Flaws in the beloved. Virtues in the despised


This is going to get ugly.

And it’s going to be beautiful.

Ugliness and beauty will stand shoulder to shoulder – both of them unashamed of their nudity. It has to be like that, because that’s how I lived it. It was an awful train-wreck, and it was a wonderful transcendental journey – at the same time.

I defy and reject the club-headed dualistic attitude that the sacred has no flaws, and the profane has no virtues. Even the lowest creatures possess some virtue, and even the greatest beings are not literally flawless. Krishna himself, according to Rūpa Goswāmī, exhibits sixteen out of the eighteen classical personality flaws. Just as the virtues of the wicked do not absolve their wicked essence, the flaws of the virtuous do not destroy their greatness, rather they increase the depth and richness of it.

I certainly won’t go out of my way to “talk bad” about anyone, but – when it is essential to the tale being told – I also won’t go out of my way not to depict the ugliness of what was going on. Everyone and everything in my story, including me, is a complex mixture of flaw and virtue, good and bad. And that’s the beauty of it: the ugliness becomes part of the beauty when the essence is beautiful.

This isn’t a Disney storybook.

I have no sponsors or censors to satisfy.

I believe that when ugliness and beauty stand side by side – honest in the full light of day – beauty will ultimately prevail for reader. I believe this because beauty is what ultimately prevailed for the writer.

–  First draft of the preface to
Train Wrecks and Transcendence:
A Collision of Hardcore and Hare Krishna

by Vraja Kishor

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