People often ask, especially around the dinner table after a cookery class, how I first became involved in cooking. Had I always cooked vegetarian food? Was I born a vegetarian? And was I still a Hare Krishna devotee?
The answer is that my involvement in a vegetarian lifestyle, cooking, and my hunger for a more spiritual way of life all began at the same time - in my last year of high school in 1970.
As a student at Vaucluse Boys High School in Sydney I found myself inexplicably drawn to all things Indian. I would read books on yoga and mysticism, listen to Indian music, burn incense, buy Indian posters of Krishna and buy Indian clothes. I had just become a vegetarian, and enjoyed the taste of Indian food. So when my best friend Mark invited me to a newly opened temple in Paddington, I jumped at the chance.
Mark explained to me - as we travelled to the temple in one of Sydney's old double-decker buses - that we were going to the Hare Krishna Temple. I had heard of Hare Krishna, but knew very little about it. I recalled first hearing the words "Hare Krishna" in the Beatles song "I am the Walrus", and then on George Harrison's famous single "Radha Krishna Temple" released on Apple label.
A few friends, Mark, and myself, had gone along to see the newly opened musical "Hair" at the Metro Theatre in Kings Cross only months before. At the rousing incence-filled finale, the whole audience (except me) had stood and chanted Hare Krishna along with the cast.
Despite the scenes of unabashed nudity, and despite the fact that I was too shy to chant, the mantra had stuck in my mind...
to be continued...
Posted by Kurma on 31/1/07; 12:14:13 AM
from the Travel dept.