May 22, 2020

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Hare Krishna Tree at Tompkins Square Park

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© David Shankbone Tompkins Square has never had the best reputation when it comes to Manhattan parks. For decades this park has been a reunion centre of outcasts, trouble makers and counter culture. Yes, it’s no the most beautiful park in New York but its energy is filled with contrasts …

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© David Shankbone

Tompkins Square has never had the best reputation when it comes to Manhattan parks. For decades this park has been a reunion centre of outcasts, trouble makers and counter culture. Yes, it’s no the most beautiful park in New York but its energy is filled with contrasts which brings a special aura to it.

In the middle of it, there’s a huge elegant American elm tree. For centuries the tree was just a tree but in 1966, the life of the elm changed forever. On October 9, 1966, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a group of followers gathered around the elm and chanted the “Hare Krishna” mantra publicly for the first time outside of India, marking the birth of the movement in the West.

Among the participants was, of course, poet Allen Ginsberg, who lived nearby the park. No long after legends like Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead played at the park’s new bandshell. To this day Devotees still travel to Tompkins Square Park to visit the Hare Krishna Tree,

You can see a glimpse of the happening in this footage by Richard Witty