Tittenhurst, 1 October, 1969
KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS: THE SANKIRTANA MOVEMENT
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is a bonafide religious society strictly following the principles described in the Vedic scriptures and practiced in India for thousands of years. Our basic beliefs are as follows:
1) The Absolute Truth is contained in all the great Scriptures of the world; the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. However, the oldest known Revealed Scriptures in existence are the Vedic literatures, most notably the BHAGAVAD GITA which is the literal record of God's actual Words.
2) God, or KRISHNA is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful and all attractive, the seed-giving Father of man and all living entities. He is the sustaining energy of all life, nature and the cosmic situation.
3) Man is actually NOT his body, but is eternal spirit soul, part and parcel of God, and therefore eternal.
4) That all men are brothers can be practiced only when we realise God as our common ultimate Father.
5) All our actions should be performed as a sacrifice to the Supreme Lord... "all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me." (Bhagavad-gita, IX, 27)
6) The food that sustains us should always be offered to the Lord before eating. In this way He becomes the Offering, and such eating purifies us.
7) We can, by sincere cultivation of bonafide spiritual science attain to the state of pure, unending blissful consciousness, free from anxiety in this very lifetime.
8) The recommended means of attaining the mature stage of Love of God in the present age of "Kali," or quarrel, is to chant the Holy Name of the Lord. The easiest method for most people is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Our basic Mission is to propagate the Sankirtana Movement (chanting of the Holy Names of God) all around the world as was recommended by the Incarnation of the Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. People in this age are reluctant very much to understand about God consciousness on account of their unfortunate condition of life. They are working hard day and night simply for sense gratification. But this transcendental vibration of Sankirtana will knock
at the door of their hearts for spiritual awakening. Therefore, they should be given the chance for this opportunity.
It is not recommended that a Krishna Conscious devotee go into seclusion for chanting by himself and thereby gaining salvation for himself alone. Our duty and religious obligation is to go out into the streets where the people in general can hear the chanting and see the dancing. We have already seen practically how by this process many, many boys and girls of America and Europe have been saved from the immoral practices of this age and have now
dedicated their lives to the service of Krishna.
The state laws are specifically meant for making citizens men of good character, and good character means avoiding the following sinful activities:
intoxication, illicit sex life, gambling and meat-eating. We are checking people from practicing these sinful activities. All of our students are applying these principles practically in their lives, and they are teaching others to follow the same principles. Therefore, it is the duty of the government to help us in our missionary work rather than to hinder us.
It is hoped that the government authorities will cooperate with our Sankirtana parties in enabling us to perform Sankirtana on the streets. To do this it is necessary that we be able to chant the Names of Krishna, dance, play the mrdanga drum, request donations, sell our society's journal, and on occasion, sit down with the mrdanga drum. As devotees of Lord Krishna it is our duty to teach the people how to love God and worship Him in their daily life. This is the aim and destination of human life.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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