What is the Hare Krishna Philosophy?
The term "Hare Krishna" or The Hare Krishna Movement™, formally The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is the orthodox core of Hinduism. It was registered in the West (in New York) in July 1966, but dates back over 5000 years. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1532) popularised the movement all over India. Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion with over 900 million adherents, second to Christianity and Islam (according to various leading encyclopedias, websites and almanacs). The principal scriptures are The Bhagavad-Gita (The Song of God), and the Srimad Bhagavatam (the story of the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna Bhagavan). The Hare Krishnas’ believe in one God.
The basic Hare Krishna beliefs can be summarized as follows:
- By sincerely cultivating true spiritual science, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness in this lifetime.
- We are not our bodies but eternal, spirit souls, parts and parcels of God (Krishna). As such, we are all brothers, and Krishna is ultimately our common father. We accept the process of transmigration of the soul (reincarnation).
- Krishna is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-attractive. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings, and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation. He is the same God as The Father Allah, Buddha and Jehovah.
- The Absolute Truth is contained in the Vedas, the oldest scriptures in the world. The essence of the Vedas is found in the Bhagavad-Gita, a literal record of Krishna's words.
- One can learn the Vedic knowledge from a genuine spiritual master -- one who has no selfish motives and whose mind is firmly fixed on Krishna.
- Before one eats, one offers to the Lord (Krishna) the food that sustains all humans; then Krishna becomes the offering and purifies the offered.
- One performs all actions as offerings to Krishna and does nothing for one's own sense gratification.
- The recommended means for achieving the mature stage of love of God in this age of Kali, or quarrel, is to chant the holy names of the Lord. The easiest method for most people is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.