The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Closet Krishna

By: for on May 21, 2015
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‘Closet Krishna’ the ISKCON charity shop in Rochester, Kent, U.K.

Last night I spoke to a gathering at Closet Krishna, the charity shop and meeting space down in Rochester, Kent.

The name of the shop is borrowed from George Harrison’s description of himself as a private, secret devotee of Krishna, a ‘closet Krishna.’ In the days when he said that, ‘coming out of the closet’ was a term used by gay people to describe the often harrowing moment when they chose to declare to the world their sexuality.They faced criticism and rejection, often from those they loved most. ‘Coming out’ was one of the bravest choices they could make.

Telling those we love that we’re a person with spiritual leanings can be equally nerve-racking. It can be just as difficult a conversation, and we never know how they’ll react. It’s a secret, private, part of us, and one that is not always appreciated by our nearest and dearest.But eventually it has to come out.

Yet the first person we have to admit our spirituality to is ourselves. Often we fail to accept that its there, or we put it down as another opinion which may come and go like all the others we’ve ever had.So we’re wary of our opinions, sometimes, particularly the small but persistent voice of our soul.It seems so impractical.

We are all creatures of sweeping belief systems. We don’t always realise how many of our opinions have been shaped by the powerful forces of social discourse, media influence, and political rhetoric. In our bid to be popular with others we may refrain from saying anything that may jeopardise our acceptability. And how many times do we articulate views that are fashionable, rather than those we actually feel to be correct?

We may deny our attraction to our spiritual side, or opt for a spiritual path that is more fashionable or acceptable, but there is a point at which it becomes unhealthy to do that any longer. Its the point when we realise that our affinity for the concept of Krishna is more than a product of mere passing curiosity. It makes too much good sense to us, and allows us to experience feelings much more profound than usual.

That is the point where we must ‘come out,’the point when we must have the courage of our convictions and declare to others our affiliation. When we do that we find that the universe responds and lifts us up in all ways.

[ george-harrison ]