PHILOSOPHY OF ISKCON
PHILOSOPHY OF ISKCON
Our beliefs and Our Philosophy
The teachings of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) are based on ancient Vaishnava scriptures: Srimad-Bhagavatam (commentary on the Vedas), Srimad Bhagavad-gita (the personal teachings of Lord Krishna), and Sri Chaitanya-Charitamrta (the teachings of Lord Chaitanya).
The basic tenet of these teachings is that each living entity is an eternal spirit soul and has a distinct relationship with God, Krishna.
Lord Chaitanya distinguished Gaudiya Vaishnavism from other sampradayas through the understanding that the spirit soul is “inconceivably one and different” from the Supreme Lord: acintya bheda bheda tattva. Qualitatively, both are of the same spiritual nature, but in quantity, the Lord is unlimited and the spirit soul is His tiny servant. As such, the monotheist philosophy is based on a personal concept of the Absolute Truth.
The eternal relationship between Krishna and the devotee (bhakta) can be revived through bhakti-yoga, or the process of serving the Lord with love and devotion, and most importantly by chanting his holy names.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,
The soul’s journey progresses through various bodies until he reaches the supreme goal of complete love for Krishna. At that time, when all thoughts and actions are performed solely for Krishna’s pleasure, when the soul has regained its original purity, it goes to Krishna’s eternal, spiritual realm and does not take a new body in this material world again.
To successfully follow the process of devotional service, one should accept initiation and instruction from a genuine spiritual master in Lord Krishna’s parampara. At the time of initiation, ISKCON followers take vows to abstain from
- eating meat, fish and eggs
- intoxication (through drugs and alcohol)
- illicit sexual connections
They also promise to daily chant a minimum of 16 rounds, where each round is made up of 108 beads, of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra on sacred beads.