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News coverage of Srila Prabhupada and his movement.

Religious Group Wins Day in Court

This article, "Religious Group Wins Day in Court" was published in Detroit Free Press, January 28, 1970, in Detroit, Michigan.

Free Press Staff Writer 

Five young men, heads completely shaved except for a tuft at the back, stood passively in front of the Traffic Court bench Tuesday morning. 

Members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, they were in court to answer charges of beating a drum, playing a pair of hand cymbals and chanting the different names of God too close to the City-County Building. 

A Detroit policeman, Charles Whitfield, ticketed them Nov. 25 as they walked on Woodward between State and Grand River wearing long golden robes, playing their musical instruments and praying for the salvation of mankind. 

SPECIFICALLY, Whitfield cited them for holding a street concert without permission within a mile radius (of the City-County Building). 

The five maintained through their lawyer that they were exercising their religious freedom. 

Tuesday, the prosecutor and the Traffic Court Referee agreed with the five young men, and the charges were dismissed. 

"You can go now," said Referee Wynne C. Garvin. 

They marched out, quietly chanting "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Rama...," all the way down the dark corridors of the Old County Building. 

The society members, 18 of them, live in a commune at 74 W. Forest. They can be seen almost any day outside the J. L. Hudson Co., on the University of Detroit campus or up in Ann Arbor. 

They beat a little drum, play a little cymbal, sell a magazine entitled "Godhead" and utter the different names of God as their means of praying for all mankind. 

They smile a lot, too.

Reference: N/A

Western Cult Has New Deity: Lord Krishna

This article, "Western Cult Has New Deity: Lord Krishna" was published in Washington C.H. Record-Herald, January 24, 1970, in Washington Court House, Ohio.

Associated Press Writer 

NEW YORK (AP) - Midafternoon in the hurrying crowd, six young men in long saffron and white robes, their heads shaved, sway past Saks Fifth Avenue begging with extended conch shells and chanting to their Lord Krishna. 

Sunday when the drug and crime infested East Village is sleeping off another Saturday night, young people in a walk-up second-floor storefront quietly dress multicolored wooden deities and prepare food for a Sunday feast in honor of their Lord Krishna.

A 17-year old boy shaves off his long shaggy hair and leaves his home and parents in suburban Long Island to serve his new Lord Krishna. 

Lord Krishna is the god of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which claims to have temples in more than 20 locations in the country. 

The new Western cult serving an ancient Hindy deity is part of a growing interest among young people of Eastern philosophies - and Eastern ways of life - which stress spiritual experience rather than material concerns. In recent years there has been a growth in the United States in devotees of yoga, of interest in Zen Buddhism, in Indian music and the wearing of Eastern garb. 

Krishna devotees are mostly in their late teens and early 20s. Many were hippie-types; some were drug users. 

"We're not going to get the Midwestern college kid," said Chandan Acuarya, a member of the East Village temple. "We're going to get the kid with the long hair who has sensed that it is a money-grabbing world.

Chanadan, 22, was formerly Christian Kindler, a rock musician and commercial writer in Montreal. "I was making all kinds of money, but I was going out of my mind," he said. "That's why I'm here.

The key to the new Hindu cult is the chanting of the ancient 16-word mantra: "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

"This is the authorized process by which one can develop an unalloyed love of God - God realization," said Brahmananda, president of the New York temple. "This chanting establishes a link between the living entity and the absolute truth.

Translated, the Hare Krishna asks: "Krishna, Oh my Lord, give me relief from illusion of this world and attraction to the material world. Bring me to serve you.

The colorful Sunday feast draws many more people than the 30 some devotees. 

Then a crowd of young people flock to the temple. Some are attracted to the cult's philosophy: some are curious; some come for the free meal. 

Chanting begins softly as burning incense coils a thin smoke throughout the room. One robed devotee, tinkling finger cymbals, rises slowly and sways before the flower-decked altar.

A brief sermon informs the visitors of the values of Krishna consciousness. "Transcendental bliss" can be theirs, they are told. 

Then the rugs are rolled and devotees and vistors settle down for a vegetarian feast. Some visitors linger and go out into the street chanting and begging with the robed devotees. 

But for the initiates, Krishna Consciousness is more than a Sunday lark. 

It is a way of life founded in 1966 when Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta arrived from the East with what he said was the "divinely appointed task" of carrying to the West the prescribed method for devoting to God - the chanting of the Hare Krishna. He set himself up in a lower Eastside storefront. The curious came, some remained, and the temple was founded. 

Krishna life is highly regulated for all followers. Beginning at 5 a.m., their day is crammed with devotions, ritual cleaning of themselves and the temple, other chores and chanting and begging in the streets. 

Following the law of the Vedic scriptures, they give up all intoxicants, drugs, alcohol, coffee and tea, abstain from sex except for procreation within a Krishna marriage, avoid gambling: and don't eat meat, fish and eggs.

Reference: N/A

Hare Krishna chanters move across the street

This article, "Hare Krishna chanters move across the street" was published in The Province, January 9, 1970, in Vancouver, Canada.

Chant "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna" and you may be saved. 

So says Renato Carboni, 20, alias Rabindra Das (sungod servant), who chants downtown every day with other young persons dressed in orange robes. 

The chanters decided to leave the Birks building corner of Georgia and Granville after one of them appeared in Provincial Court on Wednesday. They moved to the Hudson's Bay corner Thursday. 

