The Hare Krishna Society

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Howard
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#1
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#1
Anybody interested in Krishna Consciousness?
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Plantagenet Crown
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#2
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#2
I am. It's a synonym for Christ consciousness, Buddha consciousness and Enlightenment, right?

But yes, enlightenment is a state of being I aspire to. I already do wakeful meditation and am attempting to severe my ties with the notion of separation.
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Bill_Gates
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i am interested to learn, any links? thanks!
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frida.
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i'm more interested in Krishna himself and the history of his life and impact on Hinduism etc, than the whole ISKCON movement as such, however it's all very interesting and i'd love to learn more about it!
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Howard
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Hi Frida, Bill, and Plantagenet,

Thanks for replying. I'm going to offer a few starting points that I hope you'll find helpful.

I think a really good place to start is by reading the Bhagavad Gita (or just "the Gita" if you prefer) There are dozens of editions out there but the one I like is the one by Swami Prabhupada (the founder of ISKON) called "Bhagavad Gita - As it is" I like this one as it contains a nice commentary.
As you may know, the Gita tells the story of Krishna as a charioteer giving counsel to Prince Arjuna on the outset of a tremendous battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. (It's actually part of a much larger epic) During this dialogue Krishna reveals, the nature of consciousness, the self, the universe and the Supreme. And the wonderful thing about it is, it's done it 700 verses over 18 chapters (so it's not like reading the Holy Bible or Holy Koran!)
To help you along the way you might also like to watch a movie version of the Gita. There are lots of them on youtube (mostly Indian but with subtitles)

I'd also recommend learning the Maha Mantra. This is the chant that you'll hear Krishna followers sing:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

There are so many ways to do this. I have a particular favourite that I find very beautiful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdPTqGVbUdg

Don't be worried about making your own up if you want. This is not a catholic liturgy! I sometimes sing along to George Harrison's "Hare Krishna" just because it makes me feel good - it's as good a chant as any!

So start there. See how you feel about it. Then, if you want to start to delve deeper go along and introduce yourself to a local temple (especially on a Sunday - you'll get a good meal if nothing else - we aren't called the "kitchen religion" for nothing!) I attend an ISKON temple myself but I also run a separate Krishna circle and there are lots of non ISKON groups out there if you prefer.

Good luck. Back soon (must dash)

Hare Krishna!
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nucdev
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#6
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#6
(Original post by frida.)
i'm more interested in Krishna himself and the history of his life and impact on Hinduism etc, than the whole ISKCON movement as such, however it's all very interesting and i'd love to learn more about it!
Krishna is perhaps the most loved deity of Hinduism and it's not hard to see why. The Bhagavata Purana describes events that naturally make Krishna endearing to us such as Krishna being a child prankster, someone who absolutely loved to flirt with the girls (Gopis) and as an individual who often fought wrongdoers to protect others.

However, the majority of Hindus including the Hare Krishnas have taken all of these stories to be literally true when in fact they shouldn't.
The name of the book gives the clue - Puranas mean "ancient legends" (basic Sanskrit etymology) and for this reason, although there MAY be some historical basis to them, the stories cannot be taken as literal accounts.

But perhaps the biggest reason why Krishna is an important figure in Hinduism is because of the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and his cousin Arjuna which consolidates the teachings of the Upanishads in to one fairly short book of 700 verses.
The Upanishads are the scriptures of philosophy in Hinduism, but are hard to read and understand because they are abstract.
The Gita makes the abstract teachings of the Upanishads more accessible and puts the teachings in to context which is why the Gita is such a popular scripture of Hinduism and by extension, Krishna automatically becomes a revered figure.
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Howard
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#7
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#7
(Original post by nucdev)
Krishna is perhaps the most loved deity of Hinduism and it's not hard to see why. The Bhagavata Purana describes events that naturally make Krishna endearing to us such as Krishna being a child prankster, someone who absolutely loved to flirt with the girls (Gopis) and as an individual who often fought wrongdoers to protect others.

However, the majority of Hindus including the Hare Krishnas have taken all of these stories to be literally true when in fact they shouldn't.
The name of the book gives the clue - Puranas mean "ancient legends" (basic Sanskrit etymology) and for this reason, although there MAY be some historical basis to them, the stories cannot be taken as literal accounts.

But perhaps the biggest reason why Krishna is an important figure in Hinduism is because of the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and his cousin Arjuna which consolidates the teachings of the Upanishads in to one fairly short book of 700 verses.
The Upanishads are the scriptures of philosophy in Hinduism, but are hard to read and understand because they are abstract.
The Gita makes the abstract teachings of the Upanishads more accessible and puts the teachings in to context which is why the Gita is such a popular scripture of Hinduism and by extension, Krishna automatically becomes a revered figure.
Good post Nukdev.
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Howard
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Butternuts96)
This and Mormonism is definitely one of the most stupidest religions out there.
"Most stupidest"

That just about says it all.
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demx9
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#9
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#9
Hello, I have already read the Bhagavad Gita and definitely find it an inspiring text.. I consider Hinduism by far the most spiritual religion
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Howard
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#10
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#10
Hi Demx9. Thank you for joining us. Have you considered developing your Krishna faith beyond reading the Gita? Maybe you've already taken some steps on this wonderful journey?!
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Charzhino
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#11
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#11
https://youtu.be/fAzP83ZvRA8

