In the 60s there was a lot of dissatisfaction going around. The young people were not happy with what they were seeing. That was also the period when there was an increase in the interest when it comes to Eastern religions. That was the time when the Hare Krishna movement started out.
A Prophet for the Western World
The Hare Krishna movement is another name for The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). This movement can trace its roots back to 15th Century India and in some cases even to earlier times. It believes in scriptures that are commonly thought of to be more 5,000 years old. The movement was founded by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta travelled to the United States in 1965. There was no comfortable seat for him on a high flying airplane. He hitched a ride on an Indian freighter that was travelling to the United States. There was no one to welcome him when he came ashore because he was alone in his endeavor. There was no group then that was backing him up. He went to the U.S. in order to fulfill his spiritual master’s wish which was for Krishna consciousness to be taught to the English speaking world.
He started with two temples in New York and then in San Francisco. Once those two temples were firmly established, he started to travel all around the country with some of his disciples in order to spread the word of Krishna consciousness.
The Basis of Krishna Consciousness
The philosophy being promoted by the Hare Krishna movement has its basis on ancient Vedic texts and scriptures. To put it simply, they believe that the aim of life is to go back to the Godhead or to Krishna who is the Supreme Being. In order to achieve that one must achieve self-realization. This is when one truly believes and sees the real nature of the self.
Thoughts on the Hare Krishna Movement
There are many ways that self-realization can be achieved, but the Hare Krishna movement recommends the use of Bhakti or devotional service. By serving the Supreme Being with love and devotion then one can attain self-realization eventually. Service means serving Krishna who is considered to be the ultimate personification of the Supreme Being.
What Is Devotional Service
Devotional service can be anything that a person would be doing. The idea is that if a person dedicates the act to the Supreme Being then it can be devotional service, which could help in improving the consciousness of the person. One can be driving a car for example and that can be devotional service. The same thing is true if one is cooking. As long as the act is dedicated to God then it can be accepted as service.
The movement that A. C. Bhaktivedanta has started has come a long way from the moment that he stepped down from the freighter. Now the Hare Krishna movement is one of the leading forms of eastern religion and belief that can be found in the West.