On a summer evening – June 25th, 2011, Radhanath Swami was again warmly received at popular Washington DC restaurant – Busboys and Poets. The venue is famous for hosting a range of speakers, focusing on writers, artists and activists, and has established itself as a gathering place for vibrant discussion and exploration of community and social issues.
Kirtan group ‘As Kindred Spirits’ were on hand to play their take on traditional Indian devotional songs as everyone arrived, and later accompanied Radhanath Swami as he led the audience in call and response singing of the Hare Krishna mantra.
A diverse cross section of people packed the room to its 250 seat capacity, and a line formed outside as people waited to see if any seats would become free over the next hour. Inside, Radhanath Swami gave a summary of the Journey Home, focusing particularly on his experiences with the Black Panthers in his youth, and other great activists and politicians he has subsequently met. He emphasised that the only real solution to the social ills of America is a spiritual one, and spoke about the life of his dear friend, Bhakti Tirtha Swami, who endeavoured to promote this principle wherever he went and established an institute in Washington DC for that purpose (IFAST – Institute for Applied Spiritual Technology). It was Bhakti Tirtha Swami who requested the Journey Home to be written as he spent his last days in Radhanath Swami’s company.
A lively Q&A followed with many people raising questions regarding spiritual perspectives about subjects such as healthcare, human rights and more specifically about Radhanath Swami’s projects in India. The evening ended with more music from As Kindred Spirits and a book signing in the restaurant’s book store.