A complaint was laid by a group of lawyers and chartered accountants in the Birks Building that the Krishna followers were violating the anti-noise bylaw. 

A compromise was reached - the charge was dropped after agreement by the Krishna group that they would not chant outside the building. 

On Thursday, at the Hudson's Bay corner across the street, Carboni said he and the other chanters are trying to reach the general public. 
"The only way for spiritual development is to glorify in God and this is done by chanting his name.

He said the word "Hare" means "energy" and "Krishna" is the name of God. It means "all attractive.

The Hare Krishna movement was started in 1966 by East Indian Prabhupada A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. 

Carboni said the group accepts donations that are used to support a temple at 260 Raymur. 

"Rent on the temple is $250 a month and then there's groceries and clothing for the five of us. All we have is our robes and one change of clothing.

He said the idea is to renounce the material life and devote one's life to God. 

"We are in complete ecstasy chanting the name of God," said Carboni when asked why he doesn't become bored chanting 10 hours a day. 

Carboni said he came to Vancouver last summer as a hippie and then became interested in the religion. 

Clay Howard, leader of the group, said he is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He studied English and economics. 

Howard said the group may do their chanting as they stroll through Vancouver streets - "we haven't decided to stay in any one place.

On a good day, the group may collect as much as $50 by selling its literature, said Howard.

He said the Hare Krishna movement is world-wide with about 2,000 devotees. 

Photo: Rabindra Das, left, and "John," who has not been initiated, chant outside The Bay Thursday.

Reference: The Province, Unknown Location, Canada, 1970-01-09

Krsna movement comes to town

This article, "Krsna movement comes to town" was published in The Morning Herald, January 27, 1973, in Hagerstown, Maryland.


It could have been the Salvation Army, but the words were different and the clothes were all wrong.

Five young men with their heads shaved nearly bald and wearing ankle-length robes stood at Public Square Friday afternoon, chanting, beating drums and spreading the word of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, "Spiritual Master" of the International Society for Krsna (pronounced Krishna) Consciousness. 

The society promotes a non-violent religion founded in India 5,000 years ago.

Krsna consciousness, they say, is an "ecstatic" slate of awareness of God, achieved through chanting and meditation. 

The five devotees, all from Toronto, were distributing books and pamphlets by the spiritual master, as well as a nook called Bhagavad-gita, the holy book of the faith. Hagerstown was one stop on a two-month tour the devotees were taking. 

The reception they got at the square wasn't exactly a warm one. 

One of the young men, Kripa Sindhu (Servant of the Ocean of Mercy), began chanting on the corner, and a group of young boys giggled. 

"Hey, sweetie, why don't you get a haircut?" somebody yelled in jest. 

Some people ignored the missionaries while others just snickered. 

But the hecklers didn't seem to bother Kripa. "We try to remember they've lost their spiritual consciousness," he said. 

"Our main duly is to distribute books," Kripa said. "You can't convert people in two minutes.

But the devotees believe that the books themselves are enough. "It's the highest science of God-consciuusness," Kripa said, "If people would read the literature, they would accept it. It's the perfect science.

Kripa joined the society two years ago. He discovered the faith at a peace rally. Everyone else was fighting, he said, but the Krsna people were sitting in a group, chanting peacefully. 

"I visited the temple every Sunday for about two months, and every time I talked to a different person.

"Then they asked me if I wanted to move into the center, which was what I wanted to do.

All the devotees live communally in about 60 centers across the nation. They derive their income from the manufacture of incense. 

Children live with their parents at the centers until they are five years old, when they are sent to school in Dallas, Tex. 

"It's to everyone's benefit," Kripa said. "It's better to teach the love of God than to build family attachments, which end at death anyway.

The devotees dress the way they do "to renounce the physical world," they said. 

"We don't give up physical things," Kripa said. "There is nothing wrong with the material world. It's how it's used that's wrong.

"Take atomic energy. There's nothing wrong with atomic energy, but it shouldn't he used for bombs. It's how it's used that makes it wrong."

Kripa looked down the street where the other devotees were stopping shoppers and explaining their faith. 

One asked a young woman if she'd like to have a pamphlet. She gave an embarrassed smile and said, "I've already got one, thanks," and hurried by.

Photo: Kripa Sindhu with his literature

Reference: N/A

Columnist Has Chat With Krishna Monks

This article, "Columnist Has Chat With Krishna Monks," was published in The Petaluma Argus-Courier, January 5, 1970, in Petaluma, California.

Staff Columnist 

Today many Christian religions are standing at the cross-roads. 

The young people are demanding changes, and some of these changes are taking place. Despite these changes many are turning to new religions or ones that have not been in the Western world. 

On my never-ending search for something different to write about, I recently ran into a group of Krishna monks. These monks belong to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness that was formed in July of 1966. The founder of this religion is Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta, and he brought the movement to this country. 

My get-together with these monks took place in San Francisco's famed Union Square, and I sat down and joined them. 

While I sat the monks chanted, and at the end of the chant I chatted with Madhudvisa-Das, commander of the San Francisco Krishna temple. 

Das, whose real name is Michael Morrissey, gave me a magazine that has the following scrawled across the top - "Come Back to Godhead - The Magazine of the Hare Krishna Movement.

Madhudvista-Das talked at length about Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta. Das said the Swami came here from India on orders from his Spiritual Master to preach love of God to the people of the West. He said the Swami is in a line of disciplic succession going back directly 500 years, to the time when Lord Chaitanya appeared in India. Das added the succession from there went back 5000 years to the time Krishna first spoke The Bhagavad Gita to his desciple Arjuna, and before that to Lord Brahma, the first living entity within the universe, who appeared at the time of creation. 

About Krishna Consciousness, Madhudvisa-Das said it is experienced as a process of self-purification. Its means and end are an open secret, and there is no financial charge for learning Krishna Consciousness or receiving initiation into the chanting of Hare Krishna. 

Das went on to say that Krishna Consciouness is the Science of God Realization. By this science, we can understand that all living entities are parts and parcels of God, he said. At this point Das pointed to an article in the magazine he had given me. 

This article called Goloka Vrindaban the original spiritual planet. The article also stated that this planet is the abode of Lord Krishna, the Original Personality of Godhead. This article talked about an unlimited number of spiritual planets. 

The article also stated that the spiritual planets are dominated by plenary expansions of Lord Krishna, and that all the inhabitants there are ever-liberated living beings, and they are all four-handed. 

During my chat with Das, a cameraman carrying a moving picture camera approached and focused on us. Then several plainclothes policemen arrived on the scene, and one of them asked me what my business was. When I told him, I also asked, "Why are you checking on these people?" He replied, "To see if they are disturbing the peace and blocking foot traffic." The policemen then left and the Krishna Monks resumed clanging their cymbals and chanting their mantra - "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Rama.

When I asked Madhudvisa-Das what one had to do to become a monk, he replied - "Have a sincere heart, be willing to serve God." Other qualifications he added - "A willingness to drink no intoxicants, take no drugs, eat no eggs, fish or meat." Das concluded -"If unmarried, embrace celibacy." Krishna Monks shave off their hair, and they wear long robes. Those I sat and chatted with were in their 20s, and Das said he was 22. 

"We have two temples in Northern California," Das said, "one in San Francisco, the other in Berkeley. At the present time there are 35 monks living in these two temples. The monks arise between 4 and 5 a.m. They then bathe and apply telok, a sacred clay, to their bodies. After that it's chanting, reading scriptures and a breakfast of fruit and milk.

"The food we eat is first offered to God and is called prasadam," Das said, and he added - "we hold services at the temples on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, These services run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and everyone is welcome to attend.

Das described his fellow monks as the most pure people in the country and added, "We don't want expensive clothes, we don't want cars - we just want to share with people what we have been given by our spiritual leader.

When I arose and started to leave, Madhudvisa-Das said - "Come eat with us, come chant with us, and you will find your way to God.

Photo: GETTING DOWN THE FACTS - Argus-Courier columnist Bill Soberanes conducts an unusual interview, sitting and taking notes while talking with Madhudvisa-Das, head monk of the San Francisco Krishna Temple, during an outing in Union Square.

Reference: N/A

Hare Krishna Religion Takes Hold

This article, "Hare Krishna Religion Takes Hold" was published in The Tampa Tribune, January 22, 1972, in Tampa, Florida.

This austere, severely disciplined movement turns away from material pleasures and relies on "Krishna," another name for the Lord. 

Tribune Staff Writer

At 4.30 a.m., two hours before the sun rises, Jeffrey Juliana, a devotee of the Hare Krishna Consciousness movement, showers, dresses, and offers food to Krishna in the Sri-Sri-Radha, or temple room.

An hour later, the broad-shouldered 18-year-old and four other Krishna people residing at 207 W. Woodlawn Ave., huddle close together in a circle for meditation.

This intense prayer session is followed by a cleaning of the temple and a breakfast of dahl (vegetable soup). After the simple meal is finished, the devotees hold scripture classes and study, the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, translated by A. C. Bkaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, spiritual master and founder of the Hare Krishna movement. 

A LUNCH OF bread sticks and vegetables is offered to Krishna at noon followed by sankiratan. During this ceremony, the devotees go out door-to-door to preach the word of God. 

Dinner, taken at 6 p.m, is succeeded by more scripture classes and an hour of free reading. The devotees take rest at 10 p.m. 

A day in the life of a Krishna person is disciplined. Their temple is a monastery and the devotees are monks who lead austere but happy lives. 

"We watch no television or movies and play no games because we're deriving all our pleasure from our devotional service to Krishna," Juliana said. "We lead a disciplined existence, but who has ever been hurt by discipline?

JULIANA, WHO has been a devotee three weeks. does not have a spiritual name because he has not been formally initiated into the religion. He will receive his holy name when he spiritually advances in the Krishna movement and is graced by God. 

Another house devotee, Pustakrishna, has been graced by God after a year in the Krishna movement. When asked what religion he belonged to before becoming a Krishna person. the 21-year-old said. "Show bottle religion. I was simply practicing religion one day a week, and only several hours that one day.

In contrast, Pustakrishna now devotees every day of the week to Krishna. When not praying he chants the sacred mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Hare means energy of the Lord while Krishna and Rama are names for the Lord. 

"The Lord is present in his name and everything relating to Krishna has the same potency," he said. "His name, his form, his word - everything is all one.

PUSTAKRISHNA WAS in Dacca during the Bangladesh uprising and believes that political strife led to the war between India and East Pakistan.

