How to be a good Hare Krishna

Ever thought of changing your life by joining the Hare Krishnas? This is the post for you.

You might have heard of the Hare Krishnas. They dance around on Oxford Street, banging drums, clanging their instruments and shoving literature into the faces of bystanders. They give you free food if you study at SOAS or happen to be around Kings Cross at the right time. They show up in popular film and literature. Everyone from Boy George to Sinead O’Connor has had a Hare Krishna phase, Russell Brand is permanently in his.

So they must have something, right? I was a Hare Krishna for a good part of my life and have just had another dream about my ex guru. So I think I am in a good position to advise on how to be a good Hare Krishna.

There are all the different rules and regulations you are supposed to follow. You shouldn’t be eating meat, to begin with. Or eggs or fish or mushrooms or garlic or chocolate, or drink coffee or alcohol or even proper tea. You are supposed to keep yourself free from lust or greed. You are supposed to worship here, associate only with these people, only read books by bona fide people, not do this, do that. Blah blah blah. Of course, the one rule that everyone cares most about, because nobody is able to follow it, is to not have sex. Ever.

But in reality, none of this matters. The only thing that does matter is that you serve the cause. Nobody really watches or cares what you do, as long as you help them grow. In fact, the amount they care is inversely proportional to how much you shout about them and to how many people. Hence the Russell Brand phenomenon. They literally don’t care what sort of human being he is, he will still be loved by all the lovely gurus, who also don’t care what human beings each other are, as long as everyone does the outside thing.

That also means that all the wonderful people you think are so wonderful are really con-artists. I always made the mistake of wanting to work on myself, that’s why I never fit in. The best positioned people are the people who are very confident and don’t care about their inner life, but keep a very ‘together’ image. The bosses running it all have exactly zero inner life. It’s all for show.

I’m kinda writing this because in my dream, I had the close, loving, genuine relationship that in life, I never had, or could have had. If you are anything like me and do the ‘inner life’ thing until you can’t stand it any more, then throw it all away, you will also find that your ‘guru’ loves you even more, because you are now on the outside of the thing and have more of a voice and more professional skills, so you can be of more use to him. You might think you now have a more genuine relationship, but it still is only based on how you can be used in the service of the thing.

Anyways. I woke up with a heart full of love. The kind of love I want in my life and that you could never have in an environment so based on utility. I’m still glad I walked away from it all, and from him, because now there is still the chance to have it with people who don’t just want to use me.