Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation.
Krishna consciousness (God consciousness) is a very intense philosophy and lifestyle, based on total appreciation and surrender to God. It actively involves itself in disposing thoughts of materialism, voidism and impersonalism.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was established in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada). ISKCON has since developed into a worldwide confederation of 10,000 temple devotees and 250,000 congregational devotees.
Better known as the Hare Krishna movement, ISKCON is comprised of more than 350 centres, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 restaurants worldwide.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a worldwide community of devotees practicing bhakti-yoga, the eternal science of loving service to God. The Society was founded in 1966 by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a pure devotee of God representing an unbroken chain of spiritual masters originating with Lord Krishna Himself.
The following eight principles are the basis of the Krishna consciousness movement. We invite all our readers to consider them with an open mind and then visit one of the ISKCON centers to see how they are being applied in everyday life.
- By sincerely cultivating a bona fide 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.
- 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.
- 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-gita, which is the literal record of God’s actual words.
- 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.
- Before we eat, we should offer to the Lord the food that sustains us. Then Krishna becomes the offering and purifies us.
- We should perform all our actions as offerings to Krishna and do nothing for our 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:
The mission of this nonsectarian, monotheistic movement is to promote the well being of society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness according to Bhagavad-gita and other ancient scriptures.
Srila Prabhupada gave a clear mission statement for ISKCON which is outlined in the following seven points.
The Seven Purposes of ISKCON:
1. To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
2. To propagate a consciousness of Krishna (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
3. To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
4. To teach and encourage the sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
5. To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
6. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.
7. With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings