Hare Krishna | Washington Square Park

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The Hare Krishna adherents have a couple of favorite spots in NYC’s Washington Square Park, and choosing to perform their ritualistic mantra for a few hours when it’s crowded (usually on Fridays and the weekend days) and when the weather is good. They distribute pamphlets to the passerby and to those who stop and watch.

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According to an NPR article, the Hare Krishna movement is a branch of Hinduism. Its name comes from its chant — Hare Krishna — which devotees repeat over and over. It was started in the 16th century by Sri Chaitanya of Bengal (1486-1533), who emphasized the worship of Krishna and believed that chanting the names of God was so powerful that they should also be chanted in the streets for the benefit of all. It came to the United States in 1966, and public dancing and chanting became its trademark.

The Hare Krishnas believe that the sound vibration of the mantra has a direct impact on the soul.

The Hare Krishna understanding is that when Hindus pray to Krishna, or when members of the Abrahamic faith pray to Allah or Yahweh, they are all praying to one and the same entity.

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