The International Society for Krishna Consciousness [aka ISKCON, or more popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement] is a bona fide religious society strictly following the principles described in the Vedic scriptures and practiced in India for thousands of years. Our basic beliefs are as follows:
- The Absolute Truth is contained in all the great scriptures of the world, the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. However, the oldest known revealed scriptures in existence are the Vedic literatures, most notably Bhagavad-gita, which is the literal record of God’s actual words.
- God, or Krishna, is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful and all-attractive, the seed-giving father of man and all living entities. He is the sustaining energy of all life, nature and the cosmic situation.
- Man is actually not his body, but is eternal spirit soul, part and parcel of God, and therefore eternal.
- That all men are brothers can be practiced only when we realize God as our common father.
- All our actions should be performed as a sacrifice to the Supreme Lord: “…All that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)
- The food that sustains us should always be offered to the Lord before eating. In this way He becomes the offering, and such eating purifies us.
- We can, by sincere cultivation of bona fide spiritual science, attain to the state of pure, unending blissful consciousness, free from anxiety, in this very lifetime.
- The recommended means to attain the mature stage of love of God in the present age of Kali, or quarrel, is to chant the holy name of the Lord. The easiest method for most people is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Our basic mission is to propagate the sankirtan movement (chanting of the holy names of God) all around the world, as was recommended by the incarnation of the Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. People in this age are very much reluctant to understand God consciousness because of their unfortunate condition of life. They are working hard day and night simply for sense gratification. But this transcendental vibration of sankirtan will knock at the door of their hearts for spiritual awakening. Therefore, they should be given the chance for this opportunity.
It is not recommended that a Krishna conscious devotee go into seclusion to chant by himself and thereby gain salvation for himself alone. Our duty and religious obligation is to go out into the streets where the people in general can hear the chanting and see the dancing. We have already seen practically how by this process many, many boys and girls of America and Europe have been saved from the immoral practices of this age and have now dedicated their lives to the service of Krishna.
It is hoped that the government authorities will cooperate with our sankirtan parties in enabling us to perform sankirtan on the streets. To do this it is necessary that we be able to chant the names of Krishna, dance, play the mridanga drum, request donations for our society’s journal, and on occasion, sit down with the mridanga drum. As devotees of Lord Krishna, it is our duty to teach the people how to love God and worship Him in their daily life. This is the aim and destination of human life.