News coverage of Srila Prabhupada and his movement.
This article, "Isolated From the World: Hare Krishna Children," was published in The South Bend Tribune, February 16, 1975, in South Bend, Indiana.
By William Toms
FOR 100 CHILDREN in East Dallas, Texas, life is so different from other children that their life-style is difficult for most persons to comprehend.
The children of Hare Krishna followers, they have been sent to Dallas by their parents to attend the Gurukula, a commune school for the children of Lord Krishna.
Ranging in age from 3 to 11, the children are taught from the Bhagvadgita, a Hindu spiritual text, and live cut off from the outside world in an monkish atmosphere colored by Eastern mysticism.
The school, located in an old church building In Dallas, is funded by the Los Angeles-based International Society for Krishna Consciousness, founded in 1965 by a retired Indian businessman, A. C. Raktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The movement's members have become a familiar sight in most large U.S. cities. They wear saffron robes, daub their foreheads with paste and hop up and down chanting "Hare Knshna."
The young boys' heads are shaved, except for a top knot, so Krishna can yank them into heaven at the proper time. The boys wear dhotis, the orange wrap-around. The single goal of the Gurukula is to make priests of the boys. At age 10, most of them go to a farm in West Virginia.
Girls in the school are encouraged to be submissive. They wear ankle length saris and keep their heads covered to discourage men. Many of the girls wear rings in their noses, the holes made with sewing needles, as a mark of chastity.
The children's day begins at 4 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. when, segregated by sex and age, they go to sleep on mats in a damp church basement. The typical day in the school includes two or three showers during the day, numerous religious services, and six daily offerings of food to Krishna.
Photo 1: A. C. BAKTIVEDANTA Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna, talks to a young boy member of the group.
Photo 2: A YOUNG BOY appears deep in meditation as he offers a prayer of thanks-giving to Lord Krishna.
Photo 3: ONE YOUNG HARE KRISHNA devotee prostrates himself on the wooden floor of an old church in homage to Lord Krishna.
Reference: The South Bend Tribune, Dallas, USA, 1975-02-16
This article, "Krishnas Lead at Mardi Gras," was published in The San Francisco Examiner, February 14, 1972, in San Francisco, California.
Ten friends, inspired by the attire of the Hare Krishna followers, took a first prize at the Mardi Gras bal masque Saturday at the Sheraton-Palace.
The Robert McGraths, the Lee Blums, Dr. Philip McGinn, the Charles Kaplans, Mr. and Mrs. William Hughes and Nancy Pitts donned tight-fitting rubber skull-caps to resemble shaved heads, adorned their peach-colored robes with bells, carried incense, played cymbals, wore earrings and chanted "Hare Krishna." They got so carried away during the costume judging parade, Mrs. Lee Blum fell off the processional pallet on which she was being carried by the other chanters. Fortunately, she was not injured.
The costume ball, of course, was the culmination of the annual Little Jim Club's queen contest. The contest and the ball benefit Children's hospital.
Photo: KRISHNA-costumed Nancy Kaplan, Dr. Philip McGinn, Lee Blum and Nancy McGrath were among prize winners at Little Jim Club's Mardi Gras ball.
Reference: The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, USA, 1972-02-14
This article, "Students Gather Like Blown Leaves To Sing Praises To Lord," was published in The Republican-courier, February 1, 1972, in Findlay, Ohio.
By KENNETH D. NORDIN
The Christian Science Monitor
One of the groups most visible to the public eye is the Hare Krishna movement, which follows the teachings of Indian mystic A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. From their temples, located in nearly 20 cities across the country, members venture forth daily on missionary pilgrimages.
SAFFRON ROBED, with shaven heads and painted faces, they present a strange image to Western eyes. Chanting and dancing wherever they go, they hand out sweet rolls and literature to curious passersby.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare...
Their chant, they explain to their listeners, is a purifying process whereby they achieve "God-consciousness." Chanting and other spiritual devotions free the mind of materialistic pleasures, they say.
Converts to the group are generally college-educated youths with strong religious backgrounds. Whether their new faith is just a passing fad or more permanent is still an open question.
Reference: The Republican-courier, Unknown Location, USA, 1972-02-01
This article, "Krishna followers plan temple," was published in Edmonton Journal, February 5, 1972, in Edmonton, Canada.
Journal Staff Writer
Mahadma Das said the questions people most often ask him are. "Why do you shave your head?" and "What is that white stuff on your nose?"
Mahadma, which means "great soul," is a follower of the Hare Krishna movement from Vancouver. He's in Edmonton to set up a Krishna temple.
"The shaven head is a sign of submission to our spiritual teacher," said Mahadma, "and the white paint on the forehead and nose is symbolic of the footprints left by Krishna when he visited the earth 5,000 years ago."
Mahadma, leader of the 10-member group in Vancouver, is here with seven other members. Three of them will be staying indefinitely.
"A shaven head is clean and it's simple. The main purpose is to spend as little time on our bodies as possible," Mahadma said. "The same with our clothes. They're simple and practical and when people see us we're easily recognizable."
