News coverage of Srila Prabhupada and his movement.
This article, "Editor's daughter finds her high purpose in religion," was published in Honolulu Star Bulletin, March 28, 1971, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
This is another in a series of articles on attitudes and goals of the new generation as reflected by the children of prominent Hawaii residents.
By LEONARD LUERAS
Advertiser Staff Writer
On Maile's forehead was painted the traditional tilaka: "Krishna's footprint, a sign of devotion."
Her right hand, meanwhile, fingered smooth beads of tulasi wood in a cloth bag at her side: "doing japa - to purify the sense of touch; a yoga to keep the senses centered on Krishna."
And she danced in her orange and white sari - up and down, from side to side - to the Vedic mantra (chant) prescribed for this time in history:
"Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."
Then, following an hour-long meeting at the Krishna Temple on McKinley Street in Manoa, 17-year-old Maile Griffin, the daughter of John Griffin, The Advertiser's editorial page editor, talked of her love for Prabhupada, her master.
(Prabhupada - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, 75, an Indian holy man - is the leader of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), an organization which follows the religious teachings of India's 485-year-old Sankirtan movement.)
"You see," Maile started, "practically all of us here at the temple were rebels of some kind before. But we've become more practical now."
"Now, we're helping society in the highest way: through love of God, Krishna."
"WE'VE GONE beyond the concept of self - where you're Leonard and I'm Maile. We've transgressed it. Each person is a pure-spirit soul, so we look at him that way."
"Like the way to help the Vietnamese - or the way to stop the war - is to give in the highest way. You can't change it from the outside, you've got to change the people."
"And this is what we're doing."
Several times during this interview, pretty Maile (her spiritual name is Maile devi dasi) made references to what she called body-consciousness.
"LIKE SO MANY people on this Island are very race conscious. They're very body conscious," Maile said. "But it really doesn't make any difference, because it's only your body."
"But people think this body is The existence."
"They feed it, they decorate it. It's the ultimate end. And this relates to giving. Giving gives people the highest happiness; and so they give."
"But they give bodily associations."
GIVING BODILY associations, Maile said, isn't as relevant as spiritual giving.
"Like my father. He makes a lot of money, but there's still something that doesn't satisfy. He still has to take vacations."
"I suppose if I'd had my choice before, I would have wanted to write editorials. But still, what he's giving people is incomplete. He's still working on the material platform."
"Say if everybody is elevated economically and socially to his platform, there'll still be something missing."
MAILE CITED cellular regeneration as evidence that human bodies are not enduring structures.
"Like all your cells die every five years. There's a turnover of cells, so like I'm a completely different person than I was when I was 12 years old."
"But my consciousness is still there. It's never born. Like you couldn't remember yourself coming into this existence, because you've always been a pure-spirit soul."
"KNOWLEDGE CAN be used, though. Think about Shakespeare. The realizations he had were unique for his day. He realized the condition of material misery for one thing."
(Maile then interrupted her Shakespeare thoughts to quote from T.S. Eliot's poem. "The Hollow Man.")
(She said: "We are the hollow men, the stuffed men. our heads filled with straw." Then ended with: "This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.")
Then, getting back to Shakespeare, Maile said: "I mean, but what does Shakespeare have now? He's gone and had to take on another body."
YOUNG MAILE is a 1970's fascination: her head is into ancient Vedic scriptures, Eliot, Shakespeare; her body's committed to celibacy and a vegetarian diet; and she digs living communally, with three women and 11 men, in service to Krishna.
"Do you regret any of your past life, before joining the Krishna Consciousness group?" Maile was asked.
"Oh yes. I regret everything. I regret that I haven't learned about Krishna before. You see, if you weren't born into a family of devotees, you learned everything the wrong way."
MAILE SAID that she was first turned on to Krishna at Kalani High School, when members of the now - defunct Haiku Meditation Center visited the school to chant and preach.
