Hare Krishna: frequently asked questions

Some fundamental theological questions are posed and briefly answered here. All answers are based on a number of condensed quotations from various trustworthy revelatory writings collected over the years, the authenticity of which has been confirmed by comparison, examination and personal experience and observation.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Because Krishna is not a tyrant or a demon. Of course, the Supreme Lord in His omnipotence could personally drop the sky on the head of any unbeliever every day or plunge him into such abysmal misery that he would have no choice but to acknowledge the Supreme Lord and beg Him for mercy.

Krishna, however, accepts the tiny free will of His creatures, He does not force anyone to accept Him as the Supreme Lord and He does not need to imagine anything about His omnipotence and divinity and insist that everyone recognizes it. On the contrary, people can distance themselves from Krishna or approach Him according to their own free will and power of realization. If Krishna were to use His omnipotence to force people against their free will to “love Him” and accept Him as the Supreme Lord, He would thereby deprive them of their tiny free will, without which no independent life is possible. True love cannot be forced either. Then people would only be puppets who obey His will due to His omnipotence. That is why Krishna does not impose Himself on anyone, although of course He always pulls the strings in the background as the Supreme Controller and provides us with help and support, but without violating our freedom to accept Him or not.

The existence of Krishna can indeed be proven, but not with the external power of knowledge, the material senses and the material mind. This is because the material mind/spirit, as a subtle body, part of the material body, has the very purpose of obscuring the Supreme Lord from us. (See the question: Why have we become embodied human beings?) The more one seeks the Supreme Lord with the mere mind/spirit, the more one distances oneself from Him. This is particularly evident today in the atheistic nature of the natural sciences based on the external power of knowledge (empiricism), which postulate the purely hypothetical and intellectually impossible principle of chance instead of Krishna, most ostensibly in the Big Bang and evolution theories. Empirical psychology and religious science, too, when applied to the Supreme Lord and His devotees, descends into even gruesome errors. Even the Mahabharata describes the empirical power of knowledge as a fraudulent science that leads people to destruction. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja has extensively treated and refuted the empiricists and their errors in several essays. The mind is only well utilized and useful when it is used in the service of Krishna. Then it becomes a caller in the desert, preparing the way for Krishna consciousness, baptizing the spiritual soul with the water of humility and willing obedience. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja was a virtuoso in utilizing his mind in the service of Krishna; he literally smashed the perverted material empirical conceptions that plague mankind with his powerful transcendental mental flashes.

Without devotion to Krishna, however, the mind becomes an absurdity that only takes us further and further away from the Supreme Lord until we are completely blind and run into ruin. Besides, or rather, above the material mind, there is another power of cognition, namely that of the soul, the so-called inner power of cognition. This inner cognitive power is able to grasp and hold on to the concept of the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with its inherent love. Once this has happened, someone is said to “believe” in Krishna. This belief awakens Krishna consciousness, which is then so strong that it contains within itself the proof of the existence of the Supreme Lord and thus needs no external means of proof. As a sign of the increasing activity of the inner cognitive power, doubts and the desire for external proofs fade away. Also, as the inner spiritual cognitive power increases, a person becomes increasingly free from material vices and material desires and becomes gentle, righteous and virtuously pure in his actions. The whole process of spiritual realization and the awakening of pure love for God becomes most effective when one simply chants the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra daily with concentration: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare!!!

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami explains that Krishna is atmarama, satisfied in Himself. He does not need anyone else to be happy.

Krsna is not poor. Kṛṣṇa is all opulent. Lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam (Bs. 5.29). He is always worshiped by many hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune. These are all His extension of His inner joy power ( Hladini-Sakti). His eternal beloved Radharani is His original inner joy power Hladini-Sakti in Vrindavan and all other gopis are the extension of this joy power. Later this same joy power expands into innumerable goddesses of fortune, the laksmis at Vaikuntha. Here we worship the goddess Lakṣmī, the goddess of happiness: “Mother Laksmi, give me some money.” And that doesn’t usually stay with us for long either. Lakṣmī’s other name is cañcala, sometimes she gives something and then she goes away again. But Kṛṣṇa is so opulent that millions of goddesses of fortune are in His service. It is His own internal energy of joy. Krsna does not need to seek pleasure from outside. So why does He ask us, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ (BG 9.26)? He asks us out of love, saying, “You are trying to love me. If you are so poor that you cannot give me anything, fine, just give me a small flower, a small fruit or a glass of water as an offering. I will be satisfied and accept it.” Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Because He only wants bhakti, devotion from us, so that we are also full of inner joy and love for Krsna and are eternally happy. This bhakti is the only thing that makes Him happy and basically all His parts, we, the souls, are parts of this joyful power, but because we have forgotten this, we suffer and Krsna is so kind and tries by all means to wake us up so that we become active again in our original constitutional position as His eternal servants in His devotional service and are full of bliss and knowledge connected with Him in bhakti.