"Our view is that the politicians are not solving the real problems of life, namely birth, death, disease, and old age," he said. "No politician himself is free from these four miseries of material existence, therefore one must accept the higher authority of the scripture coming through the chain of disciplic succession.

Krishna people disdain material pleasures most other persons are accustomed to and rely on. They have no desire but to serve Krishna, and in turn, Krishna provides them with all they need to survive.

"Krishna is described as the owner and controller of everything material and spiritual. Therefore, one should accept only that quota which he requires, elsewise, who is he stealing from but the Lord." Pustakrishna said. "So this Krishna consciousness is trying to re-educate the masses to spiritual life recognizing God as the center of all activity.

THE ORIGIN OF the Hare Krishna movement, as interpreted by the spiritual master is that: "The Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great apostle of love of God and the father of the sankirtana movement, advented Himself in the city of Navadvipa in Bengal, India. This was in February, 1486, by Christian reckoning."

"By the will of the Lord there was a lunar eclipse on that evening. When Lord Caitanya was born during the eclipse, then, the whole of India was roaring with the holy sound of Hare Krishna.

In the three months that the Krishna people have been in Tampa, they have been met with a "very nice response," according to Pustakrishna. The young devotee teaches a Krishna course at the Unisersity of South Florida which includes instruction in authorized transcendental meditation and study of the Bhagasad Gita As It Is. Every Sunday at 4 p.m., the Krishna people hold a Krishna Vegetable Love Feast for the public. 

Devotees of Krishna Conciousness pass through four orders or ashrams of life. The Brahmacari, or celibate student, has the option of marrying or remaining single. While single, the celibate student lives and studies in a section of the temple called the Brahmacari ashram.

IF THE DEVOTEE marries, he becomes a householder or grhastha. In later life he can accept varnaprastha which is a transition stage where one breaks all worldly ties with friends and family. Finally, one accepts sanyassin, the renounced order of life. The sanyassins only engagement is developing pure love for God by engaging body, mind, words, and senses exclusively to Krishna's service. 

The Krishna people realize that their appearance sometimes draws stares and jeers from people on the street, but this cajoling is taken as another material aspect of the world which is disregarded. 

New devotee Juliana, before becoming a Krishna person, had shoulder-length hair. His head is now shaved except for a small sikha, or pony tail, on the back of his head. He wears beads which signify his respect for Krishna and the traditional dotie or skirt.

"I SHAVED my head for cleanliness and because our spiritual master recommends it, and by pleasing our spiritual master, we obtain the grace of God," he said. "I am trying to disassociate with everything material; that's why it doesn't bother me when people gawk at me. I am just a spirit within a body anyway.

According to his devotees, the spiritual master predicts that the Hare Krishna movement will turn the hippies into happies. 

"The counter-culture people are changing because they're discovering every day that they cannot obtain any lasting happiness from drugs or illicit sex," Juliana said. "So, they are looking for something real and God is reality. Love is the ultimate trap and Krishna is the fountain of love.

Photo 1: Krishna children Bhaktin Juniper, 5, and Bhakta Milly, 6. 
Photo 2: New devotee Jeffrey Juliana prays in the Temple, a ritual he performs each time he enters.
Photo 3: Krishna devotee Juliana reads scriptures in the Temple.
Photo 4: Devotee Strums Guitar In Celibates' Study ... Krishna people find joy in simple pleasures.
Photo 5: Youth prepares to leave Tampa temple for travel to other cities to spread the word of God.

Reference: The Tampa Tribune, Unknown Location, USA, 1972-01-22

Krishna Believers Here Seek Joy in Worship

This article, "Krishna Believers Here Seek Joy in Worship" was published in The Honolulu Advertiser, January 14, 1969, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Advertiser Religion Writer 

On nearby Kapiolani Boulevard the night was alive with the urgent rhythm of urban traffic. 

But some visitors to a small room on the second floor of the Leilani Building were able to forget modern tensions one evening last week as they created "transcendental vibrations" in honor of their Lord Krishna. 

Outside the room - at 1649 Kapiolani Blvd. - was a yellow sign saying, "ISKCON.

Inside, slender tendrils of smoke rose from sticks of incense placed on an altar. 

Shoulders were moved, heads jerked and hands clapped in time to the insistent beating of a drum and the repetitious chanting of a 16-word Mantra: 

"Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

"This is the Maha Mantra," one of the worshipers explained. "We are chanting the praises of Name, Form, Quality and Pastimes of the Lord.

"By singing God's Names, one comes into actual direct contact with God, and in this way one's consciousness can be purified of its false material associations.

Hare is the energy of the Lord; Krishna, the Supreme Lord; Rama, the Lord. 

The initials ISKCON stand for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. 

Spiritual Realization 

"The Hawaii branch of ISKCON encourages the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra," visitors are told. "We feel it is the surest way to taste the nourishing substance which is spiritual realization.

ISKCON was founded in 1966 by Swami Bhaktivedanta to "spread the message of love of God.

Life magazine recently noted the society's popularity among young people. 

"The Hare Krishna meditation transports the disciples into a religious ecstasy so rapturous it's almost embarrassing to witness," a Life reporter wrote. 

This was an accurate description of the ISKCON kirtan (worship service) here. Kirtans are held at 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Leilani Building. 

Some of the worshipers clashed kartels (saucer-shaped cymbals) in one-two-three time. Others held strings of 109 "japa" beads, saying prayers as they fingered each one. 

