FAQs about the books

The maha-mantra is not something that originated or was "invented" at some point in history. It is recommended in the Brhan Naradia Purana (and many other Vedic texts) and is an incarnation of the Supreme Person Himself. He is the same as His name, and this maha-mantra was offered to the people in Kali-yuga as the Yuga-dharma (prime recommended method of spiritual realization) by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was Krishna Himself.

The Holy Name, in the form of the maha-mantra, makes the realization of God easy in this very difficult time, a time of quarrel and hypocrisy, a time where spiritual life is not "cool" and material "advancement" is all that matters. Chanting is easy, and puts us directly in touch with the Lord...because He appears there in the sincere chanting of His name.

“‘The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical."
Caitanya-Caritamrita, Madhya 17.133, quoted from the Padma Purana.

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There's only one Supreme Being, but He has many names. Krishna & Rama mean "He who is the most attractive" and "He who gives the highest pleasure." Anyone who accepts God will accept that He is the most attractive and that a relationship with Him gives the highest pleasure.

Krishna Himself says that he is the source of everything in Bhagavad-gita 10:8 — "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts." But He also is selective about who He reveals Himself to:

"I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency, and therefore they do not know that I am unborn and infallible." 7:25

We see that in the material world everything has a cause. Nothing comes from nothing. With a little intelligence, one can see that there's intelligence behind everything...so why should we consider that this vast material world, with so many complex arrangements, came about by chance? It really doesn't make sense. So if there is a God, and you accept His existence then you should also consider that He is one, and has many names, and Krishna is one of them.

Also, if doubting persons try to chant Krishna's name with faith, they will also come to know that Krishna is God; on the absolute platform, God and His name are the same.

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Thanks for your question. There are many different names of the Supreme Lord. Krishna is one of them; it means "He who gives the highest pleasure and is all-attractive." Certainly God has these qualities in any religious tradition. Whatever religious tradition helps one to develop a loving relationship in service with God is good. One may sincerely and diligently follow any bona fide religion and make spiritual progress.

On the other hand, Brahma and Shiva, as well as many others, are demigods. They are assistants to the Supreme Lord. Brahma and Shiva help by creating and destroying the material creation. It is explained in the Bhagavad Gita, as well as in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that Krishna is the source of all demigods. And Lord Brahma himself, in his Bramha-samhita, states, "ishvara parama Krishna. . ."the highest supreme controller is Krishna. From Him everything else comes."

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There are many ways to look at this question. First it can be considered that the father sometimes has to punish the son/daughter in order to teach him a lesson. Often the son sees this as pain and suffering, but in reality it is instructional. If we accept that the material world is only a reflection of our real home in the spiritual world and that we are spiritual - only temporarily in the body - then we can understand that our entire existence here is a training for us to see that the material world is a place of suffering, it is temporary, and we should aspire to get out and reach the spiritual world.

Another point is that Krishna places us here with instructions how we should live a God-centered life, or even just a pious life, according to scriptures, while honoring each other, the earth, etc. However, if we choose to ignore the instructions then the consequences are not God's fault, but rather the reactions to our own behavior. God is just letting the consequences come.

In order to understand this, one must understand the nature of true love. If one is forced or drugged into "love," that love is not real. You may agree to love but you are agreeing because there is a gun at your head, or because you are not in control of your mind. Only one who loves voluntarily in full understanding of their emotion and sacrifice is in true love.

Krishna wants true love. He wants us to turn to Him because we want to love Him and sacrifice for Him. For Him to get true love He must leave us alone to make our decision. If we are looking for happiness and love in the material world we cannot have pure Love of God. If we turn to Him, however, He will reciprocate with us.

Otherwise, He creates a place where we can try material love and enjoyment. Although conditions often appear very painful here, in reality we cannot get hurt because we are spiritual beings, only temporarily here in the material world. Krishna leaves us here to make our choices. We have the instructions (in scripture) how to live here in the best way possible, but we must freely choose to follow. He won't get involved - except when we ask Him to. Then things become clear and we can see things as they are.

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Our Answer:

Note: the Puranas are ancient histories found in the Vedas. According to Bhagavad-gita, verse 10.18, "The Puranas are histories of bygone ages that relate the pastimes of the various incarnations of the Lord."

