It was 1977 as I remember and it was a time of transformation and soul searching. It was a time of psychological chaos and self doubt. I had been through some terrible times. My soul searching had hit a wall and I was plodding through the daily life of working a job and sharing a house with a room mate and partying and one night stands. I was lonely and not happy with my life. I was depressed, disgusted and dismayed. I was contemplating suicide. My car was broken down, my rent was due and I had no money. I did not have the money to fix my car and I had just lost my job. And YES , I would have appreciated some cheese with my whine. Right out of nowhere I start hearing the Hare Krishna mantra. It was wierd because I thought I was hearing it but it was really just playing in my head. Like everybody else in those days, seeing the Hare Krishna members in Westwood, California or LAX was a common sight. The Hare Krishna devotees wore their robes and prayer beads and danced and played music. They were for the most part NOT intrusive. They were mostly Americans that studied the Hindi teachings and followed the teachings of their Guru, A.C. Baktivadanti Prabupad. I liked to talk to them once in a while just for kicks and on Saturday morning they had a breakfast open to the public at their Ashram in Culver City, CA. USA (Los Angeles). Anyway……. after speaking to them about their faith it was abundantly clear that they were not dancing and chanting for change. I concluded that they were fishing for kindred souls and NOT begging. They were giving and not taking.
So anyway, I am in Encino with my broken down old Triumph and out of nowhere is this Hare Krishna mantra playing in my brain and I could not shut it off as hard as I tried. In fact it got CLEARER AND LOUDER . Encino California is 10 OR 15 miles distance from Culver City CA. It was making me nuts ! I gave in and asked my house mate to give me a ride to Culver City. I grabbed my Indian made Bedspread/ Tapestry… barefoot, beard and long hair and no money. My roommate drives me to Culver City and drops me off and on the way he tells me that he was at an event when he was going to UCLA and PRABUPAD was there sitting across from him at a meal and PRABUPAD was looking at him exclusively for quite some time. David H. never followed up on it but it impacted him and he never forgot it. We roll into the Hare Krishna area of Culver City and it was CRAZY BUSY ! Lots of people and music. I walked to the temple and people inside had drums and cymbals and CHANTING, dancing up to the alter dedicated to Krishna and Rama and incense and it was all very intense ! I talked to a couple of Hare Krishna guys and asked what was going on ??? They explained that their teacher, Prabupad, was in India and near passing away and that Hare Krishna everywhere were sending up prayers. I still heard the chanting but now in my ears and not in my head. I knew I was where I was supposed to be for whatever reason. That was CLEAR TO ME. They asked me who I was and for some unknown reason I answered that I was a friend of George Harrison. I always liked George Harrison and his music but I never even met him !! They welcomed me. I stayed for about 3 days = 3 Daze. It was heavy.
They gave me a plywood bunk for when I was tired. I am not much of a dancer but I danced my ass off. The energy level on a spiritual scale of one to ten was about a 10 “squared” ! I did my best to try to keep up with these guys dancing up to the alter with the idols of Krishna and Rama and then back with chanting and a big silver multi-tiered plate with candle bowls of hot wax or camphor. It was a mind bender in a good way. There were no drugs at all. It was serious. I remember that on the second day I was there people were putting their hands over the candles and then to their foreheads. They brought the plate to me and I put one hand over one of the candle bowls and I felt a “force” push my hand down and into the hot camphor or wax. I jerked my back and a big flame shot up off of my hand and up into the air about 4 feet !! No joke ! And nobody was more shocked than I was ! The devotees thought it was great ! There were a lot of people that saw it happen and a lot of oohs and ahhs . It was HOT “whatever it was” and I got a blister on my palm almost as big as a tennis ball ! I stayed with them there until the phone call came in from India informing the Ashram that A.C. Baktivadanti Prabupad had passed to the other side. It became quiet, reserved and respectful. A couple of Hare Krishna devotees were kind enough to drive me back to Encino. They were cool. One of the guys was AWOL from the USN from the sister ship of the USS PUEBLO that was confiscated by NORTH KOREA. He went underground after that. I got home and had a check in the mail waiting for me. I went out and bought the parts and fixed the old Triumph TR 4A !
IT FELT GREAT TO GET BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN ! ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE AND THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE MY MEMORIES AND THOUGHTS WITH YOU ALL !
NAMASTE !!! HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA, KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE, HARE RAMA HARE RAMA, RAMA RAMA HARE HARE !
ENJOY YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, I WISH YOU ALL PEACE AND HAPPINESS !! marc