And keening voices carried the room-filling repetitious chant through emotional changes to the tender tapping of a double drum. 

Seated at the drum was Gary McElroy. ISKCON's Spiritual Master awards spiritual names to his disciples at initiation. And McElroy also is known as Goursundar Das Adhikary. 

The word "brahmachary," signifying a knower or pursuant of Brahman, the Absolute, is given to denote an unmarried student living a regulated, celibate life of full service to the Spiritual Master. "Adhikary" denotes a married man. And the words "devi dasi" denote women, either married or not. 

Each Gets a Name

When a student takes formal initiation under the guidance of a Spiritual Master, the latter gives him a Name of the Lord, followed by the word "das" - the servant of. 

McElroy, 23, came here last September from San Antonio, Tex., by way of San Francisco. 

"I had heard of Krishna Consciousness at the University of Texas," he said, "but I did not sense the true atmosphere of happiness until I studied with our Spiritual Master in San Francisco.

He said ISKCON hopes to build a temple here. 

During the kirtan, McElroy read aloud from a new translation of the Bhagavad Gita, which is known as the Book of Spiritual Enlightenment. 

From time to time, he paused to explain ISKCON's views on such subjects as reincarnation, transmigration and man-made satellites. 

"Think of the energy and brainpower needed to launch a moonship," he said. "Isn't it logical to believe there is some energy and brainpower needed to sustain the intricate solar system, with huge planets spinning in space?

Asked for his views on reincarnation, he said. "I believe we have existed before.

McElroy works as a courier for ITT World Communications, Inc. His fellow worshipers - Mike and Linda Murphy, Joseph Pekala and Mark Babbitt - also came here from the Mainland. 

Pride of participation in the fast-growing international movement shone in their eyes as they sat beneath gay-colored pictures of scenes from Vedic scriptures and listened to McElroy's readings. 

10 Now, More Later 

"We have about 10 members locally right now," McElroy said, "but we're hoping to get many more.

Murphy and Pekala are carpenters. Babbitt is a warehouse shipping and receiving clerk. 

Like McElroy, they have spiritual names. 

Murphy, 23, is Murari Das Adhikary. His wife is Lilavati Devi Dasi. Pekala, 20, is Vamandev Das Brahmachary. Babbitt is Mahapurusha Das Brahmachary. 

Murphy formerly lived across the street from the San Francisco temple. 

"I was attracted by the chanting," he said. "I tried it and discovered it relieves the pressures of our material world and the pressures of our lusts and desires.

He said further study of Krishna Consciousness has proved it contains stable and solid truths. 

Pekala discovered ISKCON when he was a religion and philosophy student at the University of Vermont. 

"I made a field trip to the Krishna temple in Montreal," he said. "I developed an interest in this philosophy-religion which is inclusive of every other philosophy and possibly goes further.

Babbitt said he has found inner peace and blissfulness through ISKCON. 

"The chanting is the most incredibly powerful and life-changing force I have encountered," he said. 

Mrs. Murphy heard her first "Hare Krishna" in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. 

"I was on a vacation from some very intense graduate studies in New York," she said. "I was struck by the joyfulness of the people in Golden Gate Park.

"I became joyful too when I began chanting - although I had been feeling anything but joyful before.

"I couldn't stop chanting when I returned home. I went back to the temple and encountered our Spiritual Master. He was a very old man, but he seemed youthful. And he was the most joyful of all.

"I feel that I have been able to expand my consciousness through listening to him and through regular chanting.

Mrs. Murphy wore a bright Indian sari at the kirtan

"I wear this to please Krishna," she said. "Krishna is the supreme enjoyer. We are here to be enjoyed by him. We are here to honor and celebrate him.

Photo: Mrs. Murphy chants and fingers beads as McElroy plays drum. 

Reference: N/A

Serenity, Perfection Found In Hare Krishna Chant

This article, "Followers Say Serenity, Perfection Found In Hare Krishna Chant" was published in The Orlando Sentinel, January 3, 1972, in Orlando, Florida.

The traffic signal on Orange Avenue blinked "Wait," then it clicked to "Walk," and Diana crossed the street. Clutched under her arm were two dozen pamphlets titled: "On Chanting Hare Krishna.

Seventeen-year-old Diana wore an orange-colored robe and worn-out tennis shoes. There was an earring in her nose, and her forehead had two streaks of white lines, which had been put on earlier that morning with wet clay. 

THE ORANGE-ROBED girl made a strange contrast to bustling downtown Orlando, just a few days after Christmas. 

Cars went by with clashing gears, the squeal of brakes. Shoppers made irregular patterns on the sidewalks as they exchanged Christmas presents, drifted into restaurants for coffee, and bargain-hunted at downtown stores which had red "Sale" signs In their glass windows. 

Diana stopped passersby, and she gave them copies of her pamphlets. "We have to get out of our material entanglement and go back home to God," she was saying, handing out pamphlets and asking for donations. A woman with a full shopping bag gave her a quarter and Diana said, "Hare Krishna.

'Good Vibrations' 

"MANY OF US are unhappy in the material world," she said. "We're desperately looking for something. We found it in Krishna. Everything is perfect in Krishna. Perfect.

Diana, from Phoenix, Ariz., first became involved in the Krishna movement because she felt "good vibrations" while repeating the famous Indian chant. Embracing the group made her one of a growing number of Americans who have turned away from the world, towards what they hope is a more fulfilling spiritual life. 

