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Title: My Spiritual Biography
User: Neil LA Date: 2007-04-05 18:22:40
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!
I wrote a spiritual bio for another group that I belong to, so I thought it might be nice to post it here as well.
I抦 37 and have spent most of my life living in San Francisco. I have always felt connected with God and spirituality.
I was raised Episcopalian, but have always been drawn to eastern spiritualities, especially Hinduism. I first got exposed to chanting Hare Krishna when I was in the sixth grade by reading the 揔rsna?book by Swami Bhakitvedanta Prabhupada. Of course I didn抰 get all the philosophy, but it inspired me to chant Hare Krishna to the best of my ability.
When I was in high school, I served as an acolyte at Grace Cathedral and one day while exploring the City I came across a Hindu temple on Sacramento Street called 揚alani Swami Temple.?They had daily puja and abeshikam to Kartikeya, and Ganapathi on Saturday so I started going there frequently.
In 93, I found out about Eastern Orthodox Christianity and ended up joining the Orthodox Church.
Since then, I抳e had a tendency to spend about a quarter of each year focusing on one spiritual path and then feeling drawn back to another tradition and so I tend to change practices about 2 or 3 times a year. Sometimes I feel I should focus on just one, but each tradition is so beautiful, that if I chose one and left the other, I would be unhappy. I also had a period of exploring Buddhism.
Over the last few years, I抳e been mostly focused on going on a pilgrimage between the Catholic Church and Hinduism. I really love Jesus, but also love all the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I have focused on Gaudiya Vaishnavism because I love Chaitanya and Nityananda. In 2004, I had the privilege of coming across the website of Swami Gaurangapada and I received initiation into the Nitayananda and Gauranga mantras.
Right now I抦 trying to combine the best of all my paths into my own version of Cosmic Worship. I chant japa to Nityananda, Gauranga, Hare Krishna, and other forms of God. I perform simple puja and am trying to integrate all the different threads of my practice into one beautiful tapestry.
I am SO blessed to have had association with so many wonderful teachers. Their influence over my life has been so profound in so many ways, I can抰 possibly say how much. Even though I抳e never met Swami Gaurangapada in person, I know he is with me and guiding me on my my path.
Sri Sri Nityananda Gauranga ki Jai!
Sri Srimad Bhaktiratna Sadhu Swami Gaurangapada ki Jai!