Bhakta Das's Influence On Religion

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As S explained he was already on the path of conversion to Islam, and did not want to make such a life- changing transition under duress or pressure. He explained that he had needed to meet with an Imam, and had subsequently chosen an Islamic name to mark his adopted identity. (The one he chose belonged to one of his favorite soccer players.)

S explained that he was impressed by his wife’s commitment to loving others, and by the respect she showed to everyone she met. He felt a strong sense of belonging as he and his new father in law and relatives walked down the street to the Mosque in matching outfits. He was suddenly at one with family, with his adopted community, and Allah, his Lord.

S and his wife told me that they had their daughter baptized in the Catholic Church. Their main reasoning was so she would be able to make choices in the future about her own faith journey. They also felt that the girl’s baptism in the Catholic Church would heighten the bonding and relationship between the little child and her paternal grandparents. I cry now as I think about just how important the approval of his mother was to S. He did not want to “break her heart” with his change of religious expression, and
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He had followed a call into the priesthood, but became disillusioned by the attitude and behavior of a number of older priests in New Guinea. It would seem that it was largely the communal acceptance within the Hare Krishna movement, their generosity and heart for sharing that gave him the confidence to build on his spiritual searching and to transcend human limits and conventions. As David Tacey says he was able to “aspire to a relationship with the sacred”. He found comfort and solace after earlier disillusionment. Bhakta struggled greatly during his disappointing journey into a holy life and priestly vocation within the Catholic

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