The Evolution and Emergence of the Hare Krishna Movement in the UK

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The Evolution and Emergence of the Hare Krishna Movement in the UK
The Evolution and Emergence of the Hare Krishna Movement in the UK

The Evolution and Emergence of the Hare Krishna Movement in the UK

Jan 13: The Hare Krishna motion, with its saffron robes, shaved heads, and chanting of the “Hare Krishna” mantra, has change into a well-recognized sight in the UK. But its journey to changing into half of the British cultural panorama is an interesting story of adaptation, controversy, and eventual acceptance.

Early years: Nineteen Sixties–Seventies noticed the beginnings of Krishna consciousness.

  • A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: The motion’s founder arrived in London in 1966, planting the first seeds of Krishna consciousness on British soil. He held kirtanas (musical gatherings) in small residences, attracting hippies and counterculture seekers drawn to Eastern spirituality.
  • Rathayatra Festival: The iconic chariot procession, that includes Lord Jagannatha, started in 1968, drawing crowds and sparking curiosity about the motion.
  • Bhaktivedanta Manor: An deserted nation property was bought in 1973 and remodeled right into a self-sufficient neighborhood, providing a glimpse into Krishna’s teachings and approach of life.

Challenges and Controversies (Seventies-Eighties)

  • Media misrepresentation: Early portrayals of the motion as a cult led to public suspicion and media hostility.
  • Internal conflicts: Leadership struggles and ideological debates brought on inside friction inside the motion.
  • De-emphasis on Prabhupada’s position: After Prabhupada died in 1977, a shift in direction of emphasizing the teachings over the character of the founder led to accusations of dilution and disloyalty.

Adaptation and Acceptance (Nineties-present)

  • Focus on schooling and outreach: The motion established faculties, yoga facilities, and vegetarian eating places, providing accessible entry factors into Krishna’s consciousness.
  • Interfaith dialogue and social engagement: Increased participation in interfaith initiatives and social service tasks fostered broader acceptance and understanding.
  • Second-generation Krishna devotees: Young British-born members introduced a recent perspective and helped adapt the motion’s cultural expressions to resonate with their era.

The Hare Krishna motion immediately in the UK:

  • Over 40 temples and communities are scattered throughout the nation.
  • Active in areas like meals aid, environmental consciousness, and cultural alternate.
  • Seen as a various and vibrant neighborhood contributing to British society.


The Hare Krishna motion’s journey in the UK is a testomony to its resilience and its potential to adapt. From preliminary skepticism and controversy, it has advanced right into a revered and integral half of British society, providing its distinctive religious perspective and contributing to the nation’s cultural tapestry.

Sujata Muguda
Shreyas InternetMedia Solutions


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