What do Hare Krishnas Believe?

Introducing Krishna Consciousness




Who is Krishna?

Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead.
Krishna is one of the names of God in Sanskrit.
Krishna is the cause of all causes.
Krishna is a person.



Upon what Scriptures is this based?

The Vedic scriptures of ancient India, most of which were written
5000 years ago.
There are many of them but the Hare Krishna movement is mainly
based upon two:
Bhagavad-Gita, which was spoken by Krishna and deals
with the science of the soul and spiritual life, and
Srimad Bhagavatam, which is about Krishna and His devotees,
and describes creation, Krishna’s many pastimes,
incarnations, etc.



Who is Prabhupada? His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The spiritual master who brought this knowledge to the west.
A great pure devotee of Krishna and a great Sanskrit scholar,
he came over to this country in 1965 at the age of 69 with
almost no money, with only his faith in Krishna and in his
own spiritual master’s order to preach Krishna consciousness
in the English-speaking world.
In 12 years he traveled the world, wrote over 60 books, including
translation and elaborate commentary of Bhagavad-Gita
and Srimad Bhagavatam, established 108 temples, and taught
many thousands a way of life that fosters pure devotion to God.



What is a Spiritual Master?

One who can control his senses and can teach the science of Krishna
He must be in a bonafide unbroken disciplic succession going back
to Krishna.
He must be a bonafide disciple of his own spiritual master, following
and teaching what he has been taught, not changing anything.



Who is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?

He is Krishna Himself, Who came in disguise as a devotee of
Krishna to teach by example pure devotion to Krishna.
He came approximately 500 years ago in Bengal, India, and
led a massive religious revival throughout India, starting the
movement of congregational chanting of the holy names of
God, which is now known as the Hare Krishna movement.
A Brief Outline of the Philosophy:



What is the Chanting of Hare Krishna?

The Maha Mantra is transcendental sound vibration.
It consists of three names of God in Sanskrit, and each
name has a meaning: Hare means the energy of God.
Krishna means the all attractive
Personality of Godhead.
Rama means the reservoir of all
The Maha Mantra is a prayer, which essentially means,
O Energy of the Lord, O Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Please
engage me in Your service.
Maha Mantra meditation cleanses and purifies the heart, and
awakens the dormant love for God that is naturally there.
Maha Mantra meditation can be done as congregational singing,
or as private meditation on beads, or simply all the time while
doing daily activities, or, best yet, all of the above.



What are the Four Regulative Principles of Freedom?

There are Four Princples of Religion: Cleanliness, Mercy, Austerity,
and Truthfulness.
The Regulative Principles of Freedom protect and foster the
principles of religion, which are the basis of true human
The Four Regulative Principles are:
1. No meat-eating (no meat, fish, or eggs)
2. No intoxication (including tobacco and caffeine, etc.)
3. No illicit sex
4. No gambling



What is Transcendental Knowledge? (jnana)

Knowledge of the soul and God.



What are the divisions of Transcendental Knowledge?

Knowledge of the Relationship between the soul and God.
(includes definition of terms used.) (sambandha)
Knowledge of the Process for awakening that relationship.
( how to make advancement on the path of devotional
service to God.) (abhidheya)
Knowledge of the Goal.
( developing pure love for God, and going back home to
be with Him in the eternal spiritual world.) (prayojana)



What are the topics of Transcendental Knowledge?

Prabhupada outlines five basic topics given by Krishna in
the Bhagavad-Gita:
1. God the Controller. (Isvara)
There is one God, Who has form and personality,
Who has unlimited forms, names, pastimes,
Who is the source of everything,
Who is the reservoir of all good qualities,
Who is the Absolute Truth.
There are three levels of realization of God:
Brahman, the all pervasive impersonal
aspect of God.
Paramatma, the localized personal presence
of God.
Bhagavan, the origin of the other two, the
original Supreme Personality of Godhead.

2. The individual soul. (jiva)
The soul is eternal, individual, unchanging, always
a person with free will, tiny, made of
the same spiritual substance as God, and
the eternal servitor of God.
The soul is made of the superior energy of God (that
is, it is energy of God that has
consciousness in its own right.)
The soul reincarnates in different bodies, under the
illusion of identifying with the temporary
body, until it gives up its attachment for
material life and develops love for God,
at which time it goes back to the
eternal spiritual world to be with God.
3. Material nature (prakrti)
The inferior energy of God, it has no consciousness
in its own right, and is always changing,
subject to creation and dissolution,
although it exists eternally as the energy
of God.
4. Time (kala)
Creation, successive ages, and dissolution are
cyclic, like seasons.
The eternal spiritual world has no such cycles,
being beyond material time.
5. Action (Karma)
All material actions have material reactions,
which are called Karma.

One can escape the law of Karma by doing actions
only for the sake of the Supreme instead
of doing actions out of one’s own
attachment to enjoyment in this world.
Yoga - this spiritual path of doing one’s
work for God (Karma-yoga)
or of doing devotional service for Krishna,
(Bhakti-yoga) - is the process,
and the goal is surrender to Krishna in
pure love and devotion.
Yoga means to link with the Supreme.



What is the real Purpose of Life?

The real purpose of Life is to make spiritual advancment
and ultimately go Back To Godhead.
Prabhupada said the purpose of life is to enjoy ( a statement
which surprised his disciples) but then he said the problem
is that we don’t know that our real enjoyment is found in
serving the reservoir of all pleasure, Krishna.



What is the Mission of ISKCON?

ISKCON was created to provide a society for association
with devotees of Krishna, a place where one can learn
about and participate in Krishna consciousness, and
share Krishna consciousness with others by sharing
spiritualized food (prasadam) and knowledge of Krishna
(book distribution.)



What is the Lifestyle of members of this movement?

Members may live in the temple, or outside in a home or
In one way or another, members should rise early, practice
mantra meditation regularly, be vegetarian and offer
their food to Krishna before eating it, study the books
Prabhupada left us, follow the regulative principles,
dress either in western or Indian clothing but be clean,
neat, and decent, attend temple services when possible or
make the home a temple, and strive to share Krishna
consciousness in whatever way possible with others who
are favorable to it.



Please chant the Maha Mantra, and your life will be sublime.

Chanting Hare Krishna even before understanding what it means gives
unknowing eternal spiritual benefit.
Chanting Hare Krishna is the beginning of acknowledging our relationship
to Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Chanting Hare Krishna is the process of purification and of making
spiritual advancement.
Chanting Hare Krishna with full realization is the expression of pure
love of God.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare



All content within © 2003 Madhava Priya Devi Dasi