In general, people find it difficult to place faith in something they perceive as "super normal" and/or beyond their senses. But many of the things they do place their faith in are quite unworthy of faith. For example, various Darwinian theories on the origin of life have now been found to be highly questionable. At one time people thought the earth to be flat. Many ideas about health have been proven wrong. Conversely, many people are realizing that ideas, originally found in the Vedas, about yoga and cow dung, for example, are actually correct, although at first they were considered "weird" or impossible.

How can they accept that the world was created by a "big bang?" Where's the evidence? Have they ever seen any thing happen in that manner? Maybe they can explode their next house into existence ;-). How do they know what they read on the Internet isn't just the ranting of some madman? (it often is, yet they search there for "truth").

Furthermore, it's very easy to understand that our senses are imperfect. What we see isn't always correct. Stars appear tiny to our eyes, yet they're huge. The sun also appears quite small, yet it too is enormous. If it's dark, I can't see my hand in front of my face, and many can't see well at all without corrective lenses. There are sounds that we can't hear, yet animals can hear them and radios can pick them up. We can't see wind or electricity, but we know it's there by its symptoms.

At least with these understandings one can realize that the ability of the human to KNOW what is reality, what is "true," is very limited. Thus we find ourselves putting our faith in politicians and scientists who have, repeatedly, fed us lies and led us in the wrong direction due to greed, envy, and other ill motivations.

On the more positive side, anyone who's open-minded enough to take up chanting, associating with devotees, eating prasadam and reading Srila Prabhupada's books they will often begin to understand and experience the potency of the Hare Krishna philosophy and the Hare Krishna Mantra. As they experience these things, their faith will grow and they'll find it easier to accept various parts of the shastra (scriptures).

To try to convince people of these esoteric things prematurely may be a mistake. One must learn to walk before running. So better to help them to keep an open mind and then begin to explore the more tangible aspects of Krishna consciousness...until they can become purified enough to accept the Vedic literatures as axiomatic truth.

After all, they accept the news and the newspapers, so why not just accept that Krishna is God and try to chant His name and eat some prasad...and suspend judgment for some time. Gradually everything will become clear.

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An allegory is a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, usually moral or political. Allegories have their value, but we recognize the Bhagavad-gita as a work of nonfiction, intended for a specific purpose, and not open to interpretation by just anyone.

Our sources say Krishna factually spoke to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra, to enlighten him about spiritual reality; that the self is different from the body, that each of us is a unique, eternal, spiritual entity, endowed by our Creator with specific duties to perform in service to Him, both in this brief lifetime and throughout eternity.

Accepted as it is, the Gita is easy for anyone to understand and put to use. It has historical value, shedding light on the advanced spiritual culture of a bygone era. It contains practical advice for becoming free from the miseries of life and experiencing the natural happiness of the self. It has spiritual value as an introduction to the teachings of the Supreme Person, Krishna, on the nature of our eternal relationship with Him in this life and the next.

If accepted as an allegory, it's unclear whose allegory it might be and what their intention in writing it may have been. Some may like to speculate about this, but we'd consider such questioning useless, since the Bhagavad-gita has such immense value when accepted as it is. If it's accepted as simply a "story," then what is its value, except to whomever whimsically chooses to "believe" it?

We accept the Bhagavad-gita not as story, or even as a theoretical philosophical work, but as the blueprint of a spiritual culture, a culture with extremely high moral and spiritual standards, into which the Bhagavad-gita was spoken, and which perpetually exists wherever and whenever its teachings are followed and practically applied.

In the Gita itself, Krishna recommends one learn His teachings from a living representative of the tradition, to get the greatest possible benefit from the literature. As Srila Prabhupada mentions in his own commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavad-gita As It Is , it is meant for the formation of character, not as an abstract philosophical treatise meant for armchair speculators. If accepted as it is, the Gita can help one have a profound spiritual awakening—Krishna says that by careful study, we can know both ourselves and God factually. It is doubtful whether the study of any fiction—no matter how imaginative and seemingly full of meaning—could promise and deliver tangible results of such magnitude.