"What Sai (Sai Young, the Haiku group's leader) had to say was perfectly logical," Maile said. So she got more and more involved in the movement.
(Young, 22, whose real name is Chris Butler, is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Willis Butler of Kailua.)
Photo: Sari-clad Maile: "Each person is a pure-spirit soul..."
Reference: Honolulu Star Bulletin, Hawaii, USA, 1971-03-28
This article, "Krishna movement brings ancient Indian religion to Brooklyn," was published in Star Tribune, March 19, 1969, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
New York Times Service
New York, N.Y.
The visitor, looking for the Radha Krishna Temple in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, encounters a friendly housewife who says, "Oh, you're going to the Harry Krishners. The neighborhood sure has changed. Now it's got all kinds. But I guess they're harmless, even with their funny clothes and all."
In the reception room of the brownstone at 439 Henry St. (formerly a Catholic convent), a pretty girl in a daffodil-colored sari and with a small gold ring in one nostril says, "Hare Krishna," and with a welcoming smile adds, "you're expected."
Leaving shoes behind - they are not permitted - the visitor pads up a staircase, following a devotee who explains that prasadam (the word means mercy of the Lord, which food is called) is ready.
Walls are decorated with paintings of the Lord Krishna, the supreme godhead of Krishna consciousness, whom the scriptures say appeared 5,000 years ago and remained on earth for 125 years, taking 16,108 gopis (consorts) and fathering 10 children with each.
Other paintings show Lord Caitanya, who is said to be an incarnation of God, and who "clarified" the Bhagavad-Gita scriptures 500 years ago and whose teachings the present movement follows. Photographs show the spiritual master, his divine grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who founded the international movement from a Lower East Side storefront six years ago.
The room is almost over-poweringly perfumed with incense. The movement owns the largest incense company in this country, called Spiritual Sky. Sales from the incense and recently added perfumes and toilet articles are $2 million a year, a devotee said.
The hosts are two pairs of grihastas - married devotees.
Rukmendi Dasi, whose karmie or outsider name is Wendy Buchwald, is a vivacious young woman center-parted hair over which she has draped one end of her sari. Her husband, Baradraj Dasdas, was known as Mark Buchwald in karmie life.
Baradraj is an artist and Works at the society's printing press on nearby Tiffany St. Rukmeni's work is caring for the needs of the deity, sewing his costumes and making daily offerings of incense, food, water and flowers.
The other couple are Bhadra (Connie Vologna Ball), a forthright 23-year-old, and Pariksit (Douglas Ball), who, like Baradraj, wears his head shaved except for the sikha, or flag of hair, at the back - "so krishna can pull out your soul."
The most irresistible member of the group is a gurgling baby whose birth certificate reads Tulasynanda Ball. Born four months ago, he now weighs 17 pounds. Tulasyananda smiles, blows bubbles and rubs at the freshly painted telok on his nose. He is being breast-fed until he is 6 months old.
The devotees sit cross-legged on the floor and chant a prayer, then prasadam is presented. The first course is a sort of thick soup of mixed vegetables. There is a plate of herbed rice and flat buckwheat cakes that resemble Mexican tortillas.
The main course includes various chopped and spiced vegetables, strips of fried eggplant, various mixtures of fruits and nuts, and round white sweetballs made of milk curd. Milk is the protein staple of the Krishna followers.
The tray contains no meat, fish or eggs. The destruction of living creatures (eggs are considered embryonic life) is one of the society's "no-nos." The others are intoxicants - meaning anything from drugs to Coke to weak tea; illicit sex - that is, outside of marriage and for reasons other than procreation: and gambling, even in the mind.
In addition to restricting sex to once a month, the couple is required to chant 50 rounds of the mantra on their beads before engaging in sexual acts. Devotees are required to chant 16 rounds of the mantra daily: going at a fast clip, this can mean two hours.
