This is has been a wonderful week here at Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji Dhama in Dallas Texas. We had several weeks of temple tours. Our temple in Dallas is accompanied by a fantastic restaurant, Kalachandji's. Because of the restaurant the temple is a hot spot for tourist and students. Personally I feel that having a restaurant next to the temple is a real blessing. The people that come to visit know that it is a public place and open to guests of all backgrounds. For some visiting a church/ mosque/ temple can be intimidating for such places are generally for only those of their particular faith. A restaurant makes a nice addition to for it gives the reassurance to the curious that this is a place for all.
So far in the past 2 weeks over 50 students have come in for interviews and tours as part of their school projects. Most the students have been coming from the Dallas Theological Seminary. Although these seminary students are not aggressive with their questions, you can get a sense that one their purposes is come to the temple to gather information about how Krishna Consciousness is not Christian. They are surprised however when the come the temple and find so much in common so much so that they struggle to find in any way how is bhakti yoga, loving devotional service to God, Krishna, any different than Christ Consciousness. In following post I have given a link to a blog written by an aspiring Christian minister after attending a tour. http://connect.krishna.com/node/175
The tours and interviews are always very wonderful and never has their been any confrontation of beliefs. Many of the students are also students of regular non religious colleges and are doing a report for their world religions class. There are all generally surprised to hear that the Vedas are monotheistic and also very scientific and inclusive. Just last night a 45 year student who was actually a pastor came here for an interview. This gentleman was just golden, you could speak to him day and night about Krishna, and service to Krishna and he simply enjoyed it. His association was very delightful. He stayed talked and observed for a full 3 hours and then enjoyed prasadam. Later on that evening I ran into a boy at the restaurant, who was a musician, whom I recognized from the health food store. We hit it off well and I offered him some kirtan CDs. He also stayed around for about 3-4 hours chatting about life and Krishna and left with a smile. I pray that I can alway do this service and hope you all can bless me to continue to serve in this way. The picture below is of a tour that I performed for four 80 year old ladies. These ladies had been friends since high school. When these very open minded old Jewish ladies found out that the Bhagavatam was written over 5000 years ago they remarked, "Wow that is only 1000 years after creation." (In their belief system the ladies believed that the world created some 6000 years ago) with big smile on my face I said, "Yes that would be true." as to not cause any contention. Hare Krishna
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das
punky kids enjoy the restaurant and talking the with devotees
Older ladies come to the temple for a tour