Monks live on the outskirts of civilisation in isolation – completely dissociated from modern society, and instead engaged with spirituality and tranquility.
Right? Wrong – well not in this Cardiff café any way.
Even in a world with more than its fair share of niche hipster cafés, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant run by the Hare Krishna community is still something of a rarity.
But Atma Café, on Queen Street, has integrated head monk Tarakanatha Dasa slap bang into the beating heart of the city centre, and he has proven that business and spirituality can live comfortably side-by-side.
One look at their Facebook page shows a satisfaction score of 4.7 out of 5, while customers on TripAdvisor have rewarded them with a 4.5 mark.
Reviews describe the eatery as “an oasis of calm” providing “soul food”.
But he insists that they do not hide anything from the public about being Hare Krishna, in fact they encourage discussion about their faith.
“You don’t have to live in a monastery to be spiritual,” Tarakanatha explains, “This is a part of how we share our message. Salvation isn’t about isolation. For most people to speak to a monk they have had to climb up into the Himalayas or go to an island – but we are bringing our belief down into the city.
Jun 25, 2022
Radhapriya Chawla, ISKCON Toronto Communications