Kṛṣṇa is not a mendicant. Kṛṣṇa can create millions of fruits and flowers. He is ātmārāma, He is completely satisfied in Himself. He is so opulent. But He wants you also to love Kṛṣṇa and give Him something. That is what He wants. Therefore He comes, paritrāṇāya sādhūnām (BG 4.8). Therefore He comes.

The human form of life

The purpose of human life is to recognize ourselves, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and our eternal relationship as servants and masters to each other, to be liberated from the painful conditions of material bondage and to attain a godlike existence in the eternal kingdom of the Supreme Lord. This is the eternal life of immortality, perpetual spiritual bliss and divine knowledge. All this is made possible by devotion or love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, and nothing else, not even knowledge and renunciation. Therefore, the meaning of life can be expressed even more succinctly: Devotion to the Supreme Lord. Bhakti. Any endeavor that is not directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, at least partially imbued with bhakti is not a spiritual or religious act, even though it may be advertised as such.

The Supreme Lord only looks at the heart, or the devotion or love that is in there. Ultimately, this is the only thing we can take with us into the kingdom of God after the death of the material body. This devotion may be hidden or its effects may be visible on the outside.

The true devotion that matters to Krishna in people is probably best recognized by the spiritual simplicity based on love and great sincere humility before Krishna. The observance of the Lord’s commandments, the complete renunciation of material things, the continuous chanting of the Holy Name, etc. are also hallmarks and touchstones of true devotion. Sri Krsna the Supreme Lord is pleased when we obediently and strictly follow the transcendental instructions of His messenger, the acarya, the bona fide spiritual master, thus proving our deep humility. By strictly following these instructions of sadhu, sastra and guru, our love and devotion to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna will continue to develop and we will eventually be able to think only of Krsna 24 hours a day. At this stage, we will also show our respect to all other living beings as parts of Krsna without demanding respect for ourselves. With this state of mind, we will be able to chant the holy name of the Lord without ceasing. This will please Krsna very much.

The material body is like a prison for the spiritual soul, its visible bondage to the material world or karma made flesh, and therefore the destruction of the material body is necessary as soon as the time has come and the soul is freed from its prison and attains its eternal spiritual body or has to move on to another material body, as the case may be. This is of course less desirable, even if the new material body is better than the old one, but it would still be just another shackle. The death of the material body is painless and even a pleasure if a person lives in intimate association with Krishna according to the teachings of the Supreme Lord. However, if the mind is formally fused with matter out of greedy attachment, then the more it is attached to those externals and desires, the greater the pain of such separation. It can therefore be said that the more we spiritual souls are attached to spirit and body through our defiled consciousness, the more painful so-called death becomes. In itself there is no death, it is only the change from one body to another and thus the forgetting of the previous body. This is what we call death. If at the end of life we have attained love for God and are completely attached to Krsna and His devotional service, then we are automatically detached from mind and body. In this state, the so-called death is not painful.

This differs depending on how we have prepared ourselves in life for the afterlife. After death, it is harvest time, where the good and bad or ideally transcendental fruits gathered in the material world of temporary life are inspected. In material life, we act either piously (karma), sinfully (vikarma) or in a mixture of the two, or akarma, which means beyond pious and sinful, namely transcendental. Transcendental means that one acts only to please the Supreme Lord with one’s actions and thoughts. This does not result in any karma.

The birth chart, for example, is a mirror of our consciousness at the time of our birth and the result of a journey through countless lives, including countless deaths. It is a snapshot of the life situation of a living being that once again takes on a material body in this material world in order to move closer to its actual spiritual goal or to reach it directly.

As such, it summarizes our entire past into a complex energy and information field (guna code or karmic code in which all our actions and open desires are stored), which is transferred into our subtle body at the time of birth and will influence our entire new life. All happiness and suffering and how much money we will be given is due to this. It is practically our karma movie. At the time of birth, this transmission takes place between the planets in the sky and our energy body (subtle body) through vibrational resonances that will determine the further course of our life.

