Hinduism and Krishna Consciousness: Increasing Popularity Throughout the World
Hinduism is viewed as a diverse religion as it has been associated with so many scriptures, different deities and variegated beliefs. Nonetheless, there is one common root as the origin of these diversities, and which is the key concept of Hinduism. The key concept comprises of 3 principles:
- The difference between matter and Spirit
- The Supreme God
- The relationship between God and Spirit
There is also a concept of “Paramapara” or disciplic succession in Hindu tradition. Thus Hinduism is a very ancient religion. In present day it is spreading throughout the world. Read on to know about Hinduism, philosophy of Krishna consciousness and its popularity in this article.
Hinduism and Its Origin
In recent times Hinduism has gained popularity all over world with spread of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). ISKCON was founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He was a Gaudiya Vaishnava preacher who went to the West to propagate the culture of Krishna Consciousness, on order of his spiritual master Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj. The movement is popularly known as Hare Krishna movement.
“Hinduism is not of Vedic origin,” Srila Prabhupada says. He clarifies that Muslims invading India gave name “Hindu” to people who lived the other side of the river Sindh. In Urdu they called “Sindu” and later it became “Hindu”. Actually the religion that Indians followed was Sanatana Dharma or Varnaashrama Dharma. Srila Prabhupada preached, according to parampara, how the principles of Sanatana Dharma are scientific and universal.
Krishna Consciousness – The Philosophy and Practice
Srila Prabhupada called it “Krishna Consciousness.” He says Krishna consciousness is the original nature of the spirit soul. “Krishna” is the name of Supreme God Who is One for all. He gives analogy of the sun. As the sun cannot be a different sun just because it rises in India or America, similarly God cannot be two. God is One and Universal. The name that can be given to God is “Krishna” as He is “All-attractive”. Chanting of His Name revives the original position of a living entity. The mantra is called Hare Krishna mahamantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Krishna consciousness is not just chanting, it is a way of life. The lifestyle is based on spiritual practices that purifies the existence of soul. It is the path of Bhakti yoga based on authorized scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Some of the practices are: Mantra meditation, deity worship, reading and discussing scriptures, eating sanctified food called prasadam and spreading the word of God.
ISKCON: Increasing Popularity Throughout the World
ISKCON was started in 1965. But it has spread in 96 countries and has more than 400 temples. It has more than 51 farms and more than 20 schools. Almost every major city of world has a preaching center. It cannot be said Hinduism now as it is now known as scientific process of Krishna consciousness. ISKCON is spreading the culture of better life throughout the world.