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The Druze: A Tourist’s Diary
by Kavicandra Swami

Osofia, Israel

I just finished a few days of intense preaching with the Druze. Most of you have heard of them due to a book that was published by HG Dhira Govinda Prabhu, who pioneered the preaching in that community and from various news reports that have come in Hare Krsna World.

Starting at Gaura Purnima 2001, a group of senior sheiks (religious initiates) went with some devotees for a tour of India. They feel a great brotherhood with us and feel that their religion originated in India. They first visited Mayapura and were overwhelmed by the Vedic greeting ceremonies which were arranged by HH Jayapataka Swami. It happens that his secretary, Tusti Mohan Prabhu, is from the Druze community in Lebanon, so he could translate and take care of them nicely.

They visited Vrndavan, Mumbai, and Dharamasala, where they met with the Dalai Lama. When they asked him about the Supreme God he said there was no need of such a thing, and they were not very impressed. They loved everything about ISKCON and the preaching they heard at our temples.

So when I met them, each one gave a long talk glorifying his experiences in India and expressing how much they felt obliged to reciprocate. After that they asked many serious questions on spiritual subjects and were happy to hear our answers, which of course were straight from Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Except for vegetarianism, they are serious about the regulative principles, and they love to hear about the qualities of God and of the saintly persons.

We also had a nice program at the high school. As soon as we walked in each of us was surrounded by students who were full of thoughtful and submissive questions. They were so enthusiastic that it was hard to organize anything, but we did have a wonderful kirtan with many of them joining in and chanting loudly. One girl said she would never forget it for the rest of her life. She went out and brought in a few more friends to have them hear.

Now another pilgrimage is being planned which will bring a group of school superintendents to India. After that we expect to have a lot more programs in the schools. They recognize that Kali Yuga is having a strong influence on their youth and they want spiritual education to spread.

Currently Yamunacarya Prabhu, from Rupanuga Vedic College in Kansas, is heading up the preaching there. He is assisted by Vibhisana Prabhu, an Isreali, and recentely Adi Purusha Prabhu has come from Kansas. They are well liked and are kept busy.

I have sent a few photos. The Druze always live in the mountains and have done a good job of preserving their culture while working within the country where they live.

Kavicandra Swami

© CHAKRA 10 December 2001

Go to the “Kavicandra Swami Page

 

Click on each photo to see it full-size and complete.

A Druze Diary #1: At a high school

A Druze Diary #2

A Druze Diary #3

A Druze Diary #4

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