I had been trying to practice Krishna Consciousness for approximately one year when, by the divine arrangement of Sri Krishna, I went to Oxford Brookes University (no, it’s not part of Oxford University, but yes, it is in Oxford) to study for my BSc.
I initially had the usual aspirations one has when leaving home for University – date lots of girls, get drunk at least 5 times a week, party hard, and do a little studying my spare time. Fortunately, that never happened.
During the first week I was in Oxford I managed to contact, and meet, the devotees who lived there. Unknown to me, from that very first moment I met the devotees, my University life would be anything but usual.
Of course over the 3 years I was swayed from time–to–time by the usual allurements of student life, finding myself constantly battling between my mind and intelligence. I can quite confidently say, however, that those devotees in Oxford, and they know who there are, saved my life on many occasions.
This past week I visited Oxford to see these old friends once again. It has been 3 years since I left Brookes, in this time a lot has changed, both for me personally and the make–up of the Oxford community of devotees. The strange part, however, is as soon as I stepped into the house where the devotees live; it was as though I had never left. It was surreal, almost like stepping back in time.
It is often said that the years one spends at University are the best. For me, this is definitely the case. My time in Oxford was wonderful, filled predominantly with happiness, and dare I say, spiritual ecstasy, in the loving company of the many devotees of Krishna who reside there.
To those kind souls who lovingly tolerated and cared for me, and continue to do so, I thank you from the core of my heart.