Anuttama Dasa, a spokesman for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, joins fellow Hare Krishnas on the Mall each Fourth of July, when they offer passersby free vegetarian food and displays on reincarnation.
"In an environment like that, when we are really uplifting those finer sentiments of the human spirit, it brings us to that mode of goodness," he said. "It's open. It's grassy. It's kind of a pure environment that in a sense is a steppingstone toward God, toward the divine."