Nice Encounter by Bhaktimarga Swami


“Are you a Christian monk?” is what I heard when sauntering on Cumberland St. I turned around and stopped to see four young men looking wholesome and fairly clean cut.

I responded with, “A Krishna monk!”

“Oh! Hindu!” said one of the fellows.

“That’s the kind of little box theologians like to put our group in, but in truth we represent an ancient wisdom that dates to thousands of years. I was born and raised Christian but I added onto my life more information and ways of an enhanced experience.”

The four of them were keenly listening, which I found refreshing on a street of evening delights, like Yorkville. I continued, “It’s a life of self-discipline.”

“So, no drinking or partying?”

“I tried all of that.” I told them.

“You find your lifestyle improved?” they asked.

“Definitely, because we are addressing internal needs. In the current pop-culture there is this temporary stimulation. It’s all external with short-term benefits. You want to go for more depth in life. Explore the richness that life has to offer.”

Somehow these guys, although under a mild influence of some substance, appeared to really soak it up.

“What’s your name?” asked one of them.

“Bhaktimarga Swami. Some people translate it as ‘The Walking Monk.’

They laughed.

“That you are. We caught you walking and praying with your rosary.”

We offered each other the new handshake, the elbow bump, and I left them each with a mantra card.

What a nice encounter.


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