One of Brazil’s top weekly magazines, Época, published a very favorable article on the Hare Krishna Movement. My wife, Carana Renu dasi, and I were featured in it. Here’s a picture they used of us, spanning about a page and half!
I coordinate an e-mail list with over 8000 members, called “Amigos de Krishna”. People sign up for it on our official website (www.harekrishna.com.br). I write to each and every member as they sign up and many develop a regular correspondence with me as a result. One recently added member happens to be a media consultant. He’s already gotten us several good articles in various newspapers, mostly about Nova Gokula, the biggest rural ISKCON project in Brazil.
A lot of the articles, though, overemphasized the simple living and the Indian cultural aspects, misportraying the Movement as it is today. After some discussion, we came up with the idea of an article portraying the Hare Krishna devotees as most of them really are these days: regular people, with their jobs, academic degrees, wearing normal clothes, etc.
Our media consultant “sold” the idea to the magazine. Of course, these things are always a big risk. The chance of a reporter writing some nonsense about us is huge. By Krishna’s mercy though, the reporter was very friendly and soon took a liking to us. In a rare move, she even allowed me to suggest corrections to the article before going to print and accepted practically all of them (thank God! some of the stuff some academic had said about us was really terrible!).
The end result was very positive. The article states how the Movement now has “professionals, company executives, and even scientists” as its members. It also says how we live a “normal” life, though emphasizing our chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra at least 1728 times a day, our vegetarianism and how we avoid sex outside of marriage as a principle of cleanliness. The article includes the entire maha-mantra, a picture of Krishna, and describes “Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada” as the Indian intellectual who founded the Movement.
I expect this article will help reduce some of the common misconceptions about the movement.
If you want to practice your Portuguese, you can see the article here.