“We never would have lasted through the first winter,” says Kirtanananda Swami (director of the New Vrindaban farm, West Virginia), “without faith in the instructions of our spiritual master Srila Prabhupada and a lot of chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. And before we built Srila Prabhupada’s Palace [left], none of us had ever designed a building or worked with marble or anything like that. But we chanted Hare Krishna, and gradually Krishna revealed these skills.”
Find out more about Krishna consciousness in this issue of BACK TO GODHEAD.
Kuladri dasa, president of the New Vrindaban farm community, with family (W.Va.): “What we’re interested in here is simple living and high thinking. We work hard building, ploughing, and tending the cows, and it’s all a pleasure because we’re always reading our spiritual master’s books and chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra,”
Bala-Krishna dasa, manager, Govinda’s Mobile Kitchens (Berkeley): “Lots of people ask how the things we serve here can taste so good, and I always tell them it’s because we offer everything to Lord Krishna. “You might find it a little amazing,” I say,”but actually, if you’re after yoga and self-realization, the best way to get started is with your tongue: you taste delicious foods offered to Krishna and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.”
Paramananda dasa, president of the Gita-nagari farm community (Pa.): “Chanting Hare Krishna is a big part of our lives. By chanting we get a deeper and deeper understanding that all of us are really servants of God. Even these oxen are serving Krishna—they pull the ploughs, and the fruits of their labor nourish the whole community. For my part, I’m trying to serve Krishna by running the farm and seeing that everyone is working happily. The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is so powerful that if everyone chanted it, they’d love God and everyone else, and we’d have a peaceful, God-centered world.”
A short statement of the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a worldwide community of devotees practicing bhakti-yoga, the eternal science of loving service to God. The Society was founded in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a pure devotee of God representing an unbroken chain of spiritual masters originating with Lord Krishna Himself. The following eight principles are the basis of the Krishna consciousness movement.
We invite all our readers to consider them with an open mind and then visit one of the ISKCON centers to see how they are being applied in everyday life.
1. By sincerely cultivating a bona fide spiritual science, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness in this lifetime.
2. We are not our bodies but eternal spirit souls, parts and parcels of God (Krishna). As such, we are all brothers, and Krishna is ultimately our common father.
3. Krishna is the eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-attractive Personality of Godhead. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings, and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation.
4. The Absolute Truth is contained in all the great scriptures of the world. However, the oldest known revealed scriptures in existence are the Vedic literatures, most notably the Bhagavad-gita, which is the literal record of God’s actual words.
5. We should learn the Vedic knowledge from a genuine spiritual master—one who has no selfish motives and whose mind is firmly fixed on Krishna.
6. Before we eat, we should offer to the Lord the food that sustains us. Then Krishna becomes the offering and purifies us.
7. We should perform all our actions as offerings to Krishna and do nothing for our own sense gratification.
8. The recommended means for achieving the mature stage of love of God in this age of Kali, or quarrel, is to chant the holy names 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.