“Ubuntu” is a South African word which can be defined as “connectedness.” Reverend Marty, a very warm Christian minister conducts the initiative “Ubuntu” with objectives towards breaking down diverse faith barriers at the University of Guelph.
Myself and ISKCON reps like Mahabhagavata and wife Arusha, spent the entire day at this very cultural-friendly campus. We were hosted by Reverend Marty to chant at the student square and then to be part of a panel discussion with topic unity and diversity. Sikhism, Judaism, Sufiism, Christianism and Krishnaism were represented in a discussion involving student interaction.
“What is your take on being radical with your religion?” asked one student. Another asked about the concept of God. All panelists offered their perceptions. A Native chief, Tony, also spoke of Native spiritualism and gave reference to listening to country music early in the morning because the sound of birds and squirrels (his country music) is just too loud at that time of day. I was personally very impressed with the receptivity of the students.
Students purchased Gitas from the Krishna table and other BBT literature. Our contingent spent a whole day at the student square and when the program was casually terminated, our group took to trekking the local path at Aboretum Trails.
This was the perfect way to put a closure to our Guelph visit where hours were spent with beautiful young people. To wind down the mind and the body, we felt that our one hour amidst trees and bushes was the supreme environment for some japa mantras. We received a taste of ubuntu.