Hare Krishna 

By Reeves

Brief Introduction

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a major Hindu sect. ISKCON is a modern school of Vishnu Hinduism that developed from the fifteeth-century teachings of a man named Chaitanya, who instituted worship of Vishnu as God, opposed to the local worship of Shiva.

Chaitanya taught that Krishna was the supreme personality of the Godhead. Chaitanya Mahaprabu (1486-1534) was the key figure in the revival of devotional religion which took place in Bengal.

He got his inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita, the most influential of Hindu scriptures. Chaitanya emphasized liberation (mukti) through devotional love and service to Krishna as the ultimate and personal god. This is known as bhakti yoga. He had his own method when it comes to devotional called sankirtana dancing which is still pretty much praticed today among devotees of Krishna.

Hare Krishna Scripture:

ISKCON movement was established in the West since 1966, yet its roots can be traced all the way back into India’s history. The lifestyle and philosophical beliefs are based on ancient scriptures known as the Vedas. ISKCON’s sacred texts is the Hindu poem The Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is one of the ancient books that contains the Vedas in which one can read in it the conversation between Lord Krishna and a soldier Arjuna.

Hare Krishna Beliefs:

Many ISKCON beliefs are the same as those of conventional Hinduism. They believe that we are all spirit souls who are temporarily trapped in a material body and its cares and woes.

In ISKCON chanting the name of Krishna (sankirtana) is the only way to attain freedom from samsara (endless repetitive rebirth) and return to the kingdom of god. You probably already seen Krishna devotees in our public places with shaved heads, sporting longrobes, playing drums, and singing the 16-word chant, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare. (Krishna means “The All-Attractive” and Rama means “The Greatest Pleasure.”).

Hare Krishna Practices:

I Mantra Meditation

Devotees of Krishna practice mantra meditation. A chant, or mantra, is a vibration of sound that purifies the mind, liberating it from worries and illusion. This can only be performed by chanting or mantra by repeating Hare Krishna’s name.

II Krishna Consciousness

ISKCON teaches that, that these who place themselves in harmony with Krishna and Krishna’s energy return to their natural, pure state of consciousness that is, to “Krishna Consciousness.” Krishna consciousness is suppossedly inside each person, waiting to explode. There are four simple pratices in Krishna consciousness;

1. Reading (Shravanarn)

2. Chanting (Kirtanam)

3. Friendship (Sat-sangam)

4. Remembering (Smaranam)

The Tilaka Mark:

Devotees of Hare Krishna have the Tilaka mark on their foreheads. It is a U-shaped marking made of clay and placed on their forehead with yellow colored clay from the sacred bank rivers of India.

a. The two stripes symbolizes the lotus feet of Krishna

b. The leaf in the center represents holy basil, or Tulasi, which traditionally adorns his feet.


ISKCON have their distinctive monks: an order of monks and priests, and congregation members. Male monks shave their heads, except for a sikna, a central patch of unshaven hair. They vow not to smoke, drink alcohol, or take any king of drugs. Gambling is prohibited and are strictly vegetarian. They chant Krishna’s name everyday.

ISCKON and Christianity

ISKCON is one of the few non-Christian cult movements that worships a god who is both personal and infinite. However, it assumes traditional monism (essential pantheism). To ISKCON, Jesus Christ is Krishna’s Son, but in a position no more unique to God than any other man could strive to attain.

Hare Krishna’s devotees does not believe Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God; God manifest in the flesh. According to the Scripture, Jesus Christ is God Almighty who became a human flesh (incarnate) in order to die for the sins of the ungodly world.

He has been God, Jehovah from all eternity (John 1:1). In addition, Christ is not inferior to Krishna, who is the original Personality of the Godhead Himself. The Christian belief has a higherview of Christ.

Salvation in ISKCON is obtained by removing one’s karmic debt through devotion to Krishna, and right actions through handful incarnations. According to Hare Krishna, Salvation then, must be earned by performing a series of works. This is contrary to what the Scripture teaches Christians namely, we cannot earn salvation by performing good deeds by filling his or her bank account!

Since ISKCON has different God, a different Jesus, and a different way of salvation from what the Bible reveals, it is therefore impossible for there to have a common ground between Hare Krishna and Jesus Christ.


AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults and the Occult; Compiled By Mark Water