The same happened at the time of conception, when our subtle body had already entered the matter of the egg. The spiritual soul itself is in turn embedded or enclosed in the subtle body. From an astrological point of view, this time of conception is therefore just as important as birth. However, since in most cases the time of conception is not directly traceable, astrology is usually based on the time of birth. In ancient cultures, however, astrologers were present at the court of kings, whose task it was to record the time of conception of the king’s successors as precisely as possible in order to be able to say more about the fate of the offspring.

The position of the planets at the time of birth forms a complex vibrational field that shapes the vibrational field of our subtle body through so-called scalar waves, which were discovered by Nikola Tesla at the end of the 19th century and are closely linked to the subtle electromagnetic processes of the cells. This means that as soon as death occurs, it depends on which guna code or karma code we have put together with our actions and which open material wishes are still unfulfilled that we would like to realize. In addition, it also depends on what we are thinking about when we die. Because as Max Planck said: “Matter is solidified spirit.”

The Bhagavad-Gita says:

“And he who at the time of death leaves his body and remembers Me (Sri Krsna) alone, immediately attains My transcendental kingdom. Of this there is no doubt.” ( Bg 8.5)

“Whatever state of being (state of mind) one remembers when he leaves his body, he will definitely attain that state.” (Bg 8.6)

So here we see exactly what happens when you “die”!

We as spiritual souls are originally fully Krsna conscious (God conscious) and full of pure spiritual love and devotion to our Supreme Lord. We are also full of knowledge, full of bliss and therefore fully aware that we are eternal servants of Krsna.

But in some way we have misused our tiny free will and have become envious of God, of Krsna and wanted to become God ourselves or to be the center of attention.

In this case, we souls fall from the spiritual world directly into the material world and take birth in a particular material body. There are 8,400,000 different life forms and 8 million of them are non-human forms. So after we have wandered through all these 8 million non-human life forms, we get the chance to get a human life form. From 3 different animal species or animal bodies, we first get into a human life form. From the cow we get into the mode of virtue (sattva), that is, into a higher human race, with higher intelligence and culture. In the mode of passion (rajas) we souls come from the material body of a tiger into the next human form. This is a human race that is not as civilized as when we are born from a cow into the next human form. The soul from a monkey body enters an even lower and more primitive human race through the mode of ignorance (tamas). E.g. cannibals or the like.

Sensual pleasure is difficult to overcome when we are born from an early age into a materialistic civilization and family that does not enlighten us from an early age about our true spiritual nature. Spiritually unenlightened by an illusory civilization of sense enjoyment, we grow up in total illusion about our true eternal spiritual life and the longer we grow up in such illusion of sense gratification, the more difficult it becomes to come back from this world of sense enjoyment (lust) to the normal original spiritual life of pure devotional service. For sensual pleasure still has a great disadvantage. Here Krsna Himself speaks in the Bhagavad-gita Chapter 3 Karma-yoga:

Text 37: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “It is lust alone, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transforms into anger. It is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.
Text 38: As fire is covered by smoke, a mirror by dust, and an embryo by the womb, so the living entity is covered by various degrees of this lust.
Text 39: Thus the pure consciousness of the wise living being is covered by its eternal enemy in the form of lust, which can never be satisfied and which burns like fire.
Text 40: The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the abodes of lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living being and confuses it.
Text 41: Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bharatas, conquer at the outset this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization.
Nevertheless, the bhakti-yoga process is so powerful that it can very quickly purify anyone, even an adult who has not been spiritually educated from an early age, and bring him back to devotional service to Krsna.
Therefore we should understand that every sensual pleasurable activity slows down the urge for spiritual self-realization, makes it more difficult or even completely blocks it for some time. We should therefore not contaminate ourselves further by lust, but should always be disciplined and strictly follow our daily spiritual duties, sadhana-bhakti. Get up before 4 o’clock in the morning and offer mangal aratik or immediately chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna and observe the 4 regular principles: no intoxicants. Do not consume intoxicants, meat, fish or eggs and do not indulge in illicit sex or gambling. Only then will we conquer lust!

