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Festival Transcends Into Expectations

by Laura DiGiulio, The Lantern

Posted June 3, 2006

With free East Indian vegetarian cuisine, live music, mantra-chanting and information on spirituality, the 2006 Festival of Transcendence attempted to fine-tune students' minds on the South Oval Wednesday and Thursday.

Carl Clemens, a member of Yoga Circle, the student group that hosted the festival, said they organized the event in order to inform students on the different philosophies of the Hare Krishna religion and the benefits of creating harmony between one's mind, body and soul.

"What most Americans don't realize is yoga means 'religion' in Sanskrit," Clemens, a graduate student in public administration, said. "And religion is another way of saying 'to connect.'"

Exhibits and books on yoga, meditation, karma, vegetarianism, various philosophies, reincarnation and the integration between science and religion, were all available at the festival for students to learn how they could connect their physical body with their inner souls.

"I decided to stop by the festival just out of curiosity," said Michelle Pineiro, a junior in political science and journalism. "I'm also really into yoga, so I decided to check out some books on that."

"We were drawn in by the music and the food that they were offering," said Alex Everett, a junior in art and technology.

Everett also said he has taken a couple of classes on different Asian philosophies and it is something that he is interested in learning more about.

Clemens explained that the Hare Krishnas are closely aligned with the Buddhist religion. He also said that even scientists generally respect their ancient schools of thought.

One of the philosophies of the Hare Krishnas is the Vaishnava school, in which believers view themselves as individual souls, and must establish a relationship between their soul and their supreme god, Vishnu, Clemens said.

Vraja Bhakti, a member of the Hare Krishna Temple, located on West 8th Avenue, explained the process of reincarnation, based on this idea of individual souls.

She said one's body goes through the cycle of life, but when the physical body dies, the soul goes to a desired body in your next life. She also said your soul will only do this if you practiced good karma in your previous life.

For more information on the Hare Krishna religion, Yoga Circle's weekly classes and how to connect your mind, body and soul, visit Yoga Circle's Web site at krishna.org.ohio-state.edu.