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Questions about the Hare Krishna movement

Question: 
What is the Hare Krishna movement? How do you recruit members? Do you allow everyone into the movement? What evidence is there of God's existence? Is there any truth to the rumors I've heard of sexual abuse scandals within the movement?


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.

Since anyone can participate in the Hare Krishna movement, it's unfortunately true that unscrupulous people sometimes come into the association of devotees and engage in immoral or even criminal activity. Many years ago this was the case; the devotees, being very trusting, found that people with criminal motives had infiltrated amongst the devotees and were taking advantage of our children in our schools while pretending to practice Krishna consciousness. We are now much more vigilant and trying to prevent such things.

It is unfortunate that in many religious traditions we find that people with ill intention take advantage of the generally trusting mentality of spiritually-minded persons and engage in harmful activities, often going undetected for some time.