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Hare Krishna Movement

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxviii ] The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), founded on his arrival in America in 1965 by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896–1977), was to become one of the most visible of the N ew religious movements that came from the East. In their colourful eastern dress, and the men with shaved heads except for their top-knot, devotees became a familiar sight on the streets and in public places such as airports as they sang and danced, selling records, books and their magazine, Back to Godhead. Additional publicity (and financial support) came through the interest of the Beatle, George Harrison. It is through their frequent chanting of their main M antra , Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare that the devotees became popularly known as the Hare Krishna. The theological basis of the movement is the B hagavadgita , as translated by Prabhu-pada. Devotees are expected to lead strictly ascetic lives: they may not take meat, drugs or alcohol and they must remain celibate except for the purpose of procreation of children within marriage. Many members of the Hindu community in the West (and in India) accept ISKCON as an authentic strand within their tradition. The movement did, however, come in for considerable criticism from the anti-cult movement in the 1970s and 1980s ( see ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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