UNF Krishna Club: an outsider experience

Cori Santucci

Photo from UNF Krishna Facebook page.

The UNF Krishna Club had a general meeting in the Student Union on Feb. 21. After seeing members sit cross-legged on colorful tapestries, using shakers and chanting to themselves, I decided to attend the meeting.

Immediately upon walking in the door, my friend and I were greeted with welcoming smiles from three current members who were very excited to have us there. They asked our names immediately, and wanted to know what brought us to the meeting, where we were from, and what we were studying at UNF among other things.

The meeting began with chanting. We sat in a circle and chanted “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” repeatedly with the goal of putting ourselves into a meditative state.

The chanting went on for about two hours, and afterwards food that was prepared by members was served. The meeting ended with goodbyes, thank you’s, and hugs from all who attended.

Hare Krishnas believe that by chanting the mantra one is spiritually awakening their soul (“mantra” means “to free the mind”). “Hare” refers to God, and “Krishna” means “the all attractive one.”

As a whole, members of this devotion emphasize love and acceptance among people, above all else. Their ultimate goal is to have a relationship with their God, Lord Krishna. Chanting is their form of worship. While to some it may seem like simple repetition of words, to them it is a beautiful expression of love.

While sitting and repeating the same words over and over (and over, and over…) may not be for everyone, the Krishna Club at UNF is filled with friendly faces who are eager to educate new people about what they believe and recruit new followers. I’m not sure if I will be attending again, but if I feel the need to further awaken my soul, I know where to go.

For more information on the UNF Krishna Club, click here.

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