Leaving behind the structured and orderly religion offered by the established churches, various groups are part of this movement. Many of them have taken to the streets, and they can be found everywhere. 

IN ORLANDO, for example, a recent phenomenon is the "Jesus Freaks." They are mostly young people who consider themselves "Street Ministers," buttonholing people to tell them about their personal involvement with Jesus Christ. 

Then there are what might be called the "loner" types. A 46-year-old Chippewa Indian from Ontario, Canada is one of them. 

His name is Steve Sylvester Wawia. He's in Orlando now, taking time off from a five-year trek across the United States which "Jesus told me to do.

WAWIA AND his wife, Charlotte, covered 3,400 miles on foot. They took with them only a bedroll, and a change of clothes. They stopped to preach on the way at churches, tents or anywhere people would listen to what they consider to be the Word of God. 

"Jesus told us to walk," explained the dark-skinned, black-haired Wawia as he sat on a bench in Eola Park. "He wanted us to do that so we could meet and talk to people on the way.

"We'll be off again," he continued, "as soon as God gives us a compulsion and tells us where to go.

35 Members in Orlando 

THE GROUP to which Diana belongs, Hare Krishna, is a world-wide organization. About 35 members came to Orlando recently from one of their communes in West Virginia. 

For weeks, the group has been traveling in five yellow school buses. When they move on to another town, they plan to leave behind a few members to start an Orlando chapter. 

There are 1,500 preachers of Hare Krishna in the United States, according to a former Columbia University student who now calls himself Kirtanananda Swami. 

LIKE MANY Krishna "devotees," he has a shaven head as a symbol of his faith. Wearing the familiar orange robe, with white clay lines on his forehead, he talked about himself in Eola Park during a vegetarian "love feast.

"I was a student at Columbia University in New York, getting my doctorate in History. I was not satisfied with what I was taught. I wanted something else from life besides working hard till you're 65, and then retiring to have a heart attack. I took a trip to India, without really having a clear idea of what I was going for. While there, I saw Krishna, but was not impressed.

He returned to New York, where he met the modern-day leader of the 500-year-old Krishna movement: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The year was 1966, and the Swami was in New York because his spiritual master had told him to "preach love of God to the people of the West.

Divine Grace Student 

KIRTANANANDA SWAMI became his first student. Since then he has been active in the Krishna movement, reading, studying, traveling to India. 

Kirtanananda says that the Krishna movement is supported by donations and by the sale of Spiritual Sky incense, which is made at the group's West Virginia commune. 

Krishna is perhaps best known for its chant, which "is not an ordinary sound, but a transcendental sound," according to Kirtanananda. "It has the power to unleash the soul."

"IT GOES like this: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare. Hare, Rama, Hare, Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.

The Krishna movement believes that God is everywhere, and man is all part of the perfect whole - "Everything is perfect." People cut themselves off from this perfect attachment to God by getting involved in material strivings, followers believe. 

KRISHNA "DEVOTEES" urge a simpler way of life as a way of finding an attachment to God, a consciousness of Him. 

Their beliefs are reflected in their simple life styles and in their way of dress. The white streaks on their foreheads are symbols of their faith. And the familiar tennis shoes are common because Krishna members do not believe in killing animals for food or leather shoes.

Krishna members are opposed to any killing, including mosquitoes. Members also avoid eating meat or eggs, stay away from stimulants and drugs, and promise not to have any sex outside of marriage.

All Ages Follow

THOUGH MOST "devotees" are in their 20s, there are younger members. Like 17-year-old Diana. And there are older followers, such as "Sheelavati devi dasi," who has two teen-age children. 

What is behind the popularity of Hare Krishna and the other religious groups? Some interpret it as only the beginning of a worldwide return to God. Others say followers of these groups are seeking peace in a complicated world. 

Some of the Hare Krishna followers seem to have found this peace. There is serenity in Diana's face as she walks among the more-worldly minded shoppers on Orange Avenue. 

It is a warm afternoon. Some shoppers take her pamphlets. Diana smiles at them. "Everything is perfect," she says. The world moves around her, shifting and changing, but Diana thinks she has found something that is eternal.

Reference: N/A

Krishna Cult - the Chant Goes On

This article, "'TUNE' TESTS PATIENCE AT BERKELEY: Krishna Cult - the Chant Goes On" was published in The Los Angeles Times, January 11, 1970, in Los Angeles, California.

Times Staff Writer 

BERKELEY - The chant goes on all day and into the evening at the Sproul Plaza entrance to the UC Berkeley campus. 

"I wish they'd change their tune," complained a secretary in Sproul Hall. "It gets nerve-wracking.

Berkeley is accustomed to bizarre scenes, but even here, the sight of young Americans arrayed like figures in a tableaux on the banks of the Ganges is a jolt to some and an annoyance to others. 

Gandhi - like figures wrapped in billowing yellow robes accompany their chant with clanging cymbals, drums, a harmonium (similar to a portable organ) and a string instrument called the tambura. 

Men Have Pony Tails 

The men have their heads shaved, except for a pony tail called a sika. The women have long hair and flowing saris. All of them wear white marks on their foreheads as a sign of humility. 

The mark is made with clay that comes from India, as do other distinguishing features of Krishna Consciousness, the religion practiced by the chanters at Sproul Plaza. 