“Every living entity aspires for full freedom, for that is his transcendental nature. And this freedom is attained only by the transcendental service of the Lord. Deluded by the external material energy, everyone thinks that he is free, but actually he is bound by the laws of nature. A conditioned soul cannot move freely from one place to another, not even on this earth, much less from one planet to another. But a full-fledged free soul like Nārada Muni, who is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Lord, can move freely not only on the earth but also in any part of the universe, as well as in any part of the spiritual sky. We can imagine the extent and limitlessness of his freedom, which is as good as that of the Supreme Lord. There is no reason or obligation for His travels, and no one can hinder His free movement. Similarly, the transcendental system of devotional service is also free. It can develop in a particular person and may not develop in another, even if he follows all the detailed rules and regulations. Similarly, association with a devotee is also free. One may be fortunate enough to have it, or one may not have it, even after thousands of efforts. Therefore, in all aspects of devotional service, freedom is the most important pivot. Without freedom, there is no performance of devotional service.

The freedom one gives to the Lord does not mean that the devotee becomes dependent in all respects. Surrender to the Lord through the transparent medium of the spiritual master means attaining complete freedom of life.”

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.6.37, explanation)

“As for Narada Muni, in His previous life He was the son of a maidservant, but by the grace of the devotees He later became a siddha, and in the next life He appeared as Narada with complete freedom to move everywhere by the grace of the Lord. Thus, although He was the son of a maidservant in His previous life, there was no impediment to His attaining perfect spiritual life. Similarly, any living entity who is conditioned can attain the perfect stage of life by the above processes, and the illustrative example is Narada Muni.”

(Srila Prabhupada letter, June 21, 1970)

Devotional service

The positive results of the numerous commandments, prohibitions, penances, renunciations, initiations, ceremonies etc., e.g. of the extensive Vedic legal texts, which are referred to as external spiritual teachings, turn into negative results if one loses oneself in them and forgets the essentials. Unfortunately, this happens to many people, especially in the official churches and official religious organizations, resulting in a dead ritualism, interspersed with sectarianism, striving for power and arrogance, which has hardly anything positive to show and can even lead to terrible derailments (see: How is it that the worst people in the world sometimes arise from religious structures?) Care must be taken to ensure that the observance of the commandments of external spiritual teaching and other external spiritual achievements (e.g. missionary work and great sacrifices) are inspired by humble faith and devotion to the Lord and not by any other motives, such as prestige, striving for power, self-love, sectarianism, etc. Only through this true spiritual inspiration do commandments, prohibitions, penances, initiations, sacrifices etc. become alive and fruitful, otherwise they are dead, useless and even have a harmful effect on spiritual life! It is infinitely better to be a poor person who has no great, external “spiritual” merits, but who remains sincere and humble.

We should simply not force anyone to accept Krsna consciousness and always respect the free will of every living being.

Sadhana-bhakti is of two natures:

Vaidhi and raganuga

When the practice of devotional activities is motivated solely by the regulations and precepts of the scriptures, it is called vaidhi-bhakti. In this case, there is no natural attraction (raga).

Rupa Gosvami describes 64 angas or limbs of vaidhi-bhakti. The limbs of vaidhi-bhakti engage the body, mind and senses in the service of Sri Krsna, and even a subtle approach to one of these activities can lead to bhava-bhakti. The five most important of these 65 limbs of vaidhi-bhakti are as follows:

  • Having association with devotees
  • Chanting of the holy name (Hare Krsna)
  • Hearing from the Srimad Bhagavatam
  • Living in the holy land of Mathura
  • Watering of the Tulasi plant

The second type of sadhana-bhakti is called raganuga, which means following the mood of the ragatmikas (eternal associates of Krishna). Ragatmikas have a natural attraction and deep absorption in pure devotional service to the divine couple Radha and Krishna due to their strong love. Through contact with such a Ragatmika devotee – for example by hearing or reading about him/her, (e.g. from the Krsna book) the sadhana-bhakta begins to yearn to serve Krishna in the same way as his/her role model. That is, in one of the 5 rasas or flavors. When this longing/attachment (raga) is the impetus for engaging in devotional service, it is called raganuga-sadhana. Raganuga is expressed in the natural, deep feelings of the bhakta and is not motivated by external regulations. It is therefore beyond the regulations.

Vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti, however, is dependent on the rules and regulations of the scriptures and is not necessarily performed with loving feelings. This can be illustrated by the following example:

A mother has an inherent affection for her child, which is the impetus for her actions. She only acts for the good of the child, even if she is not trained to do so. A childminder, on the other hand, lacks this natural affection. Her motivation is her income. Her actions may not differ from those of the mother. She may be even more skilled than the mother in caring for an infant and do it very conscientiously, and yet her care remains ultimately work for her and the goal is income at the end of the month.

Similarly, the Raganuga devotee takes natural pleasure in performing his service and is completely absorbed in it. The rules in the scriptures that recommend bhakti are not the driving force behind his actions. He follows them, but is not dependent on them to offer loving service to Krishna.