After six months in the movement, the devotee receives a new name from his spiritual leader, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, from India. Das, which is a common last name, means servant.
Paramesvari (meaning supreme controller) Das will lead the group to be established in Edmonton.
"The young people here seem to be more receptive to us than those in any other city I've been to," Paramesvari said. "Most of the time we chant in the streets for eight hours a day and we're always talking to somebody and handing out magazines."
The Krishna people, officially called the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), said they have already found five devotees for their movement and they've only been in town a week.
They are living with eight people in a commune at 10406 127th St. The three members who will be staying in Edmonton will live in the commune until they find a permanent place to stay.
"We'll find one depending on Krishna's mercy."
The Edmonton movement had its beginning when the Krishna people from Vancouver visited the city about three months ago. They were chanting at the University of Alberta and "these people from the commune invited us to come back some time and said we were welcome to stay at their place," Mahadma said.
The religion of ISKCON, first spirited by the visit of Krishna (devotees refer to Krishna also as God) to the earth 5,000 years ago, was revived in 1966 by Bhaktivedanta Swami in India. From this one-man revival, more than 1,000 followers and 70 centres have been organized throughout the world.
Bhaktivedanta's method of attracting members was to chant in the streets, as is the method today.
"We believe that God is a person who lives in the spiritual sky," Mahadma said. "He's not an old man with a gray beard who nobody really knows."
The Krishna people believe in reincarnation. Animals, trees and every living thing have souls as well as people.
"We don't know what will happen or where we'll be next but we know Krishna is taking us somewhere," Paramesvari said. "So we'll just keep endeavoring to serve our spiritual master."
Paramesvari said devotees are not allowed to eat meat, use drugs of any kind, participate in sportive activities and engage in sex only for the purpose of having children.
"If we're not even having a sex life, it must mean we've found something better and that is Krishna."
"We're trying to regain control of our senses," Mahadma said. "We don't let material things dictate to us. We want to be self-sufficient."
Paramesvari said that some people think devotees are restrictive but "actually, we're becoming more free because we're gaining a state of peace - we're controlling our own bodies."
The chant is like a baby crying for his mother. Mahadma said. Krishna's followers are saying "let me serve you, Krishna. Let me do something for you."
The actual words chanted are Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
"The chanting keeps us spiritually strong," Paramesvari said. "It revives our dormant affection for God."
Krishna beliefs are so new to people it's strange to them, Mahadma said. Most of them have been indoctrinated with Christianity all their lives and simply refuse to open their minds to anything else.
"We're not teaching a sectarian religion. It's universal everybody is a part of God."
"And it's not a religion just for young people. The younger people of course, are more receptive but this doesn't mean that anyone over 30 isn't interested."
In their communal-type living, the devotees earn "living money" by selling incense and posters. These are made by devotees in the United States.
Paramesvari said he and his group will "stay indefinitely" until the whole city is "Krishna-conscious and then I don't think we'll want to leave."
He said that in some way, either chanting on the street, speaking to different groups or handing out magazines, his Krishna followers plan to talk about Krishna every day.
"Everybody is chanting about something these days - we're chanting about God."
Photo: DEVOTEES CHANT TO KRISHNA ...'like a child crying to his mother'
Reference: Edmonton Journal, Unknown Location, Canada, 1972-02-05
This article, "Hare Krishna" was published in Tharunka, February 23, 1971, in Kensington, Sydney, Australia.
Ever wondered who those queer guys are who wonder the campus in robes, head shaven and beating out their peculiar rhythm?
Well it's the Hare Krishna movement and they will he active on campus again this year beginning in Orientation Week.
Why the bizarre appearance? Why not find out by asking them. They are good gentle people and very willing to fill you in on Krishna consciousness. Here is a note from Upananda das Adhikari.
The International Soceity for Krishna Consciousness was formed in 1966 by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who came from India on the order of his spiritual master to preach love of God to the people of the West. Srila Prabhupada is in a line of disciplic succession going hack directly 500 years to the time when Caitanya appeared in India, and from there back still further - 5000 years to the time when Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, first spoke Bhagavad-gita.
The Bhagavad-gita or Song of God is considered along with Srimad Bhagavatam as the very cream of the Vedic literatures. The most confidential knowledge of the Lord Sri Krishna is to be found in these texts. K.R.S.N.A. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is a summary study of the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam and has been placed in the co-operative bookshop along with "The Nectar of Devotion" a summary study of Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindu by Srila Rupa Gosvami, as well as "Teachings of Lord Caitanya" which recounts the words and deeds of the most munificent incarnation of Godhead.
Krishna consciousness 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 changing of the Mahamantra.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This pure sound representation of God is the sublime method for reviving our original pure consciousness. It is easy and joyfully performed.
We therefore invite all who can attend, to participate with us in chanting the holy names of God this Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in the Roundhouse.
The Sri Sri Radha-Krishna Temple
118 Oxford Street,
Paddington. N.S.W. 2021
UPANANDA DAS ADHIKARI
Reference: Tharunka, Sydney, Australia, 1971-02-23