The Hare Krishnas have been in Adelaide since the 1970’s and are well known for their low cost restaurants and free food distribution to the aged and homeless. I was interested to know from Sucharu (centre, above), my guide for the morning, whether the needs of those they serve in Hurtle Square are growing – whether, in their experience, the gap between the “rich” and “poor” was growing – as I had heard reported on ABC Radio recently. The answer was a definite yes. They are finding that the disposable money of those they serve is eaten up by the struggle to keep a roof over their heads and basic survival.
Our conversation then turned to the bigger picture of cooperation among religions in serving the community. For the Hare Krishnas, every moment is a moment of consciousness of God, every person is a child of God, and every act, an act of service to God. In Sucharu I found no impediment to cooperation among religions.
In fact, we agreed that we live in a time in history when we need to put aside what is not helpful in our religious traditions to utilise the best of our religions to work together on the big issues facing humanity.
I came away, refreshed by their generosity of spirit – and also by a lovely morning tea of mango, gulab jamun (an Indian sweet desert) and orange juice.