I find that extract from the Gita to be the most comprehensive explanation of Krsna and Hinduism itself. For people watching that who are unfamiliar with Dharmic religions, don't be insulted by the term delusion/deluded aimed at un-enlightned folk. It's simply meant as a state of mind everyone is born with due to the material aspect of nature (Maya) and isn't meant as an hostile slur such as the word kafir or unbeliever.
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nucdev
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(Original post by Charzhino)
https://youtu.be/fAzP83ZvRA8

I find that extract from the Gita to be the most comprehensive explanation of Krsna and Hinduism itself. For people watching that who are unfamiliar with Dharmic religions, don't be insulted by the term delusion/deluded aimed at un-enlightned folk. It's simply meant as a state of mind everyone is born with due to the material aspect of nature (Maya) and isn't meant as an hostile slur such as the word kafir or unbeliever.
Yep that's a good extract. I remember having an epiphany the first time I read that Adhyaya (chapter) so it's certainly a special one for me.

And good point about delusion. I have sometimes come across even ISKCON (Hare Krishna) members who have taken it literally and think that anyone who is not a devotee of Krishna or who follows a different pathway within Hinduism is uncivilized and uneducated.

I would also add that deluded refers to those who are still engrossed in material desires and haven't transcended them. Those who aspire to higher ideals rather than short term material desires and who can embody this would be considered non-deluded.
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Plantagenet Crown
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I've read most of the Bhagavad Gita and one of the phrases that impacted me the most was "The liberated aspirant directly beholds the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self".
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Howard
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#14
(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
I've read most of the Bhagavad Gita and one of the phrases that impacted me the most was "The liberated aspirant directly beholds the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self".
What does that mean to you? In layman's terms?
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nucdev
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(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
I've read most of the Bhagavad Gita and one of the phrases that impacted me the most was "The liberated aspirant directly beholds the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self".
Excellent verse - I believe it is from chapter 6.

One that I like which is just a few verses on from that one is "One is considered the best yogi who regards every being like oneself, and who can feel the pain and pleasures of others as one’s own, O Arjuna."

Almost reminds you of the Golden Rule.


I also find these to be good ones:

"When one completely casts away, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind, satisfied in the Self alone by the Self, then he is said to be one of steady wisdom."

"He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after happiness, who has become free from affection, fear, and wrath, is indeed the Sage of steady wisdom."

"One attains peace, within whose mind all desires dissipate without creating any mental disturbance, as river waters enter the full ocean without creating any disturbance. One who desires material objects is never peaceful."
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moment of truth
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#16
It would be wrong for me to consider myself a devotee of Lord Krishna, but parts of my family are and I have been going to the temple (pretty much) all my life. I do find it intriguing and the morals and lessons taught in the Bhagavad Gita are amazing and inspiring. I haven't been able to read the whole book yet, but at some point in my life, I will. I have also seen the Mahabharata which is excellent (the original is way better than the new one) which I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn. The Mahabharata isn't completely about Lord Krishna but it still does focus on Him at times.
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Plantagenet Crown
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#17
(Original post by Howard)
What does that mean to you? In layman's terms?
I'd say that for me it means that separation and individuality is just an illusion, albeit a useful one. That in reality we are all different expressions and manifestations of the same life energy, call it God or whatever else.
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Plantagenet Crown
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(Original post by nucdev)
Excellent verse - I believe it is from chapter 6.

One that I like which is just a few verses on from that one is "One is considered the best yogi who regards every being like oneself, and who can feel the pain and pleasures of others as one’s own, O Arjuna."

Almost reminds you of the Golden Rule.


I also find these to be good ones:

"When one completely casts away, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind, satisfied in the Self alone by the Self, then he is said to be one of steady wisdom."

"He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after happiness, who has become free from affection, fear, and wrath, is indeed the Sage of steady wisdom."

"One attains peace, within whose mind all desires dissipate without creating any mental disturbance, as river waters enter the full ocean without creating any disturbance. One who desires material objects is never peaceful."
Yes, those verses are great too and very truthful. Imagine how more at peace we would all be if we never worried about or had a vested interest in a particular outcome.
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nucdev
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#19
(Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
I'd say that for me it means that separation and individuality is just an illusion, albeit a useful one. That in reality we are all different expression and manifestations of the same life energy, call it God or whatever else.

I would also agree with that interpretation. In the Advaita (non-dualist) tradition this is called Maya (illusion or appearance). This is pretty much an Advaita verse.

As the Upanishads famously claim:

"Aham Brahmaasmi" - "I am Brahman"
"Tat Tvam Asi" - "You are That" - That being Brahman
"Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman" - "All here are Brahman"

Brahman in the theistic traditions of Hinduism would be called God, but in the non-theistic traditions it would translate as life energy, spiritual force, Ultimate Reality or cosmic principle.
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demx9
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(Original post by Howard)
Hi Demx9. Thank you for joining us. Have you considered developing your Krishna faith beyond reading the Gita? Maybe you've already taken some steps on this wonderful journey?!
I visited the London & Budapest Hare Krishna Centers.. I also meditate on Krishna, but less recently..

What do you think we should do to increase our faith ?
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