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His Divince Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Back to Godhead is the monthly journal of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It was founded in 1944 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore there is no other topic in Back to Godhead except Krsna. In other words, Back to Godhead deals with the essential aim of human life.
There are many magazines throughout the world devoted to the relative truths of politics, economics, sociology, psychology, religion, current affairs, etc., but Back to Godhead focuses upon the Absolute Truth, or the source of everything. “Where does everything come from? Who am I? What is the purpose of life?” These questions must arise in the mind of every intelligent human being. The purpose of Back to Godhead is to train the mind of the reader to find the ultimate answers to these questions.
The best way to get an answer to a question is to ask someone who knows. For answers to spiritual questions, one should approach a spiritual master. We devotees of the Hare Krsna movement have accepted His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as our spiritual master because he is able to answer all of our questions perfectly. Srila Prabhupada has convinced us that we are not merely our bodies but eternal spiritual living beings. He has convinced us that the Absolute Truth is Krsna and that He is personal, not impersonal. And he has convinced us that the highest occupation for every living being is to engage in pure devotional service to Krsna in unalloyed love.
His Divine Grace has not swayed us with sentimentality. He has explained the subject of Krsna elaborately, scientifically and authoritatively, and we have accepted his conclusions. He has given us a life of knowledge and bliss, and we are trying to distribute this to everyone—by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra in the streets, by establishing temples of Krsna where people may learn the science of devotional service, by organizing worldwide Krsna conscious festivals, by approaching people in their homes, and by distributing this Back to Godhead.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Krsna consciousness offers the highest perfection to everyone. We don’t ask that you accept this movement blindly or sentimentally, but examine it, study it, try to understand it. Our spiritual master is not cheating us. He is giving us knowledge of Krsna as he has received it from his spiritual master in a chain of disciplic succession and as it is confirmed by authoritative scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Furthermore, His Divine Grace has given us the sublime process of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
This chanting is the method prescribed by authorities as the best means for self-realization in this age. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting Hare Krsna, there are no previous qualifications necessary for chanting, nor is there any need to understand the language of the chant. These holy names of the Lord come directly from the spiritual platform, and therefore by chanting Hare Krsna we become blissful and happy because it cleanses our consciousness of all material dust and contamination and revives our relationship with the Supreme Lord.
Krsna and Rama are names of the Lord, and they mean the Supreme Pleasure Eternal. Hare is the energy of the Lord, who helps us to attain the grace of Krsna. There is no difference between Krsna and His name, and therefore the holy name of Krsna is as pure, perfect and liberated as Krsna Himself. The chanting cannot be understood by mental speculation or logic, but simply by chanting Hare Krsna one can understand Krsna very easily. Therefore by chanting Hare Krsna one can achieve the perfection of all spiritual knowledge.
Please examine the articles in this magazine carefully, and try to understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness. If you cannot understand the philosophy, then simply chant Hare Krsna, and you can achieve the same result. The Krsna consciousness movement is very simple—it is simply chanting, dancing, feasting and philosophy. It is the essence of all spiritual culture. Therefore in this age of quarrel and disagreement it offers a universal platform of peace and happiness for all the people of the world.
Our spiritual master has given us this most valuable gift—Krsna consciousness—and in the pages of this magazine we are trying to give this gift to you. We humbly beg you to please accept it.