Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
om–O my Lord; namah–my respectful obeisances unto You; bhagavate–unto the Personality of Godhead; vasudevaya–unto Lord Krsna, the son of Vasudeva.
O my Lord, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. (SB: C4:8-54)
While many young people visited India in person, I merely joined an ashram in Montreal midway through my first year of college (hence only completing a quarter of the fine art program). Somehow, at the time, that had sounded like “the right thing to do.” I imagine I would have gotten a whole lot more out of the actual experience of living in India as opposed to being immersed into their philosophies in a culture that thought white women wearing saris had been brainwashed by some cult (while the folks at the ashram thought that 18 year old young women would be safest married off to like-minded young eligible brahmacharyas from the men’s (read: boy’s) ashram). The thought of someone else picking my mate seemed like an anathema to me. Besides… I hadn’t done that yet, and I wanted to do it with someone of my own choosing… someone who I had some kind of chemistry with. Really, I wanted to be a gopi and just be one of Krishna’s consorts. Now Krishna… he was something! I even found his skin color scintillating… ahhh… how I wished I could be his Radha.
As most 18 year olds are wont to do, I left after about 6 months, to pursue the next thing that felt like “the right thing to do.” I took with me, though, some philosophies that remained with me and continue to influence my perception of the world. While most people finished their higher education, found mates and started families, I was busy trying to figure out the purpose of my existence… and humanity’s as a whole, essentially. Can’t say that I’ve definitively figured that one out, but I do feel a whole lot more comfortable with my place in the whole… though that may not be saying much… LOL And I still think that Krishna is hot.