In Madhurya-Kadambini it is said that vaidhi-bhakti is a product of the jnana branch and is performed out of knowledge and respect for the scriptures and the spiritual master.

Sometimes one hears the view that it is wrong, especially in pure devotional service, to ask Krishna for anything. For example, a pure devotee like Prahlad Maharaja was asked by the Supreme Lord in the form of Nrsimhadeva if he wanted any benediction from the Lord, and Prahlad Maharaja replied that he did not want any benediction except that he may always remain engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Lord. At the same time he requested Lord Nrsimhadeva that his father Hiranyakasipu, the great asura, may attain liberation.

From this we can see that pure devotees do not ask for any material benefits for themselves, but they ask the Supreme Lord that all other living beings, even great asuras, may attain spiritual liberation.

One is not a pure devotee if one asks for material blessings from the Supreme Lord, but even that is not wrong, for to approach the Supreme Lord at all with one’s wishes and not the demigods shows greater intelligence and a certain piety and easy devotion to the Lord. But it is best if we have no more material desires and only ask for pure devotional service from Krsna Himself.

To the conditioned human mind, the incomprehensibly much higher divine order necessarily appears as pure chaos, for chaos and even folly is everything that the clouded worldly mind is unable to grasp. We also see this in nature. Where nature is not regulated by man according to his ideas and it unfolds according to its inner divine order, a wilderness emerges with thousands of different plants and animals that seem to exist in complete disorder. There is no comparison to the bland and, in terms of diversity and vitality, almost dead, regulated fields or even human monocultures. Since the divine teaching comes from God and not from man, it is necessarily a jungle in its entirety, where the most diverse plants and animals can live. It is like the fertile soil that provides all the different spirits of the world with the nourishment they need to grow. This characteristic of genuine works of revelation is an important proof of their divine and not human origin.

Human works are dead in themselves. Take Hegel or Kant, or mathematics in general – there is no diversity and freedom that makes living growth and prosperity possible. Two and two is four – either you understand and accept that or you don’t. On the other hand, the comparatively much shorter Bhagavad-gita alone provides food for the most diverse and contradictory spirits; it is the living stem not only of the apparently completely contradictory personality and impersonality philosophers, but also of the mystical yogis and pretty much all the completely different groupings of so-called Hinduism. The same can be observed with the Bible and the Koran, which, like the Vedas, are a living nutrient stem for the most diverse grafted fruit branches. In its diversity, the divine teaching offers each of the different spirits of our world precisely those nutrients and conditions through which they can grow and finally reach perfection. It forces the sluggish nature of man to think and search continuously in order to find his way properly and thereby grow.

It can also be said that the Vedas cannot be understood with a two-valued logic system. The brain thinks exclusively in duality and thus with the two-valued logic system. This means, as according to Aristotle: What is true cannot be false. That is the main theorem of Aristotelian logic! But it is precisely with this thinking in duality, caused by inert matter, that it is impossible to understand the seemingly contradictory spiritual conclusions of the Absolute Truth. Only with the multivalent logic system, called acintya-bhedābheda-tattva in Sanskrit. This also leads to the understanding of God, that all parts of God are one with Him and at the same time different. Qualitatively one and quantitatively different. With this system of logic, a thing can be true and false at the same time. In this matter, a distinction is then made between lower truth and higher truth.

The material Creation

The purpose of material creation is to redeem the conditioned souls, especially those souls embodied as human beings, from their material conditionedness and make them perfect and free beings like Krishna. It is possible for these godlike souls, completely liberated from matter, to live with the Supreme Lord in eternity and bliss in His transcendental kingdom, which is beyond the material creation. The material world offers the opportunity to freely choose for or against devotional service to the Supreme Lord. If the individual spiritual soul, entrapped in the material world, chooses devotional service to the Lord, he attains greater and greater freedom and bliss. If not, and he chooses to continue to enjoy his material senses, he will continue to undergo bondage and suffering, that is, birth, old age, disease and death. The material world is to be understood as a reformatory for evildoers. If the conditioned soul wants to improve, it can be granted ever greater freedom; but if it persists in wickedness, it must remain imprisoned. The material world is thus a great mercy of the Lord, who, like a wise king, does not simply execute all the evildoers of his country, but offers them an opportunity for correction and probation.

For many billions of earth years. The entire universe will be destroyed again after 311 trillion and 40 billion years. Brahma, the creator demigod, will live just as long and we are now halfway through his life.

