Philosophy of Krsna Consciousness
The Vedic scriptures state that, human life begins at the point when one inquires into the absolute truth. Members of ISKCON accept that Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His name is Krishna, the All-attractive. But it is also recognized by ISKCON that the Supreme Lord has unlimited names such as Rama, Buddha, Vishnu, Jehovah, Allah, etc.
ISKCON takes its Vaishnava philosophy from the Bhagavad Gita (the song of Lord Krishna) and Srimad Bhagavatam (the story of Lord Krishna) which can be summarized very briefly as follows,
- We are not our bodies, but eternal spirit souls (atma), parts and parcels of God (Krishna). Although we are essentially spiritual (brahman), we have temporarily forgotten our true identity and are illusioned to accept this body as ourselves.
- Having lost touch with our original, pure consciousness (as the eternal servants of God), we are trying to achieve permanent happiness (by serving our senses) within this temporary world. Our attempts produce karmic reactions which cause us to remain within this world for repeated birth and death (samsara).
- By sincerely learning and following a genuine spiritual science (dharma) under the guidance of a bona fide self-realized teacher, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, blissful enlightenment in this lifetime.
- Lord Krishna is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful and all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation.
- Our dormant loving relationship with Krishna can he reawakened by the practice of bhakti-yoga (spontaneous loving devotional service) and that is the science of spiritualizing all human activities by dedicating them to the Supreme.
- This transcendental bhakti yoga system gradually frees us from the entanglement of karma, and thereby the cycle of birth and death.
In true essence, Vaishnava philosophy inculcates the essential and universal principle of all religions. That principle, called sanatana dharma, denotes the natural and eternal activity of all living beings; which is performing spontaneous, loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The ultimate goal of the Hare Krishna movement is to help every human being to understand this philosophy and thereby develop a loving relationship with the Supreme Godhead, please Him by serving Him and become qualified to join Him in His eternal abode, Goloka Vrindavan and thus get out of the repeated cycle of birth and death.