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Hare Krishnas explain faith

On February 10, 2011

  • Mohanasini Lightfoot dances to the Hare Krishna mantra. Students gathered on Feb. 2 for an Interfaith Ministry service. MONICA VO/Staff Photographer

The Magis Lounge was home to music, dancing, vegetarian food and a spiritual discussion lead by Hare Krishnas on Feb 2.

Hare Krishna is a branch of Hinduism that was founded in 1966 and based in traditional Hindu scriptures.

University Ministry interfaith coordinator Sam Bradley organized the visit by the New Orleans Hare Krishnas. The group is working in conjunction with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, an organization that seeks to inform people about the religion.

Despite the fact that many of the students knew very little about the Hare Krishna devotees going into the event, discussion leader and Hare Krishna Darrell Martin said that he didn't find it hard to explain the ideal of his faith because of his Christian background.

"All of these philosophies are connected to the same path," said Martin, who converted from Christianity after a stint in the army in 1972.

Martin, whose spiritual name is Duibhudba, said during the discussion that he does not seek to convert members to become followers of Hare Krishna, but merely to open up people's mind to a new way of thinking. One part of the Hare Krishna philosophy that he wanted emphasize was the detachment from material goods. "Krishna consciousness is based upon the soul, not the body,"said Martin. Martin continued by explaining that this mindset was an important part of the realization that the soul was eternal.

In order to help introduce some of the concepts of Krishna spirituality, Martin helped lead the group in a musical celebration. Students in the Magis Lounge were encouraged to play various percussive instruments and chant a traditional Hindu mantra. Though many students felt uneasy at first, Bradley said it wasn't long before everyone felt comfortable.

"It was pretty energetic," Bradley said, when describing the atmosphere in the room. "At first they didn't know what to make of it, but after a while everyone got into it."

Bradley said University Ministry plans to put on more interfaith events like this in the upcoming months.

"We're already started work on a Passover Seder," he said.

Though the details have not been finalized, Bradley said that interfaith religious tours have been planned. In the upcoming months, University Ministry hopes to organize visits to a mosque, a synagogue and a Buddhist temple before the end of the spring semester.

Hasani Grayson can be reached at

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