This cult has spread across the nation in just three years and now has temples in 20 U.S. cities. Others have been established in Europe and South America. 

Some critics of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness contend that a religion ought to consist of more than merely chanting Krishna's name all day and night as the devotees do. 

Others object to the Krishna sect's aggressive attempts to recruit converts. They contend that the Krishna evangelism and chanting in conspicuous places like the university entrance here and the cable car turnaround at Market and Powell Sts. in San Francisco are inconsistent with Indian culture. 

Because of these reservations from a scholarship standpoint, the university has refused credit for an experimental course on Krishna Consciousness which will be taught during the winter quarter by Hans Kary, president of the sect's temple here. 

University staff members in the administrative offices of Sproul Hall are not concerned with the Krishna philosophical approach. It is of no moment to them whether a touch of the Baptist faith has crept into Hindu cult. Some employees have complained bitterly to campus police, however, that the chanting is driving them up the wall. 

"No one objects to the practice of religion, but when a repetitious sound continues over several hours, it's like dropping water on a stone," said a member of the campus police force, which also has its headquarters in the basement of Sproul Hall. 

In spite of the complaints, the university has made no attempt to expel the Krishna devotees from the wide sidewalk strip at Telegraph Ave. and Bancroft Way, where they regularly perform. 

Sidewalk Orators 

University administrators are understandably chary about severely restricting activites on the strip, which also accommodates pamphleteers, sidewalk orators of various political persuasions, doughnut vendors and fundamentalist Christian preachers. 

Back in 1964, the school banned political activity on that same strip. The action set off the Free Speech Movement demonstrations. These angry protests of the university "machine" eventually led to relaxation of the ban on political activity and only the time, place and manner of such efforts are now regulated. 

With an apparent hiatus occurring now in the six-year cycle of campus confrontations, the administration is apparently very hard of hearing when it comes to getting riled about mere noise. 

Leaders of Krishna Consciousness seem unperturbed by the complaints about their actions. They remained calm even when seven members of the San Francisco Temple across the bay were arrested recently in front of the Geary Theater. They were chanting, passing out incense and asking for donations from theater patrons leaving a performance of "Hair.

Police charged them with disturbing the peace and obstructing traffic. 

Michael Morrissey, 22, the president of the San Francisco temple and one of those arrested, said the Krishna practices would continue as before. 

'Our Life and Our Soul' 

"We must continue our chanting." he said. "It is our life and our soul. People are not going to like it, but many times I don't like it when people blow grass (marijuana) smoke in my face, and many people didn't like the Salvation Army when they came on the streets.

The Krishna society was formed in 1966 by Prabhupada A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. He brought the movement from India, established temples that first year in New York and San Francisco and is called the spiritual master by Krishna devotees in the United States. 

At the core of the religion is the Krishna chant or mantra: "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Krishna means the Supreme Being. Bhaktivedanta traces the religion back 500 years to an Indian named Chaitanya, who learned that he could achieve ecstasy by chanting the Supreme Being's name. The practice is common among various Hindu cults. 

"The sum and substance of Krishna is chanting," explained Kary, the Berkeley Temple president. 

Kary emigrated to the United States from Germany with his parents when he was 10 years old. He went through high school in New York and worked as a realist painter before joining the Krishna movement three years ago. 

"Everyone in this country is trying to squeeze pleasure from material activities such as making money, taking drugs or having sex," said Kary. "But they can achieve a higher pleasure by chanting which gives us transcendental vibrations." 

Devotees support themselves by begging, selling booklets about the movement and selling incense. 

Live in Temples 

Most live in temples, where life is austere. Married couples are accepted for membership and marriage is permitted between single men and women after they join but romance in the conventional courtship sense is frowned upon. 

A recent issue of the movement's magazine, Back To Godhead, explained how marriages are arranged: 

"When a brahmachari (single man) decides to marry, the system is that he should consult his godbrothers and ask their advice. If they agree that marriage is the best thing for his spiritual advancement, then he should submit his plan to the spiritual master for approval.

"Upon approval of the spiritual master, an eligible girl is chosen, either by the spiritual master himself or by the brahmachari's godbrothers. It is best if neither the boy nor the girl has choice in selecting this lifelong companion. Marriage is not for sense gratification, and therefore the partner should not be selected on the basis of sexual attraction, but on the couple's desire to work hard together for the spiritual master.

Those joining the movement agree to drink no intoxicants, take no drugs, eat no meat, fish or eggs, do no gambling and engage in no "illicit sex life.

A typical day starts at 4 a.m., when devotees rise, take baths, dress and begin their chanting. They keep track of their chants on strings of beads. Each string has 108 beads, one for each recitation of the 16-word mantra. 

In the course of a day, the devotee is expected to make 16 circles of the beads, which comes out to delivering the mantra 1,728 times. 

Bake Own Bread 

A one-hour service is held at 7 a.m., consisting of chanting, readings and lectures. Then comes breakfast, consisting of fruit and milk, and performance of household duties such as cleaning and cooking. The followers eat only food which they prepare. None is canned or frozen. They even bake their own bread. 

All members of the temple "go on the street," usually to Telegraph Ave. and the university entrance, for a couple of hours of chanting after household duties are completed. They return for lunch about 2 p.m. This is their major meal of the day. 

Back to Street 

After lunch, they go back to the street for several hours more of chanting. They return to the temple about 8:30 p.m., take a bath, have milk and fruit and retire. 

Most of the members are in their 20s. Kary estimates that the movement has about 2,000 members nationally. Some followed the hippie life style and took drugs before finding Krishna. 

"We're not hippies - we're happies," said Kary. "Chanting satisfies people's desire to feel blissful, to feel high all the time.

The Berkeley Temple has 20 devotees, including four women. Single women live in rooms separate from the men in the three-story rented house. 

This achievement of an almost trance-like state through chanting seems to be the appeal that has attracted young people to the movement. Among the cities which have temples are Boston, Buffalo, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Seattle. 

Dr. J. F. Staal, professor of philosophy and Near Eastern languages at UC Berkeley and an instructor in Indian philosophy, believes that the Krishna sect is an authentic Indian religion and that its adherents are sincere. 

Belief in Mysticism 

He attributes the society's rapid increase in members to the tendency of today's younger generation to reject organized churchgoing while at the same time searching for fulfillment of a belief in mysticism. 

He points out, however, that persons who turn away from Christianity, Mohammadism and Judaism have usually lost faith with the personal god of those religions and are looking for a mystical religion without absolutes. 

"These people in the Krishna movement have turned to Hinduism but, curiously, it is a cult that is highly personalistic," Staal said. "They accept a personal god, Krishna, and Christianity has that. I feel that they have transferred some of their Christian background to a Hindu sect.

He also feels that they spend too much time chanting to develop a philosophy. On these grounds, he and others on the faculty turned down the request to give Kary's course credit. 

Hard to Dislike

Members of Sigma Chi Fraternity, whose house backs up to the Krishna Temple, have found it hard to dislike the Krishna followers in spite of their eccentric ways. 

Disturbed at the persistent chanting and with a few drinks under their belts, some of the fraternity boys went to the temple one night a few weeks ago, began raising their own din and broke some windows. 

Krishna members got out of bed, got dressed, took their cymbals and musical instruments and went chanting and dancing to the front of the fraternity house. 

"They threw beer cans at us at first," Kary said. "They also invited us mockingly to come in, so we went in, continuing our chanting. They made fun of us at first, but in about 20 minutes, they were all chanting and singing with us. They even took us over to a nearby sorority house and the girls there joined in the dancing and chanting.

"The whole atmosphere became transformed. It was beautiful. All enmity was dissolved.

Asked about the incident, Sigma Chi President Mark Ornellas, 20, agreed that it had a happy ending. 

"They (the Krishna followers) don't bother anyone," he said. "They're just a colorful group. It's just part of Berkeley.

Photo: BERKELEY BEAT - Members of International Society for Krishna Consciousness chant and play instruments at the Sproul Plaza entrance to UC Berkeley. Religious cult has spread across the nation in just three years and has temples in 20 U.S. cities, including Berkeley.

Reference: N/A

Chanting for Krishna

This article, "Chanting for Krishna" was published in Independent Press-Telegram, January 24, 1971, in Long Beach, California.

Youths dressed like Oriental monks, playing drums and cymbals and tambourines, swaying to their jangling rhythm, and chanting... Hare Krishna... Hare Krishna... 

It seems to be a scene from a travelogue, far away in place and time. But the youths are Americans, and the scene is occurring now in more than 25 cities across the United States, especially so in Southern California. Twice a week, they are in Long Beach at Third and Pine and at the Cal State Long Beach campus. 

I first encountered the unlikely scene in front of a department store on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Like a dozen other passers-by, I stopped to watch. 

A young man with shaven head, sandals and robes stood apart from the chanters. He offered incense and literature to the watchers - a magazine called Back to Godhead and a book entitled Sri Isopanisad

I passed on the incense but "donated" $5 for the literature. 

Reading later, I found the group is called The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. 

Krishna was an avatar (a deity descended from heaven to earth) and the charioteer of Arjuna, the chief hero in the ature in which Krishna advises Arjuna on duty and the immortality of the soul made Krishna one of the most popular of Indian deities. Krishna himself is often believed to be the human incarnation of one of the original half dozen solar deities who, in three giant strides, daily traverse the sky in Hindu theology.

It might he said this group is a recent nonsectarian offshoot of Hindu and Brahmanical philosophies whose origins go back 5,000 years in India - recent in that the movement was founded in the Western World in July, 1966, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a small number of American students. 

From his humble New York storefront beginnings the Swami and a few disciples began to spread the word through chanting. Indeed, chanting - or sankirtan, as they call it - can be said to be the basic tenet of the faith in which all other activity is subsidiary. Between 10 to 12 hours daily are spent on various street corners this way and the movement believes this alone is the most effective means of God realization. Their literature states: "The effect (of chanting) is a clearing away of the dirt from the mind engrossed in the gloom of material existence.

After reading their literature, I decided to take advantage of an invitation card to a "sumptuous 15-course spiritual feasting at 4 p.m. Sunday," hoping I could talk to some of the followers in a more relaxed setting. 

Their Los Angeles temple and world headquarters is part of a 30-center world complex with branches in seven countries. Formerly a Methodist Church, it was purchased by the group for $1.5 million. In California, there are centers also at Laguna Beach, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco and plans are underway to open a permanent branch in Long Beach. 

Reference: Independent Press-Telegram, Unknown Location, USA, 1971-01-24