Students chant Hare Krishna at the Krishna conscious academy in Vrindavan, India.
Jagat Sakha dasa (left) book distributor, Los Angeles:
“Whats a Hare Krishna doing dressed up like Santa? That’s what a lot of people want to know. Nowadays we usually think of Santa as some kind of wintertime Daddy Warbucks who”ll satisfy our craving for more and more material things. But ‘Santa’ really means ‘saint.’ The original Santa taught people all about God and how to love God. So that’s what I’m doing dressed up like Santa. I’m passing out these books about love of God and asking everybody to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.”
Ramesh Lal (right), Toronto health spa proprietor:
“When you do into business, you’re letting yourself in for all kinds of problems and anxieties. But by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and reading the authorized books on Krishna consciousness, I’ve learned how to dovetail my work in the service of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna—and this has brought me great peace.”
Karana Karana-devi dasi , book distributor, Chicago:
“Right now everybody is thinking, “I’m from America,’ ‘I’m from Chicago,’ ‘I’m from the Smith family.’ and like that. But when you chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, you see yourself a whole lot more clearly. Sure, your body might come from America, from Chicago, from the Smith family, but when you chant you start seeing that you’re the spirit within your body—you come from Krishna, from God. That’s when the real pleasure comes into your life.”
India’s most sacred and joyful village is Vrndavana, where five thousand years ago Lord Krishna Himself played as a child. And to this day everybody here remembers Krishna. Everybody chants His names.
Including these children at the local Krishna-conscious academy. They come from all over the world just to live and learn in Vrndavana. After all, this is the village where Krishna’s names have always been the most popular song.
Whether you live in a sacred village or a not-so-sacred village, chant Hare Krishna. Then your village will be as joyful as Vrndavana.
Find out more about Vrndavana and Krishna consciousness in this issue of BACK TO GODHEAD magazine.
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.