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All genuine scriptures agree that there is one Supreme Being. By logic and definition also, there can only be one supreme God. It would be reasonable to conclude, then, that what we see as differences in various scriptural descriptions of God are due only to different perspectives on the same Supreme Person.

We say there are basically three phases of realizing the one supreme God:

1. impersonal—the all-pervading spiritual oneness,
2. localized—God dwelling within the heart of everyone
3. Person—the Personality of God Himself, as He is.

Krishna, the all-attractive One, is the specific name that devotees of God give to His ultimate, personal aspect, the "up close and personal" view of the one Supreme Being. We may have different perspectives on the infinitely great, multifaceted supreme Person, based on upbringing or preconceived notions, but it helps to remember that ours is not the only perspective.

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Vedic knowledge presents itself as factual, and we've found no reason to doubt it. Those familiar with their comprehensive, consistent, and detailed information on so many aspects of human endeavor—spiritual, ethical, and practical—would likely find it hard to believe that they could have been fabricated with no basis in fact.

Respected scholars—past and present, east and west, secular and traditional—accept the knowledge contained in the Vedas—including the Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita—as both factual and timeless. Vedic teachings are the basis of one of the world's most enduring cultures. We wouldn't be interested in them if we thought they were fiction. Their scope and accuracy—along with considerable reliable testimony attesting to their validity—make it difficult for us to dismiss them as make-believe.

Fiction can't help us. If we mention a health concern to our doctor, for example, we wouldn't expect him to base his diagnosis and treatment on something he read in a book of fairy tales. We would hope he has factual knowledge of how the human body works, and experience dealing with a wide variety of diseases. Likewise, if we're looking for spiritual knowledge, knowledge of the self beyond the body, we don't want to waste our time—and life—with information that may or may not be true.
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Some accounts in Vedic literature describe persons, places, and circumstances that are beyond our experience. They may not make "logical" sense to us or agree with what we've been taught in school. We may want to dismiss the information as made up or false. (Of course, some believe that everything is false, but that idea is also logically false.)

But if something is true, it ought to be verifiable. We say what you'll find in the Srimad-Bhagavatam is verifiable by personal experience. Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita, "When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime." (Bhagavad-gita, 5.16).

What Krishna is talking about isn't about "believing" in something, although all knowledge begins with faith, and if someone is determined to not believe anything, they won't learn anything. It helps to have a degree of skepticism when approaching any new subject—especially spiritual knowledge—so that we're not misled. It also helps to at least theoretically accept that there is an Absolute Truth and we can know something about it. And, when we apply what we've learned, our consciousness should change for the better.

But how can we factually know what's beyond our experience? The most direct way to identify your father, for example, is to ask your mother. Similarly, we say that Vedic writings like Srimad-Bhagavatam are the most direct way to learn about the supreme Father, the Absolute Truth, Krishna.

The twentieth century's foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, Srila Prabhupada, had this to say about whether the Vedas (including Srimad-Bhagavatam) are truth or fiction:

"Men with a poor fund of knowledge only accept the history of the world from the time of Buddha, or since 600 B.C., and prior to this period all histories mentioned in the scriptures are calculated by them to be only imaginary stories. That is not a fact. All the stories mentioned in the Puranas and Mahabharata, etc., are actual histories, not only of this planet but also of millions of other planets within the universe.

Sometimes the history of planets beyond this world appear to such men to be unbelievable. But they do not know that different planets are not equal in all respects and that therefore some of the historical facts derived from other planets do not correspond with the experience of this planet. Considering the different situation of different planets and also time and circumstances, there is nothing wonderful in the stories of the Puranas, nor are they imaginary.

We should always remember the maxim that one man's food is another man's poison. We should not, therefore, reject the stories and histories of the Puranas as imaginary. The great rishis like Vyasa had no business putting some imaginary stories in their literatures." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.3.41, Purport)

We're not asking you to take our word for it. We encourage you to put the information to the test. For starters, try chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, the Vedas' most recommended practice for achieving peace of mind and enlightenment in the modern era. Your personal experience will demonstrate the authenticity of Vedic teachings more effectively than anything we could say.

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Fortunately, the Hare Krishna mantra works whether we believe in it or not. We don't have to understand or believe in medicine for it to work, and the science of chanting Hare Krishna is subtler than any chemical process. It has a profoundly beneficial effect on the consciousness, whether or not one is aware of the science at all. Try it and see.

