Friday, October 9, 2015

49 years ago today, the Hare Krishna movement started in Tompkins Square Park



Here's a little history courtesy of Off the Grid (via The New York Times):

In 1965, after a difficult month on a steamship, a spiritual leader named Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada arrived in New York convinced that if Americans would embrace his conception of Krishna consciousness, the other countries in the world would follow. In 1966 he founded the International Society of Krishna Consciousness at 26 Second Avenue, near 2nd Street.

On October 9, 1966, Swami Prabhupada led a group of followers to the nearby Tompkins Square Park. Under the leafy canopy of an American elm tree they began to chant a distinctive 16-word mantra: ”Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” It was Swami Prabhupada’s first outdoor chanting ceremony outside of India and it was the birth of the Hare Krishna religion.

Read more of the tree's history here.

EVG correspondent Steven took the above photo this morning of Vani, who was here to mark the anniversary.

8 comments:

shmnyc said...

People in this country think of the Krishnas as harmless, meditating people that hippies were attracted to. In fact, ISKCON is a Hindu fundamentalist organization, extremely wealthy, that funds the fascist BJP, a Hindu nationalist party in India. They should not be glamorized.

Anonymous said...

all the people?

Anonymous said...

Krishna is balls. Everyone knows Shiva is where it's at.

Aum namah Shivaya

BTW, I can think of another extremely wealthy nationalist party the USA glamorizes to the tune of billions of dollars a year but I'm wondering if anyone here would be so quick to label them as fascists for being nationalists. Just sayin' ... maybe it's time to open your eyes.

Anonymous said...

hi shmnyc - you're right and they abuse their tax free status and run illegal air b n b hotels on e 3rd next to the hells angels - they're crooked for sure, but they are vegetatrian, and they do do yoga ...

btw - i would gladly support fascist hindus or muslims in india any day of the week!

Anonymous said...

shmnyc ... muslims should stay in pakistan, india is for hindus.

JG said...

Steven,

The post neither glamorized or demonized the Krishnas.

It's an anniversary worth noting

equilibrist said...

I used to think of Krishnas as just another opportunistic cult, but after living in various cities and seeing how much they do to feed the hungry, I have a newfound respect for them. When I lived in Prague 20+ years ago, they were one of the few places to get a healthy meal, by donation. And I have often seen them feeding people in Tompkins square park. Happy anniversary!

shmnyc said...

JG, My issue is more with the tree being commemorated to them than the marking of the anniversary, although a little background information is not a bad thing…