(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 07 January 2018, Brisbane, Australia, Q&A Programme)

Can you capture the moment when you accepted Krsna as the ultimate truth.

Because many of the sadhus I met in India were smoking ganja, I did not have much faith in them. They always asked where I was from and just wanted some money to smoke ganja. So I thought to myself that this cannot be spiritual life. I kept quite aloof from them, but after some time I started feeling that I was not making much progress in my pursuit for the truth. Rather than getting involved with a particular book, I was reading a lot of these philosophical books and I would sing and write my songs. Through this music, I had a path of meditation. But I was getting stuck and seemed to not make any advancement. This is when I decided to visit some ashram or another spiritual place.

As part of this agenda, I visited Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan villages and when I was there, different things surprised me. I saw that the monks were standing in a queue at a butcher’s shop, so this really did not impress me. I had read enough about Buddhism to know that the central idea was of ahimsa (non violence). So one day I asked a monk, “Why do you eat meat?” and the monk replied, “Well, when we eat the animals, they are very fortunate. They get liberated!” So instantly I realised that this was not a very appealing philosophy. And I was reflecting on my interactions with some other monks and realised that they were just recognising me as some kind of projection of their mind, which is kind of in line with their philosophy. So this reminded me of what I had read from the Bhagavad-gita, of how the experiences of an impersonalist is thinking that all this energy is either one or that this is all just an illusion. So I started putting the pieces together of how this Buddhist philosophy is kind of an impersonalist school of thought. This was different from a personalist, who enters into a relationship with an actual God and develops this eternally. When I saw these two concepts, I realised that the personalist concept was eternally growing and was the higher truth. It was at this point that I accepted Krsna.

There was a small Hindu temple in the Himalayan mountains near the village, which I visited then. I offered a flower to this picture of Krsna and thought to myself, “I should probably sing some Hare Krsna as well!” Here, I did not really care about singing Hare Krsna out loud on the streets, as I was like 10,000 kilometres away from home. Just as I am walking with my flower towards the temple, I happened to run into this boy from my hometown of all my places and I thought to myself, “Oh no! Now everybody knows I am one of them. It is too late now! After that, I finally decided to go to Vrndavan as I had heard that this was the centre for Krsna consciousness.

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