April 25, 2018

Where Have You Gone Hare Krishnas?

Back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, if you were going to an airport, chances are you’d be ‘besieged’ by Hare Krishnas...chanting and dancing, and singing...presenting little flowers to you...all the while becoming closer to God...or so they believed anyway...they were happy people, smiling...in those days, the Hare Krishnas consisted of many young, white Americans...kids really...they were seeking out the counterculture and rebelling against the establishment...they were seeking to get closer to God by chanting mantras and performing what Hare Krishnas do...they were real...they gave up their jobs and went to live in isolated communes...Krishna devotees were often looked down upon by moderns society and the religion was seen by many as a cult...the posers were weeded out by a philosophy of no drugs, no alcohol, and no sex outside the marriage...that discouraged many I’m sure...George Harrison, formerly of the Beatles was highly interested in the ways of the Hare Krishnas, and often mentioned it in song...flash forward to today...the Hare Krishnas now no longer haunt the airport, in fact many have been permanently kicked out...and many are Indian, having found that Hare Krishna temples were more in supply than Hindu in the western world...the young, white Americans found new avenues to pursue and a religious calling no longer seemed attractive to most of them anymore...as a result, the Hare Krishnas have faded from view, at least in the United States...but make no mistake, the Krishnas are still around albeit with a lower profile...they are great believers in meditation, and with meditation and other ‘New Age’ things becoming so popular, they are still out there dancing, singing, and chanting...the only Hare Krishna I ever encountered was on a downtown Toronto street many years ago...she was a young girl who came up to me and smiled and offered me a flower and wanted to talk...my girlfriend at the time quickly steered me away from her.