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The goal is the same—love of God—so in essence the answer is no. If the Christianity you're following teaches you how to love God, it's as good as Krishna consciousness. The only real difference is that Christianity doesn't teach who the Supreme Person is. Jesus speaks of God the Father, but Krishna consciousness has specific information about the identity of God the Father that isn't found in the Bible or in Christianity.

"One will find in the Bhagavad-gita all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gita. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna."
Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1.1, Purport

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Yes and no. Our present dictionary app defines cult in various ways:

A. "a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object."

Yes. Krishna consciousness is a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward Krishna.

B. "a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister."

Yes, in those places where Krishna consciousness is not yet well-established as a major religion, it has often been seen in this way. But in India, where Krishna has been worshiped since before recorded history, Krishna consciousness is increasingly understood more as the essence of all spirituality than as anything strange or sinister.

C. "a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing."

We think it makes perfect sense to admire Krishna—an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, all-attractive personality—and that the general public's admiration for musicians, sports figures, movie stars, and political leaders who are here today and gone tomorrow is really excessive and misplaced.

The scriptures and saintly persons within the tradition of Krishna consciousness also describe the existence of a spiritual world, which is always existing and infinitely greater in size than this material world. From that point of view, this entire material world is a cult—a strange, sinister, small group of people with misplaced admiration for themselves.

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The concept of the existence of a Supreme Being is common to all religious traditions. That the Supreme Being is a Person is also a common notion, but exactly Who that Person is and what He does—when He's not creating this universe or interacting with people of this earth—is most comprehensively spoken about in the Vedic writings of ancient India.

Qualities such as honesty, tolerance, mercy, austerity, nonviolence, charity, faith, and cleanliness are valued in all religious cultures, regardless of denomination. This sense of shared values suggests that the source of all religions is the same Absolute Truth, since religion itself refers to laws given by God and meant for governing human behavior. People's concepts of God may differ from culture to culture, but the source and aim of religion itself—the Supreme Being—is in fact the same Person.

The Supreme Being reveals Himself selectively, according to time, place and circumstances. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says that he doesn't show Himself to everyone; only to those whom He trusts aren't envious of Him. Envy of God, wanting His position for ourselves, is the underlying symptom of everyone's consciousness in this material world, which is often compared to a correctional facility for those who are averse to Krishna's supremacy. Krishna has His reasons for remaining personally aloof, just as a President doesn't habitually walk the halls of all the nation's prisons.

The fact that Krishna's name or descriptions of Krishna's form or personality don't appear explicitly in each and every religious scripture of the world doesn't suggest that Krishna is the property of one tradition and not others. Nor does it indicate that His personality is fictitious, or that He's merely one culture's idea of God. Different scriptures are meant to facilitate differing levels of interest in God. Many are satisfied to simply follow God's laws insofar as such lawful behavior enables them to pursue their independent aims without fear of punishment.

But for those who are genuinely interested in the Supreme Being Himself—His activities, His personality, His interactions with His pure devotees, His spiritual form, and so on—Krishna has arranged that a wealth of information is available, especially in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which describes Krishna's many avatars, devotees, and His own transcendental activities.

It may be that Krishna Himself doesn't appear in so many other spiritual teachings because the significant teachers within those traditions were simply presenting as much information as was available to them in a way they felt would be most easily understood and applied by their followers. Srila Prabhupada, who wrote translations and commentary on most of the Vedas' major books on devotional service to God, bhakti-yoga, referred to the Srimad-Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita as "post graduate scripture," meaning that very few would have interest in or be able to understand such detailed discussions of the personality of God. But it certainly makes sense that such writings should be at least available to those interested few. Our aim is to make them available to everyone.

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By definition, the Supreme Person, Krishna has no origin. He is described in many places as anadi, without beginning, and sarva karana karanam, the cause of everything; yet He himself has no cause. The living entities—all other persons—are also eternal. Krishna is their source, but they have the same spiritual nature and are therefore also eternal.

