciples as Chinese, Africans as African, European as European. Radha and Krishna are the ideal young Indian couple. What would the ideal Western couple look like and what would their pastimes be? These things can’t just be made up intellectually, but must transcend the intellect while including it in a revelatory experience that comes through persons like us. Who else but Westerners could produce an indiginous Western saddhana?

This requires quite a break with the past, and naturally a lot of feathers are going to be ruffled, but I feel driven by my guru’s mandate to preach in the West and to do so in a way that is relevant to today.

It was while trying to remember the pastimes 24/7 last year, by reading various books of pastimes that are now available, that I realized how Indian those descriptions were and how disfunctional by current psychological standards much of their behavior is. Even from the view point of aesthetics which much of it is based on, much of it is not aesthetically pleasing today. It’s also hard to visualize stuff when half of it is flowers, trees, fruits, ornaments, etc. that can’t even be translated into English because there is no English equivalent. I very much want to spend eternity serving Radha Krishna, but not in some dysfunctional, antiquated, Indian version of Goloka.

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