for The Bay Chronicle (New Zealand) on June 16, 2008
Hriman Krishna Das is in Kerikeri sharing what he calls 'universal information about life.'
Hriman Krishna Das was smiling on Kerikeri main street. He stopped me, hurrying past, not to sell the books he was carrying or conduct a survey or collect membership to a group or religion but to share what he describes as universal information about life.
He did so with such warmth and humour that it was difficult to scurry by.
Hrimam Krishna Das, 26, is ordained as a monk.
Educated in Wellington, he completed a diploma in visual arts and philosophy and then decided he wanted to teach.
"But our education system is about making people into economic units. It doesn’t teach you how to be a person. I see a big need for this."
So he moves about the country talking to people about spiritual science, teaching the philosophy and living the lifestyle of Vedic culture.
"Basically the body is a shell which houses the soul. Just as a car is useless without a driver, you need to realise your spiritual nature," he says.
Using yoga and meditation is a good way to achieve a result, he says.
As a monk, he’s celibate and apparently quite at ease with that.
"If you go to the gym to lose weight you don’t eat McDonalds do you? It’s all about achieving a goal."
The young monk is from Philippines roots but has lived in New Zealand all his life.
As a vegetarian he says he eats little and he needs little materially.
His mantra, used to meditate is Hare Krishna Rama – "Hari represents energy , Krishna stands for all that is attractive and Rama for all that is pleasurable."
According to an internet entry about Krishna consciousness, Hriman Krishna Das, means: ‘The servant of Krishna, who becomes very bashful when glorified’.