Bhadra is frank about her karmie life. She comes from an Italian family in Queens. She attended Catholic schools and at 18 left home for an apartment in Manhattan.
"I got into the drug scene, the big rock scene, the political scene. I was a revolutionary one week, a groupie the next. I popped a lot of acid, speed and marijuana."
She worked as a commercial coordinator for CBS-TV.
"I used to see those crazy Hare Krishna kids in the Village, dancing and chanting. One day a boy sold me a book for 50 cents. I read it. It was so nice. You can have God as a lover, a friend, or whatever you want."
She telephoned the temple and was invited to come to a class in the Bhagavad-Gita scriptures. After the class she went out and danced with the group and that weekend moved into the temple.
That was three years ago. She met Pariksit in the movement. The former Douglas Ball was born on a farm in Ault, Colo., 22 years ago. He attended Colorado State for two years, noticed the Krishna chanters at student protests, and decided to quit college and join them.
The marriage was arranged in that Bhadra asked the temple president if she might marry Pariksit. A year and a half ago they went through a civil ceremony and then a more elaborate one at the temple. Bhadra's father and some of her aunts attended. Her stepmother did not. She sees her father from time to time.
"My father wants me to be happy," she explains, "but the family wants me to make them happy in their way, to satisfy the senses, have money."
Even more difficult for an outsider to understand is how she will be able to part with her son when he reaches the age of 5. At that time he will be expected to attend Krishna consciousness school in Dallas, and his parents will see him only twice a year. "She'll cry," Pariksit says of his wife. "No, I won't, I'll be happy that he is advancing."
Bhadra spends several hours each morning working as a bookkeeper for the Spiritual Sky Co., for which she is paid $40 a week. That takes care of the rent and utilities. The couple eat at the temple, which also provides clothes bought at wholesale.
"How can they live like that?" asks a Cobble Hill neighbor. How, indeed, can the young people live a day that begins at 3 am. and ends about 9 p.m.? And a marriage where sex is supposed to stop entirely for the woman when she reaches 30 and is no longer encouraged to bear children? (marriage is monogamous in the Western movement, and it is forever. Couples may not separate unless they "bloop" - that is, drop out of the movement.)
"There's carrying on in there," said the neighbor, shaking his head at the temple. "You can smell that stuff all over the streets. They say it's incense, but I'll bet it's drugs. And, you know, they can have all the wives they want. Not like us Catholics."
"We have an image problem," admitted one devotee. But with centers in 62 cities around the world (27 in the United States) the movement is a far cry from the original store front in the East Village only six years ago.
This article, "N.Y. judge rules Hare Krishna movement is 'bona fide religion'," was published in Arizona Daily Star, March 18, 1977, in Tucson, Arizona.
Complied From Wire Services
NEW YORK - The Hare Krishna movement was called a "bona fide religion" yesterday by the state Supreme Court justice in Queens, who threw out two indictments against officials of the movement that charged them with illegal imprisonment of two members and attempted extortion from the father of one of the believers.
"The entire and basic issue before this court," said Justice John L. Leahy, "is whether or not the two alleged victims in this case, and the defendants will be allowed to practice the religion of their choice - and this must be answered with a resounding affirmative."
The indictments, handed down last year, were the first of their kind against the Hare Krishna movement.
The indictments allege that Angus Murphy, president of the New York temple of the religion, and Harold Conley, supervisor of women at the temple, held Edward Shapiro and Merylee Kreshour in the temple, illegally, by brainwashing them.
Murphy was also accused of acting in concert with the movement and trying to extort $20,000 from Shapiro's father. The allegations were denied by Shapiro's son and by Miss Kreshour.
The grand jury was convened after Kreshour said she was kidnaped by Galen Kelly, a Kingston, N.Y., private detective hired by her mother, to get her into deprograming. Her mother and Kelly were not charged, and the grand jury spent a month hearing testimony from former Hare Krishnas and parents around the country.
