Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Within a campus and culture set in the Bible Belt, it is not expected that many would know of the Hare Krishnas, let alone be able to identify one on sight. Syamananda Das’s appearance does not fit what many envision as that of a monk, but the member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness spread his message across campus all day Wednesday.
“We try to get it to intelligent people who are ready, willing and open for such knowledge,” Das said.
Das passed out two particular books to those who would take them. The first was a translation of the Bhagavad Gita, a book of ancient Hindu scripture. The second was titled “The Journey of Self-Discovery,” a supplemental piece to the Bhagavad Gita.
He also acknowledged that his religion is often misunderstood in today’s culture and stressed the importance of yoga in its original sense, meaning disciple of spiritual, mental and physical senses.
“Yoga is a misunderstood process in the West. Most people think of yoga as physically stretches and breathing exercises,” Das said, “That’s one part, but that’s at the base level.”
Das is a member of Cintamani Dhan, a self-sustaining village of Hare Krishas within Daniel Boone National Forest near Irvine, Ky. He travels college campus around the region spreading knowledge of Krishna beliefs, and his drive to visit campus comes from his own experiences in choosing his way of life.
“I got a Bhagavad Gita on a college campus and eventually I read it, and it made a lot of sense,” Das said, “Too much sense to put aside.”
The young monk dressed in a sweater and khakis spoke of the importance of servitude to God and disciplining oneself in a responsible manner. He operates entirely from donations and spoke of God’s providence of his missions.
“We just depend on God. God provides everything all the time,” Das said, “That’s a fact.”
Those interested in more information on Das, his eco-village and the Hare Krishna movement can find it at www.cintamanidham.com.
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