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Many Paths, One Heaven

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Article by Phil Brown

Phil Brown - Journalist - Author Profile | Email | Website
Phil Brown - Journalist - Author As a journalist I am a senior writer with News Queensland. As an author I write about myself and, if that sounds self-indulgent, you don't know the half of it. Mind you if you read either of my memoirs - Travels with My Angst or Any Guru Will Do, all will be revealed.
Available as Speaker - humorist focusing on problems associated with existential angst and life's journey.
Australia 2000
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I’ve recently considered becoming a Hare Krishna. Not for the religion itself though, mainly for the food. I often enjoy lunch at Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant in Brisbane’s CBD and at the Woodford Folk Festival recently my son and I tucked into an extremely satisfying vegetarian curry. The restaurant had an outlet at the festival.

I first got the taste for their food as a teenage surfie. We used to eat at Gopal’s in Surfer’s Paradise, although we used to refer to it by a nickname - Gonad’s. Well, we were teenage surfies.

I like the garb too and the chanting and at Woodford I very nearly bought a copy of the Bhagavad-Gita and I still might. The fact that Ghandi was a big fan of that text is a pretty good recommendation.

I like the way the Hare Krishna’s present themselves, their devotional lifestyle and, as I said, I really dig the food.

Maybe that’s not a good enough reason to join but I do enjoy flirting with various religious disciplines. I am, intrinsically, a Christian, but I have no hesitation in availing myself of the traditions and philosophies of other traditions. I am very attracted to Tibetan Buddhism and not just because of the food or robes. The Dalai Lama is, for me, as a Catholic, a far more inspiring figure than the Pope.

Other strands of Buddhism are equally appealing. I love Buddhist art and in our home we have a small collection of Buddha statues. I burn incense, play Indian flute music and meditate on these graven images like a real pagan. My more evangelical Christian friends might not appreciate this. They might also baulk at the figurine of Ganesha the elephant-headed God - remover of obstacles - who guards our front door, with fresh frangipanis often in his upturned palms. Hinduism is another occasional flirtation. The venerable Bede Griffiths used Hindu, Christian and other principles in his writings and teaching and I feel similarly ecumenical about faith. Jesus will always remain the most potent religious figure for me and his life and works never fail to mystify and inspire. But there’s much to learn from other religions. Many paths one heaven? I like to think so, even though some say the gate is narrow and not easy to pass through. I would think a loving God’s passage to eternity would be a tad wider.

6 Jan 2013

Last Update: 7 Jan 2013

Article/Information supplied by Phil Brown

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.