Leahy, after finding that Kreshour and the younger Shapiro had lived voluntarily in the temple, and finding no case for attempted extortion, said:
"The Hare Krishna religion is a bona fide religion with roots in India that go back thousands of years. It behooved Merylee Kreshour and Edward Shapiro to follow the tenets of that faith and their inalienable right to do so will not be trammeled upon."
"The separation of church and state must be maintained. We are, and must remain, a nation of laws, not of men. The presentment and indictment by the grand jury was in direct and blatant violation of defendants' constitutional rights."
The judge pointed out that the prosecution, during the hearing last month, had conceded that no physical force had been used by the defendants against Kreshour or the younger Shapiro, adding:
"The said two individuals entered the Hare Krishna movement voluntarily and submitted themselves voluntarily to the regimen, rules and regulations of said so-called Hare Krishna religion, and it is also conceded that the alleged victims were not in any way physically restrained from leaving the defendant organization." Turning to the allegations of brainwashing, he said:
"It appears to the court that the people rest their case on an erroneous minor premise to arrive at a fallacious conclusion. The record is devoid of one specific allegation of a misrepresentation or any act of deception on the part of any defendant."
Murphy heralded the dismissal of "mind control" charges against his movement as a victory for those who seek religious relief from "a dangerous and hellish world."
"When somebody's right to seek freedom on spiritual platforms is limited by the law, then I guess any other kind of liberty becomes meaningless," an elated, saffron-robed Murphy said.
Murphy wore a garland of green-tinted carnations in observance of St. Patrick's Day and carried a "danda," a staff that signifies he is a Krishna monk, for his court appearance.
Queens assistant Dist. Atty. Michael Schwed, who handled the case, said he had been told not to comment on the decision. He said the district attorney would decide whether to seek further indictments or appeal.
The director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Ira Glasser, hailed the decision.
"Schwed had been sort of functioning like an avenging angel, claiming the power to decide what other people should believe," he said. "That is something our system, through the Constitution, prohibits government from doing and I think the court put Schwed in his place."
Leahy, who stressed that his decision is intended as a "dire caveat to prosecutional agencies throughout the length and breadth of the land," cited the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion and said:
"The freedom of religion is not to be abridged because it is unconventional in its beliefs and practices or because it is approved or disapproved by the mainstream of society or more conventional religions."
"Without this proliferation and freedom to follow the dictates of one's own conscience in this search for and approach to God, the freedom of religion will be a meaningless right as provided for in the constitution."
This article, "Krishna meal plan strict, slimming," was published in Chicago Tribune, March 15, 1976, in Chicago, Illinois.
By Theodore Berland
IF YOU DON'T think you can drastically change your diet, eat less, and be slim, consider the Hare Krishna.
This East Indian religious sect offers good models of both controlled eating habits and behavior modification techniques. These are the conclusions of Betty Wedman, director of public affairs of the American Dietetic Association. She studied the Evanston Hare Krishnas as a registered dietitian and as a personal matter, since her brother recently became a yogi.
First of all, the Hare Krishnas are lacto vegetarians. They eat milk and milk products as well as grains, fruits, and vegetables. They eat no flesh of any kind - neither fish, nor fowl, nor four-legged animal, nor eggs.
THEIR EATING TIMES are rigidly controlled as part of their prescribed daily practices. Yogis arise at 4 a.m. to chant the first of their seven daily devotions. After their third, at 8:30 a.m., they have their early main meal of the day. It consists of dahl, a type of split pea soup made from dahl beans, hot vegetables, and spices; unleavened whole-bread [chapitis]; rice; and hot milk. In their food preparation, yogis use ghee [clarified butter].
At breakfast; too, each yogi is given a piece of fruit - orange, apple, or banana - to be eaten as a snack anytime until the late meal of the day. That is a modest meal of hot milk and ghee. pastry or bread, and some cooked vegetable.
So to bed at 10:30 p.m., usually alone since most yogis are celibate. Those who are not perform sex only for procreation.
