Krsna Consciousness Movement

Summary Article

Śrīla Prabhupāda presents the purpose, spiritual tradition, and legacy of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) also known as the Hare Krishna Movement or the Krishna Consciousness Movement. This article, sourced exclusively from the published archive of Śrīla Prabhupāda's books, lectures, conversations and letters, provides a summary of what Śrīla Prabhupāda had to say in regard to the spiritual purpose of ISKCON and its present role within larger society.

Above the Material Conception of Life

Different from any ordinary movement

Śrīla Prabhupāda explains: "The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is little different from... Why little? Completely different from ordinary movement. This is spiritual movement. This movement begins when one understands that he is not this body. (break) Generally we are under the bodily concept of life. Ninety-nine percent people think that one is this material body. But that is not the fact. The fact is that within this body there is the spirit soul."[1]

Everyone is Welcome

Śrīla Prabhupāda explains: "..according to Vaiṣṇava principles everyone is welcome to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement on the spiritual platform of life and thus be freed from trouble. Neither equality nor fraternity is possible on the material platform."[2]

Independent of Financial Help

Śrīla Prabhupāda explains: "Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not have any financial help, but His movement is going on. It does not depend on a..., on financial. It is independent. Spiritual movement is independent of any material help. That is spiritual movement - Money comes from Kṛṣṇa."[3]

Not a political Movement

Śrīla Prabhupāda explains: "I have no interest with the political leaders because it is not a political movement. It is spiritual movement."[4]

This age’s Yuga Dharma

An effective and authorized Process

Śrīla Prabhupāda explains: "In this age the spiritual revolution was recommended by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He demonstrated that the Yuga Dharma for this age is the Sankirtana chanting of the holy names. If we want the degraded mass of people to be elevated, we must stop their sinful activity. To stop sinful activity one must purify the mind and the best process for purifying the mass mind is the chanting of the maha mantra Hare Krishna. This can be done in public where everyone has a chance to hear and be purified."

He further explains: "We experience that people are becoming more friendly and helping our movement in America simply because we are performing this sankirtana yajna. I hope you can understand this. This movement is authorized and confirmed by great acaryas as well as the sastras and also by Lord Caitanya Himself Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, non different from Krishna."[5]

Easy method of Self-Realization

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

Śrīla Prabhupāda quotes: "For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord."

Śrīla Prabhupāda explains: "For progress in spiritual life, the śāstras recommend meditation in Satya-yuga, sacrifice for the satisfaction of Lord Viṣṇu in Tretā-yuga and gorgeous worship of the Lord in the temple in Dvāpara-yuga, but in the Age of Kali one can achieve spiritual progress only by chanting the holy name of the Lord. This is confirmed in various scriptures. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are many references to this fact. In the Twelfth Canto (12.3.51) it is said:

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

In the Age of Kali there are many faults, for people are subjected to many miserable conditions, yet in this age there is one great benediction—simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can be freed from all material contamination and thus be elevated to the spiritual world."[6]

Spiritual values of the Sankirtana Movement

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Understanding the Krishna Consciousness Movement


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