Hare Krishna woman lived in tents, caves, and communes

7
2791

By Mark Ellis —

bookcover
bookcover

She turned her back on an upper middle class Jewish upbringing and lived in a Hindu ashram as a monastic nun for 20 years. After a desperate and exhaustive pilgrimage, she finally found the truth in Jesus Christ.

“I was a lost and lonely pilgrim for a very long time,” says Faith Collier, author of Home at Last (Deeper Revelation Books).

At only six-years-old she began to resent her birth into a Jewish family. “My parents told me it was a blessing to be from the Jewish blood line, that I was one of God’s chosen people, but I just wasn’t satisfied,” she writes in her book. “In fact, for some odd reason, I thought I wanted to be a Christian.”

When she asked her orthodox Jewish grandmother about Jesus, the woman screamed at her, “Don’t you ever mention that name in this house, ever again!”

One day at school, Faith asked a Christian friend why the Christians seemed to like crosses so much. “Jesus was nailed to the cross,” her friend stated. Her friend then declared nonchalantly that the Jews killed Jesus, probably not realizing that Faith’s Jewish roots would be jolted by the revelation.

In high school, Faith stopped believing in God altogether and decided she was an atheist. Later, she followed her parents’ chosen pathway to become an English teacher, studying at a college in upstate New York.

“I spent as much time as I could smoking cigarettes and marijuana, drinking alcohol, having casual sex, performing folk-singing gigs at a popular club, and eating at restaurants with my roommate, perfecting the poor-college-student art of ‘dine and dash.’”

She met a young man named Robert in school and they married after graduation. They moved to San Francisco, where Robert entered law school and Faith became a high school English teacher.

The summer of love

The timing of their move to the Bay Area coincided with the full-flowering of the hippie movement. “Robert and I lived double lives for quite some time…on the weekends we got stoned out of our minds and danced with wild abandon at love-ins.”

They took Timothy Leary’s advice literally to ‘tune in, turn on, and drop out.’ Robert quit law school with only one semester to go and Faith quit her teaching job. “Off we went into the world of psychedelics, ostensibly seeking truth and God,” she notes.

Faith thought she saw God on one LSD trip at the beach in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. “All of a sudden the clouds turned into the most exquisite sight I had ever seen… the majesty of it all took my breath away.”

Shortly after that, she left her husband and bought a one-way ticket to Maui. When she arrived, she met some “very zealous Christians” at a popular waterfall, but Faith was bewildered as she tried to follow their teaching about sin, the need for repentance, forgiveness and salvation. They seemed to care little for her as a person. “I left their company with the clear intention of staying as far away from Christians as possible in the future.”

She became the ultimate free spirit, living by herself in a cave and at several beaches. Hitchhiking one evening, she was picked up by three intoxicated Hawaiians who had just come from a luau. They drove their station wagon through the sugar cane fields until they came to a stop near the ocean, where they proceeded to rape her.

During the attack, she felt God protected her from the full-force of the trauma. “I literally felt that Jesus lifted me up above my body, gently held me, and allowed me to be a witness to the violence that was taking place, without actually being a victim to it,” she notes. “This was especially miraculous, because I didn’t even believe in Jesus at the time.”

She survived the attack, but was not ready to surrender her life to Christ. She returned to her “crazy self-guided life” as if nothing had changed. Unfortunately, she contracted a venereal disease from the rapists.

Hoping to purge the disease from her body, Faith trekked out to a remote valley where she shed her clothing, ate only fruit, and prayed diligently for healing. Tourists spotted her and reported her to police, who arrested her for indecent exposure.

Mystical journey

A girl from a Hindu ashram Faith had visited previously showed up unexpectedly at the police station and bailed her out of jail, which Faith considered a “mystical” sign from above.

Even though she thought the Hare Krishnas were a bit strange, she decided to try monastic life. Initially, she liked the vegetarian food, chanting and dancing, but was put off by their idol worship.

“The Hindu books spoke of love; the Hindu songs sang of love. All the externals were perfect, but I did not feel any real love in their temple…I felt no real love coming out of anyone, either towards me or towards each other.”

Faith at ashram, 1970
Faith at ashram, 1970

Despite her reservations, Faith decided to stay for a few months and try it. She entered into the highly-controlled and regulated ashram environment, with rules against eating meat, fish, or eggs, forbidding sex outside marriage, intoxication or stimulants, and no gambling or idle entertainment (including TV).

Devotees were awakened before 4 a.m., allowed a three-minute cold shower, then started several hours of chanting, dancing, and Vedic study. At night, Faith slept Spartan-like on a woven mat on the floor.

She followed the teachings of Swami Prabhupada, a man known as the “guru of the entire universe,” responsible for launching 108 Hindu ashrams, with some 15,000 followers world-wide. “Swami Prabhupada was, according to my understanding at the time, the savior who would deliver me into the eternal kingdom of God.”

Faith’s parents tracked her down and showed up at the ashram one day, inviting her to go out to a shopping

Swami Prabhupada died in 1977
Swami Prabhupada died in 1977

mall with them. As they cruised in her parents’ Oldsmobile, Faith could tell something wasn’t right. Her mother spilled the beans – their plan to take Faith to a cult deprogrammer. At the next stoplight, Faith jumped out of the car and ran all the way back to the ashram.

In her book, Faith chronicles her arranged marriage to an artist in the ashram, but the relationship was never fulfilling for either spouse. After 20 years of sacrificial living, she burned out on their unusual practices and beliefs.

“I was never able to accept that Krishna, a beautiful blue cowherd boy who plays the flute, is God,” she recounts. The stories she read about him seemed like “fantastic fables and outrageous fairy tales.”

Faith entered a dark night of the soul, exited the ashram with her husband, and then separated from him. “I wept and wept and wept for months and months on end,” she recalls. Her despondency left her with suicidal impulses, but she never carried them out.

She left Hawaii for California, and bounced around several churches, attempting to blend a New Age perspective with what she observed in the church.

One day she visited a Calvary Chapel because the pastor was teaching a series about sexual purity. Even though she considered the church outside her spiritual comfort zone, she wanted to hear his perspective on a topic that had caused much trouble in her own life.

Wow, this is a real church, she thought as she took in the teaching. Jesus’ teachings aren’t just stored away in a holy book; they’re alive.

“I knew I was sitting in the Father’s house,” she reflected. “I recognized the voice of the Master coming through the pastor’s teachings and penetrating deep into my heart and soul. It was clearly the Good Shepherd calling me, by name, into the fold:

Welcome home, Faith. You have sought me with all your heart and you have found Me.

The worship music impacted Faith even more than the teaching, transporting her upward before the throne of

Faith with her husband, Justice
Faith with her husband, Justice

grace.

That night, as Faith poured over the Book of John, she was born again. “I didn’t realize the Bible was filled with one-liners that could knock your socks off and turn your whole world upside down and inside out in the fewest possible words. If I had known Jesus’ style was so punchy and laser-like, I would have started walking with Him a long time ago.”

That was the night the Lord chose to answer so many years of fervent prayer. “The joy and peace I was blessed with were off the charts. A huge sense of relief welled up in my entire being. I no longer had to navigate my own desperate pursuit of truth or listen to guidance that could no longer be substantiated.”

“I relaxed into a sweet sense of homecoming.”

 

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

7 COMMENTS

  1. THE FOURTH MONOTHEISTIC RELIGION
    by BV Bhagavat Maharaja & Isa das
    http://www.equalsouls.org

    Which religion is that? You may ask, and rightly so. Most academic and news articles usually talk about the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Even though these three religions share a common theological precept that there is one GOD ([1]El Kana) and no other, they are anything but unified in describing the path that the devotee must take to reach that one and only GOD.

    Today we have attempts by all three religions to create interfaith harmony through theological fiats at ecumenical conferences that draw people’s attention to the things that unify these three religions as opposed to their differences.

    Hinduism (Vedic Religion, Sanatan Dharma) would like to join this dialog and be recognized as Monotheistic.

    Hinduism (Vedic Religion Sanatan Dharma) appears to be a polytheistic theological conception where a pantheon of deities ([3]Angels) are worshiped, it is actually a systematic process of elevating each individual soul over one birth or millions ([4]Transmigration; Jewish) to greater and greater levels of faith in the divine existence of the one original and infallible GOD ([1]Kana).

    In the Bhagavad Gita which is the book that many consider the Bible of the Vedic Religion, Lord Sri Krishna (Kana) who is understood to be GOD ([5]Allah), The Supreme Personality of Godhead explains.

    “After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” BG 7:19

    “I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul ([6]Lord in the heart; Jewish). As soon as one desires to worship the demigods ([3]Angels), I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to some particular deity.” BG 7:21

    “Endowed with such a faith, he seeks favors of a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone.” BG 7:22

    In these verses Lord Sri Krishna explains how the worship of the Demigods in the pantheon is for less intelligent persons who want the temporary material pleasures of the world and not the eternal spiritual pleasures of eternal spiritual life on HIS Spiritual Planet ([7]The Garden Of Eden). Furthermore HE explains that it is actually HE who provides such temporary material benefits by empowering the Demigods to provide them. Hence directly or indirectly all Human beings are worshiping that one Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    There are many other evidences in the Vedic Scriptures of Lord Sri Krishna’s position as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead , and as the source of, even Mahavishnu ([8]Metatron), Brahma ([9]Abraham), and Siva ([10]Shiva;Judaism) what to speak of lesser demigods like Indra, Ganesha, and Durga ([11]Jewish)

    We find in the Vedas this definition of God all religions can agree on.
    The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.
    Sri Isopanisad Verse One

    The point of this brief monograph is to give the reader an insight into the real nature of the Vedic Religion which in reality is monotheistic as opposed to polytheistic. The so called display of polytheism is only a device to appeal to the widest array of souls having a human experience.
    God is always inviting us “Back home back to Godhead”

    …………………………………………………….

    [1] The most holy of all names of God for a Jew is KNA or KANA, Rabbi’s have slapped my face when I have said this name out loud.

    This is considered to be the most intimate name for God in the Old Testament. Where it is translated, “I am a jealous God, have no other gods before you”, the literal Hebrew translation is, “My name is EL KNA, have no other gods before you.”

