Krista Burda – Traveling Teacher in Search of Spiritual Bliss
Krista Burda holds a B.A. B.Ed degree from University of Toronto. She taught English in Germany for 15 years. After returning to Canada, she taught English as a second language. Now that she is retired, she volunteers as a teacher in Canada as well as in India. She enjoys movies with a message, reads a lot, and spends much of her time learning more about health and spiritual issues.
Krista loves traveling. On her visits to India, she involves herself in spiritual pursuits. As a friend she is very caring and loving. I had the occasion to meet her on one of her trips to Delhi, India. She came across as a warm and affectionate person with simple tastes, but rich in her thoughts and views.
Here’s what Krista has to say about herself and her journeys into the spiritual realm:
Interviewed by Danteshwari Bhaskar
Q.1 You are a regular visitor to India. What attracts you to India?
Yes, I am a regular visitor to India. I have visited the Sri Aurobindo ashrams in Pondicherry, New Delhi, Nainital and Ramgarh. In 1994 I rode my bike through the famous bird sanctuary of Bharatpur. Of course, I have seen the Taj Mahal and visited Bikaner, Amritsar,Vishakhapatnam, Guwahati, etc., but there are still many, many places I have yet to experience. India is an extremely beautiful country and the people are mostly very kind. I am learning Hindi now, to better understand the lyrics of Jagjit Singh and others.
Q.2 What are your observations about the lifestyles in India as well as the social and economic conditions?
India is a land of contrasts, both in Nature, as well as in people. I do feel that the very poor people’s lot is improving and am wowed by the extremely rich. I prefer balance in my life and hope that India will find it, too.
Q.3 As a visitor, are you able to quench your thirst for adventure and the “unknown”?
Curiosity should be tempered with caution.
Q.4 Spiritually, you find India a very attractive place to visit. Why So?
Many great souls have lived and still do live in India, and have left a legacy that can be felt even today.
Q.5. How do you feel about the mystic East? Do you feel the West has much to benefit from it?
There is a spiritual tradition, which makes India special. Yes, and the process has already begun (witness the growth of yoga, ashrams, etc.)
Q.6 Culturally, how do you find the local people different from you?
Some Indian customs are inherent but not voiced, baffling outsiders and are a source of unwitting conflict. Westerners are more outspoken, often offending their Indian hosts by their directness.
Q.7 You often spend your time in the Himalayas? Can you tell us about your stay there?
I was at the Madhuban Orchard ashram, which is associated with the Sri Aurobindo ashram, in Talla Ramgarh, District Nainital, during May & June of this year.
My reason for going there, was as a volunteer to teach English and to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of this valley full of fruit trees. The students were at varying levels, but quite eager to improve their knowledge of the language. The time passed very quickly and it was extremely difficult for me to leave these wonderful students. In 2009 I intend to volunteer at Aurovalley, which is near Hardwar/Rishikesh.
Q.8 Is India a good retreat for foreigners who are fed up with the materialistic society of the West?
Yes, it is, but there are places in their own countries, if they just want to retreat spiritually. It is not just a matter of running away.
Q.9 What places fascinated you the most in India?
India is a huge and diverse country and I feel that I have not seen enough yet to make a choice.
Q.10 Do you feel the Indians also can enrich themselves from the Western belief system?
Yes, both systems have strengths and weaknesses. It is a question of finding one’s way.