i’m kind of bummed to have missed out on the heyday of the hare krishnas. their presence for me is just american cultural lore- the gatherings in public spaces, the chanting, the music, the brightest marigold robes, yellow books, following prabhupada around the globe. i can only really relate to george harrison’s my sweet lord, but really just because it’s too catchy to ignore.
was it a cult? were they brainwashed into being supremely happy all the time? their schools were blighted with accusations of child abuse in the 80s- NOT COOL! yet the myths and mysteries just make them that much more interesting. at least we can remember the “glory days” from the beginning in new york in 1966 through the 70s, when young believers gave up meat, alcohol, gambling, sex and their hair to live their purest lives in the name of the hindu god, krishna.