New Yorkers will be the first to admit that “Fun City” is often a hard place to be happy in. But the devotees at ISKCON’s center on Manhattan’s West 55th Street know the secret. By chanting the Hare Krishna mantra they’ve opened their minds to a whole new dimension of consciousness—God consciousness, Krishna consciousness. In other words the pleasure they get from chanting doesn’t come from their senses contacting something outside; it comes from their soul contacting the Supreme Soul, Krishna, within. Since Krishna is the reservoir of all pleasure, by chanting Hare Krishna they enjoy being with Him at all times, everywhere, and they stay happy and peaceful in all circumstances.
Krishan Bhalla, Los Angeles businessman: “When I visit the Hare Krishna temple and hear the devotees chanting so blissfully, I am very happy to see Americans deriving so much benefit from India’s Krishna-conscious culture.”
Dattatreya dasa, book distributor: “I’ve distributed books about the science of Krishna consciousness in the airports, the shopping malls, the downtown streets–and everywhere I’ve seen that people are simply trying to find pleasure through their senses. But they get about as much pleasure from that as a thirsty man gets from a drop of water in the desert. These Krishna-conscious books, though, show us how real pleasure comes from serving God, Krishna. And chanting Hare Krishna brings us in direct contact with Krishna, the reservoir of pleasure.”
Mahasini-devi dasi, Head Cook, Los Angeles Temple: “Lord Krishna is never hungry. He’s completely self-sufficient. But just as a father is pleased when his small child offers him a morsel from his plate, so Krishna, the Supreme Father, is pleased when we offer back to Him what He has given us. Everyone knows that God provides the sun, rain, fruits, vegetables, and grains; we can’t manufacture any of these things in our factories. Krishna also gives us the intelligence to make nice combinations of foods.
“Here in Los Angeles we cook for Krishna and His hundreds of guests and devotees every day. It’s a big job, so I chant Hare Krishna to stay in touch with the Supreme Energetic—the source of all strength and ability—Krishna.”
Find out more about Krishna consciousness in this issue of BACK TO GODHEAD magazine.
A short statement on 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 of our readers to consider them with an open mind and then visit one of the ISKCON center to see how they are being applied inevery day 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 know 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