Members of the Hare Krishna movement are teaming up to get the public in Kingston all spiritual for a different type of festival next month.

Well known all over the world for their shaven heads, bright saffron robes and their famous mantra the International Society for Krishna Consciousness are inviting residents to join in the Hare Krishna festivities, on September 7, at the Mayo Centre, Eden Street.

A free day filled with meditative music, spiritual dance, a free vegetarian meal and an insight into the philosophy and culture associated with the movement.

Giridhari Das, a Hare Krishna monk who heads up the UK festival team, said: ““Probably best known from the Glastonbury Music Festival or for singing in the streets of central London, as the Hare Krishna Festival team we tend to appear all over the place.

“Whether local carnivals, theatres or town halls we like to be with the people.”

The Hare Krishna movement became popular in the 1960’s when its message was brought to western countries by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada – an Indian guru, aged 70, who left Vrindavan, India, and set sail for the United States in 1965 with just a few dollars in his pocket.

The movement follows ancient teachings of devotional yoga with roots in the Vedic culture of India, dating back over 5,000 years.

Within a year of the Indian’s arrival he set up ISKCON and today the movement has more than 700 temples and centres worldwide, including 60 farm communities, 50 schools and 90 restaurants.

Last year, the movement celebrated the 50th anniversary since its inauguration in New York by Srila Prabhupada in 1966.

Thanks to The Beatles and in particular George Harrison’s involvement, ‘Hare Krishna’ has become a household name.

Narada Das, who looks after PR & Communications at ISKCON Festivals, added:

“Our philosophy is very rich and attractive to many people.

“In a world that’s becoming increasingly competitive, and has people believing they’ll only be happy through material gain, we’re showing a deeply positive alternative.

The Krishna Consciousness message is for everyone - a universal, non-sectarian message of love, simple living, service and above all – connecting the self with the original spiritual source, Krishna.”