(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 07 January 2018, Brisbane, Australia, Q&A Programme)
What was it that first gave you the idea to travel to India? What was the inspiration behind going there and how was your first experience?
I started travelling around 1970 and one of the first places I visited was the coast of Croatia where younger people who had been to India… there was something different about them. I went to India by walking across the border from Pakistan as there were a lot of tensions in the region during that time. I walked into the country and there were big green palm trees on both sides of the lane. There was an officer at the end of the lane, a sardar with a turban and a big moustache, who asked me, “Why have you come to India?” (laughter) I replied, “I hear India is a very spiritual country.” So the sardar said, “Ahh very good! Then, you will go to Banaras (Varanasi).” So this officer actually bought me my train ticket from Amritsar to Banaras.
Would you say that when you went to India you were looking for God?
No, I was looking for the truth. I remember the lyrics to this song back then, “I am nothing but a stranger, always around. I am nothing but a seeker, for what I’ve never found.” So, I was looking for something. I was not sure what it was, but I knew that I was looking for the greater truth. Over those 8 years before I joined the movement, I was living in Holland and around, but every year I visited India.