By Kent Spencer, Sunday Reporter
September 9, 2012
Congregation: Hare Krishna Temple
Co-president of Hare Krishna Temple: John O'Sullivan
Your religion: Krishna Consciousness is in a category of its own but many align us with the Hindu faith.
Message in a tweet: What separates human beings from animals is humans understand their identity as an eternal spirit soul, that there is life after this life and there is a god in control.
How many people attend services? Our regular congregational Sunday program consists of about 450 attendees.
What is the most beautiful thing about your temple? The people that visit - who appreciate the peaceful atmosphere, see our organic vegetable garden, stroll through the forest, enjoy a beautiful meal at our vegetarian restaurant, witness the beautiful deities of the Lord and receive the sublime knowledge found there. And who give us an opportunity to serve them!
If you would like to see your congregation featured on this page - we are interested in all faiths, religions and beliefs - please contact us at Sunday@theprovince.com
THE MORAL QUESTION
Hare Krishna devotees are asked to utter a sacred chant 1,728 times every day.
The holy verse is composed of four simple lines that repeatedly praise Krishna (God) and take the consciousness to a higher place, away from the material world.
Jaya Govinda Das, co-president of the Hare Krishna Temple in Burnaby, dresses in a traditional white robe and has closely cropped hair.
He was born in Montreal 60 years ago, as was John O'Sullivan, but chucked a "typical Canadian" life as a beer-drinking college student to become a full-time devotee in 1982.
His daily chanting begins at 5: 30 a.m. in the brightly decorated temple hall. It takes about two hours.
"Chanting uplifts your consciousness and cleanses the heart," he says.
Hare Krishna, which is 500 years old, is a "spiritual culture," not a religion, he says.
"Religion is a type of faith. It can change from Hinduism, to Buddhism and Christianity. Hare Krishna is a way of life," he says. "We're not [of] this body. We're the soul of the eternal spirit."
He says pleasures of the material world come at the expense of inner happiness.
"We've seen the bumper sticker that says the one who dies with the most toys wins. Political campaigns are always talking about making economic gains," he says. "People are not becoming happier - they are becoming more frustrated. Things like war and crime are increasing because people are not nourishing their spiritual identity ... If the spirit is satisfied, people are not inclined to become overly extravagant."
Das says it's OK to work hard, but it should be done for God's service, not your own.
"It's OK to be industrious. Support your family. But we don't want to take the fruit of our labour and make ourselves the centre of attention. God is the centre of attention," he says.
Hare Krishna devotees are asked to give up four things: meat, intoxication, gambling and illicit sex.
"Just by taking up spiritual practices, other things fall into place," he says. "Simple living and high thinking is the objective," says Das.
5462 Marine Dr., Burnaby . firstname.lastname@example.org