What is the Philosophy of the Hare Krishna Movement?
The Hare Krishna Movement or The Hare Krishnas are followers of a Bengali spiritual leader, AC Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada, who came to the USA in his old age on the instruction of his spiritual master. The philosophy originates in India and comes under the umbrella of Hinduism and the specific branch is Vaishnavism, which follows of the God Vishnu. A specific Incarnation of Lord Vishnu is followed, Lord Krishna. Lord Chaitanya took the movement throughout ancient India, creating followers of his movement who practice ecstatic street chanting and dancing. The main text is the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Srila Prabhupada.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is about learning to love God from the Indian Vedic perspective as recommended in the ancient Vedic scriptures of India, such as the Bhagavad Gita, translated as the song of God, which was spoken on a battlefield 5000 years by Lord Krishna to His friend Arjuna.
The basis of the philosophy is that the world comes from Krsna, we are part and parcel of Him and the material world is a place of suffering. We will one day leave our bodies to go to the spiritual world back to Godhead, back to Krishna. Krishna is a male form, a statue seen in temples with her female consort and wife Srimati Radharani. The philosophy further says that chanting the holy names of the Lord, specifically as the maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare will take one back to Godhead, back to the spiritual world.
Krishna is a God with material form, to be perceived with the senses.
The senses are to be used to please the Lord, through devotional worship, such as singing his names and doing Japa meditation meaning chanting aloud on rosary beads, having one hundred and eight beads.
Our bodies are temporary
Our bodies are temporary, there is a strong following of vegetarianism, animals it is argued are not for killing for food. We become servants of the lord and offer any pleasure from our sense to him in his service. There is only one Supreme Personality of Godhead in Krishna consciousness, namely Krishna. One can become Krishna conscious by serving him, chanting his holy names and following the four regulative principles, no meat-eating, no intoxication ( drugs, alcohol, etc) and no illicit sex (sex outside marriage), sex outside marriage produces unwanted progeny and negatively affects society. These principles help you purify your senses so that gradually ones come to the elevated platform of Krishna or God-consciousness.
We are parts of Krishna, like fragments of a whole, but we are not God or cannot be God, only the supreme personality of Godhead is God, and we are His eternal servants. The heart is thus purified to awaken the dormant love for God, Krishna. There is a strong belief in reincarnation, that the human soul passes from body to body until one takes to Krishna consciousness and returns back to Godhead.
It does not matter what material body we are in as in what background we come from, we can all become devotees of the Lord, therefore the Hare Krishna movement has temples all over the world, with devotees of many, many nationalities. and still thrives today 40 odd years since it’s advent.