Santa Cruz, California — Thursday, April 8th

Is Sikhism bhakti?

This morning, somebody called Gary stops in at The Golden Road center at noon, and asks if Sikhism is bhakti (pure devotional service). I don't know much about Sikhism, so I ask, "What is Guru Nanak or the Sikhs' conception of divinity?"

Apparently Sikhs place much emphasis on the "Divine Will." I point out that "will" is an abstract quality, so if the Sikh conception of divinity ends in Divine Will, that is an impersonal conception. Thinking, feeling, and willing presuppose personality ("I think, therefore I am"). Bhakti means service. Service to whom? To the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we have no personality, and God has no personality, how can we serve God? Without service, there cannot be bhakti.

Soquel, California — Friday, April 9th

Dog or God?

Good Friday: the holiest day on the Christian calendar. It is also opening day at Boston's Fenway Park: the Boston Red Sox versus the Toronto Blue Jays. This poses a dilemma for the good Catholics of Boston: (Hot) dog or God?

You see, Catholics are prohibited from eating red meat on Fridays during Lent — especially on Good Friday — and Lord knows you can't go to a baseball game without eating a hotdog! What to do? Can you believe that the archdiocese of Boston refused to grant them a special indulgence to eat meat today?

Why should Catholics give up their hotdogs at a ballgame on Good Friday just because Jesus gave up his life for their sins? The passion for the Red Sox, it seems, is greater than the Passion of the Christ...

Soquel, California — Sunday, April 11th

Hot cross buns

Speaking of Easter, whatever happened to hot cross buns? When I was growing up in the former British colony of South Africa (when the buns really did cost "one a penny" and "two a penny") we used to look forward to this special Good Friday treat — especially since it was the one day that even we kids had to fast!

I don't recall ever seeing any hot cross buns here. Is this, like, a British thing?

Santa Cruz, California — Tuesday, April 13th

Hanging out

I am settling in to the routine of manning the front desk at The Golden Road center every morning from nine to noon, Monday through Friday. The center is in a really good location in Santa Cruz — at 111 Union Street, just a couple of blocks from Pacific Avenue — so it gets a lot of foot traffic.

We get quite a few visitors this morning, asking questions about Krishna, about our mission, and about the weekly kirtans that are held here at the center on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings.

Santa Cruz, California — Wednesday, April 14th

Bright future

Instead of having their weekly meeting at the Seva Ashram in Soquel tonight, our Soquel youth group comes to the regular Wednesday evening gathering at The Golden Road center in downtown Santa Cruz.

Srila Gurudeva has appreciated the "special quality" and encouraged all of us to "accept the mood" of Nitya Hari Prabhu and the Golden Road project, and Sripad Janardan Maharaj, Sripad Siddhanti Maharaj and I especially exhort the youths to try to try to avail themselves of some of the many new service opportunities and facilities that this center provides, because this will please Srila Gurudeva.

I am amazed at the energy, the enthusiasm, and the idealism of our youths. We have to listen to their ideas and give them an opportunity to run with them. If these youths are our future, I am confident that our future is bright.

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Layout by iMonk — April 14th, 2004.