The Hare Krishna documentary film; Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All, premiered on Friday, June 16 and shows the effects of the Hare Krishna movement along with the explanation of it through Parbhupada’s teachings.
According to Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement; by chanting the mantra “Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare; Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare” numerous times, one will be able to find ecstasy.
In 1965 at the age of 70, Prabhupada came to America in the midst of the civil rights movement on a cargo ship, leaving his wife and son behind in India.
His only intention was to start a temple but for that he needed money and support, none of which he had nor got.
His guru Bhaktisiddhanta Swami, wanted him to take his love and devotion of Lord Krishna and spread it throughout the western world.
After struggling for some time in the beginning, Prabhupada started a small center where he chanted the famous mantra and a few teenagers, high on LSD at the time, joined in with him.
They then decided to take their chanting to the streets and eventually to Central Park from where the New York Times published an article about the unusual yet intriguing behavior which started the movement.
The Hare Krishna mantra became a replacement for LSD and the movement was known as the Hippie religion.
Prabhupada not only founded the movement but he also helped others understand it and gain Krishna consciousness by translating the Bhagavad Gita into many languages and writing a three part book series himself through which he built the movement.
He took a few of his disciples back to India where they chanted on the streets there as his intention was to remind the people of his country that they are forgetting their religion.
He went to communist Russia where people started secretly following his religion even though they were not allowed to.
Before that, in London a group of disciples started a Radhe Krishna temple and decided to record the mantra as a favor to Prabhupada whose teachings now stretched from New York City to San Francisco and beyond.
He wanted everyone to be happy and touched many souls throughout the latter years of his life as many people gave up their own religion and left their homes to join him and the rest of his disciples in the vigorous chanting that they did day and night.
Parents were alarmed by this thinking their children were being brainwashed, one of them even said that her daughter had left an opportunity to study just so that she could chant all day.
People started calling the ‘Hare Krishnas’ a cult saying that they were “the mafia of the religious world” and even filed a case against them which was eventually dismissed.
From two centers to 50 worldwide, the Hare Krishna movement became an infamous one but its founder only wanted one simple thing, for people to work together despite their differences because then there will be no unrest in the world.
The most important message though, he gave through writing articles was that “human greed led to World War II and that there is a real need of self realization amongst the events that go on in the world.”
This message is very relevant in today’s world and society, although life is fast paced and was back then, but a more prominent issue is taking over the world now: Donald Trump.
In a world where one has no control over someone else’s actions, chanting the mantra “Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare; Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare” will allow them to gain self control, minimize needs and love Lord Krishna; all in an effort to access an alternative reality.
The film is now playing at Village East Cinema in New York and at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles.