The Hare Krishna Movement is the popular name for
the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). It is a worldwide community of devotees practicing
bhakti-yoga, the eternal science of loving service to God. The tradition of this movement is rooted in the
ancient Vedic texts, especially the famous classic of Bhagavad-gita,
which contains the essential teachings of Lord Krishna that were spoken 5000
The Society was founded in 1966 by His Divine
Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda (1896-1977), a pure devotee of God
representing an unbroken chain of spiritual masters originating with Lord
Kåñëa Himself. It was 1965 when he traveled alone from India to
New York City to establish the culture of Krishna consciousness in the Western
world. He single-handedly began a world-wide confederation of over one hundred
temples, farm communities and institutes.
When Srila Prabhupada began ISKCON, he established
eight principles that are the basis of the Krishna consciousness movement.
1. By sincerely
cultivating a genuine spiritual science, we can be free from anxiety and come to
a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness in this
2. 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
3. Krishna is the
eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-attractive Personality
of Godhead. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings, and He is the
sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation.
4. The Absolute
Truth is contained in all the great scriptures of the world. However, the oldest
known revealed scriptures in existence are the Vedic literatures, most notably
the Bhagavad-gitä, which is the literal record of God’s actual
5. We should learn
the Vedic knowledge from a genuine spiritual master--one who has no selfish
motives and whose mind is firmly fixed on Krishna.
6. Before we eat, we
should offer to the Lord the food that sustains us. Then Krishna becomes the
offering and purifies us.
7. We should perform
all our actions as offerings to Krishna and do nothing for our own sense
8. 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.
Only five hundred years ago, Lord Krishna descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach the most sublime and effective means for spiritual development and enlightenment for the present day. This is the chanting of the names of God, which has been recommended for thousands of years in the Vedic tradition, and used by many other spiritual paths throughout the world. The most important chant is the mantra of: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“Krishna” is one of many Sanskrit names of God, which means “all attractive”, and Rama is another name which means “reservoir of pleasure”. The divine energy of God is addressed as Hare. Vedic knowledge teaches that since we are all constitutionally servants of the God, chanting the names of God is not an artificial imposition on the mind but is as natural as a child calling for its mother. Thus, the Hare Krishna
Movement teaches two ways
to chant, which is either on beads to chant the mantra a certain number of times
each day in the case of mantra meditation (japa), and in congregational chanting
or singing (kirtan). In either method, there are no hard and fast rules, and anyone can chant.
Where the Teachings Come
Although the Hare Krishna Movement has only been established in the West since 1966, its roots extend thousands of years into the past, back into the Vedic tradition of India. The Vedas were originally a vocal tradition, but then were written in Sanskrit over 5000 years ago.
The compiler of the Vedic literature, Srila Vyasadeva, divided the Vedic knowledge into various departments of material and spiritual knowledge, entrusting his disciples with particular sections. In this way, the scriptures developed into the four Vedas, the Vedanta Sutras, 108 main Upanishads, the great Mahabharat which includes the Bhagavad-gita, and the 18 major Puranas, among other texts. Of the Puranas, the Bhagavat Purana or Srimad-Bhagavatam is described as the most ripened fruit of all Vedic literature. It is accepted by the Vedic tradition as the conclusion of Vedantic principles and understanding, and relates the pastimes and characteristics of the Supreme Lord.
The process of spiritual development described in the Vedic literature is one of a gradual process of God-realization and love of God. This wisdom has been carefully preserved and passed down through the centuries through the vehicle of the disciplic succession of self-realized teachers.
This ancient spiritual wisdom is now again being presented in the West through the Hare Krishna Movement. They invite people of all kinds to visit their temples, communities and websites, and participate in whatever way they like in this sublime and easy process of bhakti-yoga and Krishna Consciousness. There are also many books that can also help explain how you may begin this spiritual process.
If you are interested and would like to know more
about the Hare Krishna Movement, then please contact the person who gave you
this brochure, or your local Krishna temple. They will be glad to help you learn
The Hare Krishna Temple
Special Program Every Sunday
With Free Vegetarian Feast
4:15 to 6:00PM