No, in the whole universe, on all planets including the sun and moon and all stars and even in the interior of our huge earth (Bhu-mandala) there are the so-called 7 lower planetary systems, which are basically 7 subterranean heavens of the Nagas and Asuras.

The evil in the world

Of course, it is possible for the Supreme Lord to create whole hosts of the most beautiful and noble angelic people. But they would be completely dead in themselves, like will-less puppets incapable of any real love or devotion. For everything they would do or speak would not correspond to their own free will, but would only be done and spoken through them by the Highest Lord. They would then not be living beings, but only chrysalises or illusory beings. Real life is only possible through freedom, i.e. through free will, and freedom means that it can be used either for good or for bad. There are eternally liberated souls who never use their freedom for evil. According to the Vedas, these are the vast majority of living beings. However, a minority, the evil-doers or the conditioned souls, use their freedom for evil. But even they can be improved if they turn to Krishna and are thus redeemed.

The Supreme Lord has created the different hells, but the conditioned souls have been given a tiny free will to decide whether they want to engage in the devotional service of the Lord and thus come back from the material world to the spiritual world and live together with Krsna. We can also act piously or sinfully and then we go to one of these hells, but not for ever, but until we get better and have received back all the suffering we have done to others. Otherwise we won’t learn anything. But there is no such thing as an eternal hell in the Vedas!

In His divine wisdom, Krishna guides every single human being in such a way that, despite all difficulties and trials, they must achieve their high destiny, the purpose of their existence. It is only out of His mercy that He compels us humans so that we do not run into ruin but instead awaken spiritually and rise above material conditionality for our own benefit. Dictators and tyrannical governments are means of discipline imposed on those peoples who otherwise do not bow to the better will of the Supreme Lord. Bad nations have bad governments; every nation has the government it deserves, i.e. rulers and subjects are bound together. One can see in many countries how peoples under bad and harsh governments lead a better and more docile life than those peoples under soft governments, who often enough indulge in decadence and sinful activities in all variations and as a result fall to the level of animals through this earthly “heaven”. Srila Prabhupada has often criticized these animal civilizations of today’s “good” Western democracies because such governments are sometimes worse from a spiritual point of view than a possibly tyrannical government. Be that as it may, it is a principle of the material world that rain is followed by sunshine and vice versa. This is no different for governments and peoples. Bad rulers do not escape just punishment, as human history proves time and again. According to the law of karma, they reap all that they have done to their subjects.

This question is as topical as ever in view of the unbelievable acts of violence committed by Islamic fanatics against defenceless and innocent people. The most powerful church in the world, the Roman Catholic Church, has committed indescribable atrocities in its past that even the greatest non-church genocides and criminals have shied away from. And several other churches in Christendom are not much better. For them, power and influence are the highest things, not the teachings of the Lord. The Jewish priests stoned and murdered their prophets, even the Savior Himself, when He came to them as a man; the boundless arrogance, rampant falsehood, magical trickery and greed of so-called Brahmins in India was in no way inferior to the medieval Western priesthood, and to this day the native Brahmins behave as the worst opponents of the devotees, and so it goes worldwide. Monks and priests of every nation in the world have almost completely lost their innocence over the last millennia. Which is why enlightened humanity no longer listens to them, but rather to empirical scientists or no one at all. Even with ISKCON and its spin-offs, we have already experienced something similar on a correspondingly smaller scale after less than 60 years, where people in the highest offices with the highest dignities behave in such a way that even a devil from hell must feel sick to his stomach. In fact, Srila Prabhupada calls such pseudo-spiritual people, who are like ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing, the most dangerous people in the world. One wonders how it is that such terrible aberrations can occur in religious organizations or structures that are supposed to be fundamentally committed to goodness, justice and mercy.

