Temple Life

Han Zhang

Columbia University

The Ash Rama, or temple, on Ralph Street in Brooklyn was newly opened in May, 2014. As the second Hare Krishma temple in the borough, it houses 15 Krishna conscious individuals and serves as a prayer venue for believers in the area. Two of the residents are women.

On Dec.2, 2014, like any other day, the residents of Ash Rama got up at 5 a.m. for morning prayers. At 7:30 a.m., they started chanting ìHarinama,î ìGodís nameî in waves of emotions. Sometimes they danced jollily; sometimes the chanting fell into sadness. Breakfast started at 9:30 a.m. In the afternoon, if the weather permits, they always go on mission trips in New York City.

Some residents say that their lives in the temple are provided by Krishna. Precisely, in the form of corporate sponsors such as Trader Joes and welfare agencies such as ìFood for Life.î Last month, leading by a member, Bhakata John, who used to be a salesman, they have launched a cookie business. Their vegetarian cookies are delivered to upscale cafes in Manhattan, according to Bhakata John. ©Han Zhang 2014