What

Is The

Hare Krishna

Movement 
 

      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 years ago.  

Who Started Iskcon 

      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. 

ISKCON’s Purpose 

      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 lifetime. 

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 father. 

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 words. 

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 gratification. 

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 From 

      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 more.  
 
 
 
 

      You may also find more information at the following websites: www.iskcon.com, www.krsna.com, or www.stephen-knapp.com for more articles and books.  

Further Contact Information 

The Hare Krishna Temple

313 Lenox

Detroit, MI 48215 

http://www.detroitiskcon.org/ 

Special Program Every Sunday

With Free Vegetarian Feast

4:15 to 6:00PM