Shaunaka Rishi Das, the Director of Oxford Center for Hindu Studies offered six prayers that had been broadcast on UK`s BBC Radio 4 on Diwali week. The programme slot attracts 4 million listeners. Here is one of his prayers:
“Once upon a time my wife, Keshava and I were the gardeners at the temple of Radha Madhava, in Belfast, a temple dedicated to Krishna.
The building is an architectural gem, but its grounds are its glory, displaying magnificent rhododendrons, bog and heather gardens, and formal rose gardens to mention but a few of its charms.
When we came to the temple the gardens were in need of some repair. We both thought that a house in which God resided should have a wonderful garden, where anyone could feel peaceful and appreciate this spark of God’s splendour.
So, we dug, composted, mulched, pruned, planted, lifted, sheared, watered, fed, and mowed, and the former wonder of this 100-year-old garden began to manifest.
But slugs were a difficulty. As devotees of Krishna we did not want to harm them but eventually we thought we should put the glory of Krishna’s garden before – what we gradually saw as – slimy enemies of God. Thus I found myself in an Off-Licence buying a can of beer with which to trap the slugs. What I did not consider on entering the shop was the plight of a Hindu priest being seen to exit an Off-Licence with a can of beer.
In the time I spent loitering at the door, contemplating my lost reputation, I also considered that we had reasoned ill. We had thought to compromise our principle of non-cruelty, and forgot the fact that God has no enemies. Surely in God’s garden everyone can live in peace, and there should be no reason for a Hindu priest to be forced to buy beer. Dear Lord, I choose enemies but you have none. I forget my principles but you embody them. Please help me embody the love I desire to give and to receive. Hare Krishna.”
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org