Is it Weird Being a Hare Krishna?
I’m your typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill garden-variety actor / (slash) Hare Krishna! You all remember the Hare Krishnas, right? A lot of people think we’re not around anymore – but we’re around! It’s just that back in the day, we all used to be bald and with the orange bedsheets, banging on the tambourine all day. See, now we’re like gay people. We’re everywhere! You just might not know it!
When I first became a Hare Krishna, I remember I was at my grandmother’s house one Christmas and my uncle and I got into this heated debate about what it means to be truly spiritual. And mind you, I just became a devotee of Krishna and I was very enthusiastic. Ah, exuberant! Ah, obnoxious really – is what I was. So we were going at it and at one point it got so heated that my grandmother had to intervene and finally she says, “C’mon you two. It’s Christmas. Do we have to talk about religion!?”
As Hare Krishnas we try to absorb our consciousness in thoughts of God as much as possible. See, Krishna is the sanskrit name for God. Now some people think it’s weird to want to absorb your consciousness in God all the time – which I find kind of amusing because nobody thinks it’s weird to absorb your consciousness in, oh say – your job! – twenty-four hours a day! Or, Facebook, or celebrity gossip, or sports. Nah, just God…
So we sometimes wear this tilak. It’s a little bit of this sacred clay we wear on our foreheads to indicate that we are devotees of Krishna. Some people think thats weird, but I’m from New York and – um – when some Giants fan with a beer-belly rips off his shirt to reveal that he has painted himself blue and red from his hair down to his waist, that’s normal! But when women inject collagen into their lips and silicone into their breasts so that men can absorb their consciousness in sofa-cushion lips and astrodome breasts – that’s normal!
So let’s recap, shall we? Attempting to understand the nature of reality and the meaning of life: weird. Mob Wives on VH1: normal. Making an effort to know experientially whether or not God exists: weird! The fact that any of the Kardashian girls are famous: normal. Searching out who I really am beyond temporal layers of ethnicity, nationality, gender, race and creed: weird! Glee-driven business men collapsing our economy yet still controlling this country while impotent politicians cling desperately to the deep sleazy pockets of said business men: normal!
I must be missing something because I just don’t get it!