How can a person who performs all kinds of pious activities every day become an abomination that makes even the devils of hell pale in comparison? The reason lies in the fact that such people enjoy the good fruits of external spiritual teachings, which consist of rituals, penances, sacrifices, renunciations, ceremonies, etc., but overlook the essential, namely the heart, or the delicate plant of devotion to the Supreme Lord, which is supposed to grow in it. Into this unguarded heart, however, as into an empty house, very bad squatters move in – these are the dishonest, not yet overcome desires, above all the lust for power, self-love and lust for women or even men or, in extreme cases, children – which know how to nestle in such a way that they completely take over the heart of the person. If man now makes the mistake of not eradicating these ghastly weeds from his actual house of the heart as soon as possible, but instead continues to take refuge in the externals and wants to set up new quarters there, as if there were room for two hearts in his body. Then the squatters soon become so strong that they deprive him even of the fruits of external spiritual teaching and make him a prisoner and slave to his own lust for domination. Thus a person, although outwardly disguised as a shepherd in the service of the Lord, inwardly becomes a ravening beast who is a master at wreaking the greatest possible havoc in the world as long as he himself somehow profits from it. In the case of so-called martyrs, especially those who murder defenceless and innocent people, i.e. who are in truth serious criminals, their hearts are so poisoned by hatred that it is directed against their own bodies. They are murderers and suicides at the same time and, due to their blindness and irreconcilable feelings of revenge, create a life in hell for themselves while they are still alive, which they will of course easily sacrifice for a false paradise as long as only their real or supposed enemies have to suffer.

Their state of mind will of course allow them anything but a paradise in the afterlife, especially as they will then inevitably experience the true nature of their misdeeds, the betrayals committed against them and the manipulations perpetrated against them in all their consequences. Most of the so-called martyrs are victims and tools of the particularly bad pseudo-religious people described above, but of course bear a share of the blame according to the extent of their respective personal freedom. These basically very unfortunate people show how important bhakti and prema – love and devotion to Krsna, tolerance, patience, humility, gentleness and above all forgiveness – are for a person in order not to fall into a vicious circle of revenge and ruin or to become a victim and tool of the darkest powers.

Because good also comes from them and through them the sometimes best devotees are born, just as good children can also come from bad and corrupt mothers. As long as a religious organization does not completely degenerate, but there is still hope for good fruits, the Supreme Lord will give mercy before justice. As long as a tree bears fruit, even if it does not do so for most of the year and consists of a lot of apparently useless, dead wood and bark even at fruiting time, a gardener will not want to cut it down because of this. He will only cut the tree down when it is completely dead and barren. We can observe in nature that even completely dead trees still survive for a while. Even if they can no longer bear fruit, they are still able to provide a certain amount of protection in stormy times. We are not dependent on such pathetic ruins, so why should we be bothered by them? The darkened religious organizations and structures are a resting place for weary souls. However, as soon as there is a divine or natural rumble, no one else is more eager to search for a light than these souls in darkness. It is an important characteristic of divine teaching that it provides fertile ground for even the poorest souls, even if they may then misuse the strength and freedom it gives them to form a sinister inquisition church or a pseudo-guru cult. Despite all the worldly power they may thus acquire over materialists and atheists, they can never really affect the devotees, because the real Krishna consciousness is not different from Sri Krishna Himself, much stronger than any material arrangement.

Questions about the term Hare Krishna

The expression has several meanings, but it essentially refers to the well-known maha-mantra: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” Srila Prabhupada explains the mantra as follows: “Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches us that we should only ask God to allow us to be engaged in His service for life after life. This is the real meaning of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. When we chant ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare’, we are basically addressing God and His energy Hara. Hara is Krishna’s inner power, Srimati Radharani or Laksmi. Jay Radhe! This is daivi prakrti, and the devotees take refuge in daivi prakrti, Srimati Radharani. Consequently, the Vaisnavas worship Radha-Krishna, Laksmi-Narayana and Sita-Rama. At the beginning of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, we first address the inner energy of Krishna, Hare. So we say: ‘O Radharani! O Hare! O energy of the Lord!’ When we address someone in this way, they will usually say, “Yes, what do you want?” The answer is, “Please engage me in Your service. That should be our prayer. We should not pray, ‘O energy of the Lord, O Krishna, please give me money. Please give me a beautiful wife. Please give me devotees. Please give me a prestigious position. Please give me the presidency.’ These are material desires to be avoided. Buddha taught that we should give up all material desires. It is not possible to become desireless, but it is possible to give up material desires. It is the nature of the living being to desire, and it is not possible to become desireless. If you are desireless, you are dead. Desirelessness means purifying one’s desire, and our desire is purified when we desire only to serve Krishna.” (The Teachings of Sri Kapila, verse 32, page 226)

The name “Hare Krishna” was given to Srila Prabhupada’s disciples by the peoples of the world, mainly because they publicly chant the Hare Krishna mantra: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” A “Hare Krishna” is a devotee or Vaishnava (=devotee of Krishna).

By chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare” or engaging in some form of devotional service to Krishna. Then one is a “Hare Krishna”; i.e. a devotee or Vaishnava.

