My faith in Krishna is based in knowing that Krishna is the Absolute Truth. When I fixed my mind and I dedicated faith to Him, I received the real knowledge of everything around me. My social life, my personal life, my family, nothing was apart from my spiritual life and my relationship with Krishna, because He is in everything.
Rama Putra, Krishna's devotee
Originally from India, the Hare Krishna Movement (HKM) arrived in the Western world in the 60’s, in opposition to Hindus who did not believe that people in the West could accept such a different way of life, one which searches after spiritual development. This cultural rapprochment was made by Srila Prabhupada, who went to United States to transmit Vedic knowledge and the message of the spiritual and social leader Sri Chaitanya.
The offical name for this movement is the International Society for Krishna Counsciousness (ISKON), and it first appears as an official institution in 1966, in a context of great political, social and cultural changes in the United States. The Society follows the precepts of the Vedas and the Vedic scriptures, including the Bhagavad-gita and the Bhagavad Purana, which teaches and practices the Vaishnavism – devotion to God.
The practice of the vaishnavas follows four basic principles: do not eat meat or eggs, do not intoxicate oneself, do not practice illicit sex – out of marriage and without reprodutive ends – and do not participate in games of chance. Such a commitment is made by the disciple before they are initiated before a guru. Thus, the HKM cab be defined as a system that extends beyond the spiritual cult, embracing different spheres: from feeding, human relations, consuming, social organization to the economic system. Prabhupada defines it as an “essential cultural movement” for the whole of human society, with no need to compete with or destroy other beliefs.
Despite the fact that the term hinduism be widely used to define the group of beliefs proceeding from India, the word does not exist in the Sanscrit lexicon, being a definition given by others to the culture of India. There is not, in this philosophy, a dissociation between theoretical knowledge and the concrete praxis. This knowledge, received in discipular succession, become wisdom. Achieving the union of philosophy and practice, one achieves the spiritual elevation.