    [2]From a Vedic (Hindu) view point, Kana is also an affectionate name of Krishna, The pronunciation used above “KRE ShTN” is very similar to the way south Indians pronounce Krishna.

    [3]DEMIGODS AND ANGELS have the same function in both traditions.

    a. The Midrash teaches, “There is no blade of grass that does not have a constellation (Mazal) over it, telling it to grow.” [Sefer Yetzirah 4.6]

    “As commentaries explain, ‘God’s providence works through the angels, but the angels, in turn, work through the stars and planets. As some authorities put it,the angels are, in a sense, like souls to the stars. Thus, for example, some sources speak of the stars as having intelligence, but the commentaries note that this is actually speaking of the angels that are associated with them.'” [Sefer Yetrzirah 4.6]

    b. The Vedic conception is that there are many specially empowered demigods who help manage the affairs of the universe including the planets of our solar system.

    The controlling demigods, although not eternal themselves, function within various posts that exist as long as the universe exists.

    [4]Although the majority of sects within Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the mainstream historical and contemporary followers of Kabbalah, the Cathars, theAlawi, the Druze[3] and the Rosicrucians.[4] The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of the Neoplatonism, Orphism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism and Gnosticism of the Roman era, as well as the Indian religions, is unclear.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmigration_of_the_soul

    [5]In the “Old Testament” the 5 books of Moses, God explains that He is the beginning to the end. This same idea is expressed in the New Testament. Revelation 22:13, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ThisEnglish usage of Alpha is based on the Hebrew Alef. Also in the Hindu (Vedic) scripture, Bagavad Gita, Krishna says “of letters I am A.”

    [6]When the soul is about to descend to this world, it first goes down to the terrestrial Garden of Eden and sees there the glory of the souls of the righteous, and then goes down to Gehinnom and sees the wicked who cry “Woe, woe”, and find no compassion. That holy form (God) stands by him until he emerges into the world, after which it keeps him company and grows up with him.” [The Zohar 43b] [KI TAZRIA (LEVITICUS)]

    [7]Apiryon symbolizes the Palace below which is formed in the likeness of the Palace above. This the Holy one, blessed be He, calls ‘The Garden of Eden,’ for He created it in order to satisfy His own ardent desire for joyous and continual communion with the souls of the righteous who have their abode there-these being those souls who have no bodies in this world. These all ascend and are crowned in that place of perfect delight, and have each their appointed places from whence they can perceive the “loveliness of the Lord”, and partake of all the delicious streams of pure balsam (aparsamon). This aparsamon symbolizes the hidden Supernal Palace, whereas apiryon is the Palace below.” [Zohar 127a Terumah (Exodus)] In other words, there is a Garden of Eden in the eternal spiritual kingdom of God, and there is also a manifestation of the Garden of Eden that exists within the material world.

    [8]Metatron in Origins of the Kabbalah where it is said, “Metatron is therefore not a proper name at all but a designation for the whole category of celestial powers performing a mission.”[Origins of the Kabbalah, III, 6]

    Regarding the revolving sword or flaming sword that revolves, it is said “the manner in which the sword rotates depends on the readiness of the individual attempting to enter. If he is worthy, it becomes the mirror through which he perceives, while if he is not worthy, he is burned out and cut off by the fire of this sword. The one who oversees the sword, preventing the unworthy from entering, is the angel Metatron.” [Meditation and Kabbalah p 80 Chapter 4, Teachings of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia]

    [9]Brahma is said to have four heads. There is an obscure reference to a four-headed angel in the Talmud. It is said, “Angels are supposed to have no back and four faces, so always to be able to behold God.”[Talmud, cf. Ezek i. 6] Also, many rabbis say that an ancient Abraham, with secondary creative power like Brahma is being referred to when speaking of Brahma.

    There is a description of how the universe was in chaos until Abraham appeared. It is said, “Over the whole, there hovered Tohu (chaos) and as long as Tohu dominated, the whole world was not in being or existence. When did that key open the gates and make the world fruitful? It was when Abraham appeared.” [Genesis II 4]

    [10]Shiva (Judaism)

    Among Sephardic Jews believe that every beracha (blessing) said elevates the neshama, (soul) of the deceased.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting_shiva

    [11]”He summoned to issue from the side of Darkness a kind of female moon, which rules over the night, and is associated with Adonai, the Lord of all the earth. In his days, the moon was magnified and reached her fullness. A thousand mountains rose before her, and she blew them away with a puff. A thousand mighty rivers flowed before her, and she swallowed them at a draught. Her nails reached out in a thousand and seventy directions and her hands in twenty-four thousand, so that nothing could escape her. Thousands of bucklers clung to her hair. From between her feet went forth a youth who stretched from one end of the world to the other with sixty clubs of fire…” [Zohar]

    • “Very nice philosophical explanation ! Very far from sentimentalism point of view. Thank you !”

      I agree with this!!

  2. Beautiful explanation. Thank you. (I consider myself a “Vedic Jew” who is definitely not afraid to explore the NT or discuss/admire the role of Jesus).

Comments are closed.