IN HER REPORT to a recent meeting of the local chapter of the American Medical Writers Association, Wedman said that the 60 yogis she studied have extremely well-controlled eating patterns. No food is touched before a sample is placed on the temple altar and offered for God's blessing. Yogis eat to please God, not for self-reward. This concept prevents nibbling.
There are other foods that Yogis can eat. Yogurt is a mainstay, but only in the spring. They believe yogurt builds up unwanted mucus, making them susceptible to colds in the winter.
They also eat fresh cheese, such as farmers cheese or cottage cheese. Aged cheeses are spurned. They are made by fermentation, which involves molds; and as molds are seen as small animals, they are in the forbidden-flesh category.
ALSO FORBIDDEN are coffee and tea, as well as alcoholic drinks, cigarets, and all other intoxicants.
As for behavior modification: The yogis are young Americans - the average age is 22 years - who have completely adopted an Eastqrn religion, diet, and nonmaterialistic way of life. They are essentially middle-class white. Wedman believes it is significant that most were Roman Catholics, as was her brother. She believes it means that behavior can be successfully modified by exchanging one set of rituals for another.
I'm not suggesting that you convert to Hare Krishna, or any other yoga sect, to become as svelte as they are. I am suggesting that you can learn from their example. Intelligent vegetarianism is a very good way to lose weight and keep it off; I estimate each yogi eats about 1100 calories a day.
YOU NEED a well-thought-out approach, such as the plan followed by the yogis, or ones laid out by the Seventh Day Adventists or by Frances Moore Lappe ["Diet for a Small Planet," Ballastine, $1.25].
ALSO, THE HARE Krishna, have some wonderful ways of preparing low-calorie vegetable dishes and low-calorie but high-protein vegetarian main courses. Many can be found in the excellent "Hare Krishna Cookbook" [Chilton Book Co., $1.95].
You may sample Krishna foods at the Sunday open houses beginning at 5 p.m. at the Hare Krishna Temple, 1014 Emerson St., Evanston. [Krishna temples in America are listed in the cookbook.]
Photo: Keeping slim the Hare Krishna way may be extreme to most of us but a registered dietitian has found it to be a sound and healthful approach.
Reference: Chicago Tribune, Chicago, USA, 1976-03-15
This article, "Hare Krishna - They live the name of God," was published in Wilmington Morning News, March 11, 1971, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Text by Terry Zintl
Staff photos by Ron Dubick and John Flanagan
They're bald, they wear pajama pants, they sing and dance in a weird language, they wear gook on their noses. In the startled eyes of lunch-hour Wilmington, they are heresiarchial Hindus, zonked out of their skulls on vegetables.
Although they may look like they come from another world, the people who have been singing and dancing every noon at the corner of 9th and Market Sts., are all born and bred Americans. Two are from New York City, one from Buffalo, N.Y., and one is a dropout from the Philadelphia College of Art.
They are members of the Hare Krishna Movement, known more formally as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). They moved into the Hindu Center of 2307 Baynard Blvd. about three weeks ago.
They are the advance wave of an informal order of Vedic monks that has spread rapidly since its arrival in this country in 1966. Hare Krishna people can be seen chanting, dancing and handing out candy or incense on street corners in at least 30 North American cities.
Wilmington is just a stop along the way. ISKCON's eventual aim is to "carry the chanting of the holy names of God, Hare Krishna, to every town and village of the world."
THE ISKCON philosophy is simple. "Sing these names of the Lord and your life will be sublime: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."
The chant is their mantra, the prayer of their society. They repeat it a minimum of 1,708 times a day, from their awakening at 3:30 a.m. until nightfall. They say it constantly, on the street, in the shower, while they eat, even while they do something as simple as climbing a flight of steps.
The result of this chanting, they claim, is to put the mind in a state of ecstasy. They say that by the constant "meditation on the name and form of the Lord," a man's insatiable sensual appetites dwindle away and he is able to realize the God-self hidden within him.
