Thursday, March 20, 2008

Becoming a devoted monk

Several fervent and loyal blog readers have been sending messages of worry and concern.
This is because they know that the Hare Krishna is a sect that attracts people who eventually shave their heads, wear bed sheets, paint their face, refrain from sex, drugs and alcohol and walk chanting in the streets “Hare Krishna Hare Rama”.

Why would a photographer with a rather decent reputation and never convicted for any felony move into a spiritual commune of a dubious sect when going to India?
Is there maybe an agenda behind performing the photo project “The most beautiful people in the world” to try to achieve superb beauty himself by associating with the Hare Krishna movement?
Isn’t it a sign that frequently now, maybe even too many times, this subject has been dominating the recent postings of this blog?
Is the man so popular with most fervent and loyal blog readers slipping away and disappearing in Indian spiritual obscurity?

It is an undeniable fact that staying with the Hare Krishna is not similar to staying in a decent hotel.
This place is what is called “an Ashram”.
A spiritual commune where people concentrate to worship the Hindu God Krishna.
This is all orchestrated and regulated and focused on only this very thing.
Anything that distracts from this purpose is banned and forbidden.

For example, it is absolutely forbidden neither to smoke in the room nor to drink alcohol.
The restaurant of the Ashram serves food but only according to the Krishna faith.
Hence no eggs, coffee, tea, meat nor fish.
A guest also needs to behave: attentive bullies correct any act outside the required decent behaviour immediately.

Very dominating of the place is the huge temple.
At 5 o’clock in the morning is the first service waking up all guests still sleeping.
Loudly one can hear the chanting, singing and sound of bells, flutes and shells.
This repeats a few times a day.
Part of the method is repetition.
Endlessly the name of Krishna is repeated until it starts to circle even in the most obnoxious and resisting minds.
Without knowing or any awareness the Krishna tune starts to occupy the brain cells.
It is like the President of the United States who simply explains over and over again that the war in Iraq is justified.
If this is repeated on a mass scale frequently enough, a majority starts to believe it is true although it is a lie.
One thinks of this taking the elevator in the Hare Krishna Ashram.
There is an elevator operator who welcomes the customer with a “Hare Krishna”-salute.
During the trip with the elevator the operator chants “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Hare Rama”.
Every trip made with the elevator.
An experiment was performed to counter this indoctrination offensive even applied while on an elevator ride.
Each time the elevator was used the brave photographer was singing the theme of the film “Starwars”.
Believing that the elevator operator would eventually start singing along to ask who really was Dr. Spock.
This effort to change God Krishna for Commander Kirk was not successful.
The guy remains stubbornly stuck in his “Hare Krishna”-song.
Now it is considered to try another tune.
Like “Swinging Safari” or even the national American hymn.
If any progress is made, fervent and loyal blog readers may expect a detailed report.

The effort of indoctrination is so sophisticated that each room in the guesthouse is equipped with a “Music Divine”.
Instead of a TV or a radio, a box on the wall with an “on-off” switch and a volume control lets the guest listen to: “Songs From The Spiritual World”.
It is a direct line to the Temple with more “Hare Krishna”-brainwashing.

So, once more, why is this photographer, who until now always made an impression of being in balance, chooses to stay with a dangerous sect?
The answer is that it is not his choice.
The two female team members, Marjolein and Karine, made the decision to stay in this centre of indoctrination.
Today they revealed they are expecting shortly the innocent photographer to shave his head, paint his face and put on Ghandi’s clothes.
As an unavoidable consequence of the influence experienced staying with the Hare Krishna.

Well, why not?
Maybe the two women are right.
To follow Krishna as the ultimate experience of inner beauty.
To become a monk free of ambition, money, sex, drugs, rock and roll and George Bush.

But one thing is still puzzling the seeker and stopping him from jumping into heaven.
The two caring and concerned women would love to see the photographer become a Hare Krishna monk.
But they themselves prefer boyfriends in their hearts and bodies instead of the Divine Lord Krishna.
Now why is that?


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