"Krishna, who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes." ( Brahma-samhita, 5.1)

The following verse is also helpful for understanding this:

"The Personality of Godhead is pure, being free from all contaminations of material tinges. He is the Absolute Truth and the embodiment of full and perfect knowledge. He is all-pervading, without beginning or end, and without rival. O Narada, O great sage, the great thinkers can know Him when completely freed from all material hankerings and when sheltered under undisturbed conditions of the senses. Otherwise, by untenable arguments, all is distorted, and the Lord disappears from our sight.

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 2:6:40-41)

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Devotees of Krishna chant many different names of the Supreme Person. Many Vaishnava songs are composed exclusively of names of Krishna representing His different pastimes. We also chant different names of Krishna during daily temple worship.

However, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu specifically recommended the maha-mantra—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare , Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—as the most potent names particularly recommended for this age.

Srila Prabhuapda comments:

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead has many names, which are all non-different from the Supreme Person. This is spiritual existence. By chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, consisting of names of the Supreme Lord, we find that the name has all the potencies of the person.

The Lord's activities are many, and according to His activities He has many names. He appeared as the son of Mother Yasoda, and also as the son of mother Devaki, and therefore He is named Devaki-nandana and Yasoda-nandana.

Parasya shaktir vividhaiva sruyate. The Lord has a multitude of energies, and therefore He acts in multifarious ways. Yet He has a particular name. The sastras recommend which names we should chant, such as Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. It is not that we have to search for some name or manufacture one. Rather, we must follow the saintly persons and the sastras in chanting His holy name." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 8:1:13 Purport)

The song "Jaya Radha Madhava," which devotees chant daily before reading the Srimad-Bhagavatam, is also composed of several wonderful names of Krishna, and so is Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Actually there are so many it is impossible to enumerate here.

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When Krishna says offer me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, and water; this includes all offerings coming from plants. Basically, grains are considered the flower and/or the fruit of that plant. Sugar is distilled from the stalk of the sugar cane plant.

There are many places in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, especially in the chapters describing Krishna's childhood pastimes, the chapter on Govardhana-puja, and the wives of the brahmanas satisfying Krishna and his friends, which offer vivid descriptions of milk and milk products being prepared by devotees, and offered to the Lord. He loves cows, He regularly drinks milk, and eats butter and yogurt.

Also in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya lila chapter 3, there are lists of many preparations prepared by devotees, with various ingredients that were offered to the Lord.

Basically the understanding is that animals and their embryos shouldn't be sacrificed for the palate of man. Krishna doesn't accept the offerings that come from such violence.

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The Vedas themselves explain that although they appear within human society for our benefit, they weren't written by ordinary humans, but have always existed. They're like the instruction manual for how to live in this world; and most instruction manuals aren't written by the inventors themselves.

In Sanskrit the scriptures are called apaurusheya, not of human origin. According to Vedic wisdom, the Supreme Person empowers various other persons—sages, prophets, and acharyas—with the necessary vision for distributing and teaching the scriptures.

The validity of scriptural directions can be tested the same way as scientific theories. If 1) they appear reasonable and 2) they don't contradict anything we know to be true, and 3) if by acting according to them we get the predicted result, we may have more confidence in them. Blind doubt is just as un-beneficial as blind faith.

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Our Answer:

The Supreme Person sends many incarnations and prophets to earth. Depending on the audience, different prophets and incarnations of God give more or less knowledge.

This is similar to how a math teacher gives different knowledge according to the grade level of the students. Beginning math has just numerals and symbols but advanced math, like algebra, employs variables represented by letters. Someone unfamiliar with algebra may protest, "What are these letters doing here? This isn't math!" But what they're seeing is only a higher level of math than what they're used to.

For example, Buddha teaches how material desire is a cause of suffering. Krishna also teaches this in Bhagavad-gita. But Buddha did not teach about God, the soul, and their relationship because His audience was not as advanced. Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna, He knows everything, but He only spoke partial knowledge in order to reach His particular audience.

We so often see disagreement between religions due to a lack of understanding of this principle. God is one, but He is infinite, and can be seen from unlimited angles of vision. One thing all religions have in common is the idea of developing love for God as the highest goal of life. Religious people who are focused on this goal have less trouble accepting the validity of others' religious beliefs. Religious people who are focused on lesser goals are more likely to find fault with the beliefs of others, since their understanding of the essence of religion isn't as developed. This is known as the inability to see the forest for the trees.