For ISKCON members, the chanting also transforms one's life into a continuous act of devout dedication to God in the form of Lord Krishna. They practice bhakti yoga, which does not involve the usual exercises or meditation but instead, according to one writer, "the cultivation of a direct, intense, personal relationship between worshipper and worshipped." The Jesus people so widely publicized on the West Coast are also, in their way, following bhakti yoga.
The lives of ISKCON members are completely centered around Krishna. His name is their prayer, his word, through scripture, their doctrine. They depend upon him for food and shelter, thinking always that "whatever Krishna provides is sufficient." They have no time for the "charlatans" from India or Japan in this country promoting various forms of yoga or meditation they regard as "impersonalist."
In their general philosophy, ISKCON members are as doctrinaire and as rigidly fundamentalist as any Mennonite or Southern Baptist. Everything about them - their dress, hairstyle, diet and activities - are dictated by literal interpretations of the Bagavad Gita, the Hindu sacred scripture.
An ISKCON initiate takes four vows when he joins the society: he promises to abstain from meat, liquor and drugs, gambling and illicit sex - sex for anything other than reproductive purposes.
As a way of dedicating himself and his body to Krishna, he shaves his head, leaving only the lock in back, marks his body with fuller's earth and dons the peculiar clothing of the society - which is actually a simple rectangular piece of cloth folded about the legs and tied at the waist.
The fuller's earth noticeable on the forehead and the throat marks various spiritual centers of the body and absolves it from being what a member called "a slaughterhouse" of the other life-forms it is constantly destroying. The fuller's earth, the clothing and the shaved head all help, said one member, "to remind us who we are."
There are currently four Krishna devotees at the Wilmington temple. Their day begins at 3:30 a.m. with prayers and chants. Each member has a string of 108 beads on which he must do a minimum of 16 rounds of chants a day.
About 7, the devotees begin to clean the temple and prepare the day's food. Before they eat any food, it is dedicated to Krishna with praying and singing. In that way, the devotees say, Krishna "eats" the food, converting it into spiritual energy for his followers and the sensual aspects of eating are transcended.
A typical meal last week consisted of warm milk, fruit salad, some leftover vegetable stew and large wafer-like crackers made of ground beans and peppers fried in oil. The devotees ate largely in silence, sitting on the floor and using their fingers instead of knives or forks.
The morning and afternoon meals are both prepared early in the day so the devotees may eat immediately after returning from the downtown area - they walk both ways, leaving the temple around 10:30. Evening meal is at 7 p.m., followed by scriptural studies. They go to bed about 10:30.
The temple is open each night at 6:30 for a chanting session. In addition, a transcendental love feast is open to all each Sunday afternoon at 4.
Despite the lukewarm reception they have received in Wilmington so far (the police have bothered them occasionally, but they have a $3 business permit that allows them to operate), the ISKCON members are not discouraged. "We provide the medicine," the leader said. "It's up to the people whether or not they want to take it."
And although their way of life seems difficult and unusual, for the devotees it seems the easiest and most natural path they could take.
"All you have to do is chant Hare Krishna and the rest will follow," they claim.
Photo 1: At a Sunday afternoon transcendental love feast at the temple, expressions of joy cover the faces of participants who join in the chanting of the mantra.
Photo 2: An ISKCON initiate listens to a reading from scriptures.
Photo 3: An earnest preacher, an attentive listener.
Photo 4: Two men learn of Krishna.
Photo 5: ISKCON members are zealous in their efforts to spread Krishna's name. In their daily missionary work at 9th and Market Sts., their chanting and literature attract occasional passers-by.
Photo 6: In an instructional session at the ISKCON temple, Lalit Kumar, leader of is the temple, reads from Vedic scripture while Richard Lavin listens. The altar in the background is covered with pictures of the society's founder, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.