Today’s New York Times Article about the Brooklyn Temple
The poet Allen Ginsberg, an early devotee who attended some of the first outreach sessions in New York, told The Times in 1966 that the chanting “brings a state of ecstasy.”
Swami Prabhupada, known to his followers as Srila Prabhupada, officially founded the Hare Krishna Society that same year. Its first temple was located in a former gift shop at 26 Second Avenue in Manhattan. Early devotees were mostly white Westerners, many of whom were disillusioned with American culture as the Vietnam War bore on.
Devotees quit their jobs or dropped out of school; initially, they also gave up drugs and extramarital sex. Buoyed by the positive reaction from New Yorkers, and as donations and book sales started to bring in some money, Swami Prabhupada started to crisscross the nation to spread his teachings.
He even made hippie history in San Francisco, when members of the Hare Krishna Society organized the Mantra Rock Dance at the Avalon Ballroom in December 1967, according to the documentary. The Grateful Dead and other bands performed for free to raise money for a new Bay Area temple, with the founder as its special guest.
Celebrity Krishnas also included George Harrison. “The Vedic scriptures gave some sort of backbone to my life,” Harrison said in the film. Harrison’s first solo single after the Beatles, “My Sweet Lord,” was an ode to Krishna and a worldwide hit.
To read the entire article click here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/22/nyregion/in-brooklyn-a-hare-krishna-reckoning.html