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Our Answer:
The Hare Krishna movement is designed to assist persons interested in reconnecting with Krishna (God) by offering them an opportunity for association of like-minded people. Members of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) follow the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. There are temples and gatherings all over the world where people get together and chant, read and speak about Krishna and work together to revive their loving relationship with Him.

Anyone can be a member of this movement who is sincerely interested in participating in the process and connecting with Krishna. We try to spread the holy name by chanting in the streets, inviting people to feast and chant with us, and offering many spiritual books which will assist you in learning more about the philosophy and practice of Krishna consciousness.

As far as evidence that God exists, such evidence is all around us. The regularity of the seasons, the beauty of life and nature, the complexity of the human body and animal bodies, and the overall order of the universe seem to indicate that someone with incredible intelligence is behind the creation. Science may try to explain creation one way, but the creator is far more intelligent then anyone trying to study it.

Anyone can experience their relationship with God by chanting His holy name, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." If you concentrate on the sound of this mantra and focus on the vibration of this holy name you will come to experience your relationship with Krishna.

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Whenever Krishna does something, He accomplishes many purposes simultaneously. Krishna chose to speak the Bhagavad-gita to His devotee and friend Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra for a number of reasons. Krishna's purpose in coming to the material world is to deliver His devotees from the anxieties of material existence, annihilate those who disturb the universal order, and to reestablish principles of religion. His choice of Kurukshetra for speaking the Bhagavad-gita accomplished all three of these.

Just prior to the war, Arjuna was overcome with resistance; he didn't want to fight. Even though fighting was his nature as a warrior, and the war he was about to fight in was a clear case of righteousness versus unrighteousness, he was so distressed about the consequences of the impending conflict that he lay down his bow.

In the course of speaking the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna reminds Arjuna of the eternality of the soul, the relationship between the infinite Supreme Soul and the individual soul, and how to perfect that relationship through practice of bhakti-yoga, Krishna consciousness. By hearing from Krishna, Arjuna's anxiety is removed, and he becomes divinely inspired to fight for Krishna's cause without hesitation. As a result, he becomes Krishna's instrument for ridding the world of a huge overabundance of ungodly military forces. Everyone who hears their conversation gets spiritual benefit.

Krishna's choice of Kurukshetra as the setting for speaking the Bhagavad-gita is also noteworthy for its extremity. The violence and scale of human loss there was tremendous, and it would be hard to conceive of a more intense scene. Arjuna's questions and Krishna's answers on the nature of reality itself could not have taken place at a more grave moment, proving to the rest of us that if it's possible to be perfectly God conscious in the midst of a gigantic battle, it's certainly possible to think of Krishna in less stressful situations.

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Our Answer:

Krishna consciousness is the science of loving the Supreme Person.

The point is to learn to love God.

It's not teaching "belief in God."

It's not teaching how to be "saved."

It doesn't teach that "God is love."

It teaches exactly how God is lovable and loving.

It is the science of knowing and loving God.

Krishna means God in His most lovable form, His original form, the source of all other forms of God.

We are all parts of God, tiny samples of God. We're meant to cooperate with His plans for enjoyment.

We're all naturally Krishna conscious. Now, we're only conscious of our own body and this temporary world.

The more Krishna conscious we are, the happier we are.

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Our Answer:
Everything is one, in the sense that everything is either Krishna or Krishna's energy; Krishna and His energies are one and different simultaneously, like the sun and the sunshine.

But everything is not one in the sense that a tiger is not a tomato, night is not day, and a cotton ball is not a cotton shirt. The Absolute Truth has variety. Krishna is like the goldmine, and His energies are like infinite particles of gold. Qualitatively, they're one. Quantitatively, there are differences.

The understanding that everything is one is called brahman realization; all energies—tigers, tomatoes, night, day, gold, cotton—are Krishna's energy. In that sense, it's all one. But it would be a mistake to say that Krishna is identical in every respect with a tomato. Krishna is the ultimate source, the personality from whom everything comes. Understanding Him as the Supreme Person means going beyond understanding spiritual oneness.

Krishna is infinite, and from Him come infinite tomatoes; we worship tomatoes, but only after they’ve been offered to Krishna.

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