There are certain reasons for this. For one thing, we Hare Krishna devotees look very exotic with our shaved heads and the hair tail (sikha) at the back of our heads, and at the same time we wear dhotis, which are long wrap-around skirts for men, usually in orange or white, and this also looks so exotic to Western culture. But the worst thing that contributed to this was the infiltration of ISKCON by dark forces, as has happened with all religions. Then child abuse and black magic rituals began and all this came to light in the 1980s and since then this badge has been attached to ISKCON. However, we at the IHKM split off because of this and because of the false gurus of ISKCON and founded our own small temple community where all these cruel things do not occur. Well, where the truth strikes, deception is not far away and that’s why we always have to be careful. In addition, the Hare Krishnas especially renounce these 4 things:

1. no consumption of intoxicants ( including coffee, teein in green and black tea , cigarettes etc.)

2. no illicit sexuality outside marriage

3. no gambling and speculation on the stock market is frowned upon and forbidden for true followers

4. meat, fish, egg consumption and also onions and garlic are forbidden.

This is of course too much of a good thing for many people!

Questions about Srila Prabhupada

Who is Srila Prabhupada?

is often asked, and it is always difficult to answer this question because Shrila Prabhupada defied all conventional labels. At different times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a distinguished author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic and a saint. Certainly, he could never be mistaken for one of the modern, commercial “gurus” who come to the West with beautifully packaged, watered-down versions of Eastern spirituality to satisfy our urge for instant gratification and exploit our undeniable spiritual naivety. Shrila Prabhupada, unlike them, was a true saint, of deep intellectual and spiritual feeling. He had great compassion for our society, which lacks real spiritual knowledge to an alarmingly large and disastrous extent.

His life and work

Srila Prabhupada was born in India, Kolkata, in 1896, and it was there that he met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakura, for the first time (1922). At this very first meeting, he was commissioned by him to translate the philosophy of the Vedic scriptures written in Sanskrit into English and to spread it throughout the world, starting with America.

Srila Prabhupada immediately made this teaching his life’s work and subsequently began to make his first public appearances. In 1944, he published the first regular magazine entitled “Back to Godhead”, which today has a circulation of more than half a million copies in English alone.

In 1959, Srila Prabhupada officially entered the state of renunciation (sannyasi) and subsequently wrote the first translations of the Vedic classic Srimad-Bhagavatam with authoritative commentaries that bear unique witness to his perfect spiritual realization.

When Srila Prabhupada came to America in 1965 on the ship Jaladutta, he was alone and virtually penniless. It was only after a year of great difficulties that he founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as ISKCON, in New York in July 1966, which within 15 years had developed into a worldwide community with over 1000 schools, 108 temples, institutes and farm communities.

In 1968, Srila Prabhupada founded New Vrindavana, a Vedic community in the mountains of West Virginia, which was initially only an experiment. Inspired by the success of New Vrindavana, which is now a thriving farm community with more than 400 acres of land, his disciples have since founded many similar communities in the United States and other countries.

In 1972, Srila Prabhupada introduced the Vedic system of education by founding the first guru-kula school in the Western world.

Srila Prabhupada also laid the foundation for the construction of a large-scale international center in Sridhama Mayapura, in West Bengal, where an institute for Vedic science was also established.

His message

The most important thing Srila Prabhupada has left us, however, are his books, which comprise more than 80 volumes in total. They have been translated into almost all living languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) was founded in 1972 to publish Srila Prabhupada’s works and is today the largest publisher in the field of Indian spiritual and philosophical books.

By March 1977, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada had traveled around the world 14 times on lecture tours that took him to all five continents. Despite his tight schedule, he continued to write more books. You can find many of these classics here on our website. Srila Prabhupada continued to translate until the day of his passing away on November 14, 1977 in Vrindavana (the place where Krishna appeared), India.

Questions about ISKCON

ISKCON or the “International Society for Krishna Consciousness” is the organization founded by Srila Prabhupada and his disciples in New York in the 1960s to spread Krishna consciousness throughout the world. Since the passing away of Srila Prabhupada (1977), ISKCON has been in a serious crisis and has been almost completely infiltrated by a satanic pedophile power group that has also infiltrated the Christian church. That is why we, the IHKM, are an independent community of devotees and former ISKCON members who have completely left ISKCON. Basically you can say that we are the original ISKCON, as Prabhupada wanted it, with Srila Prabhupada as the founder and acarya, which means that Srila Prabhupada is the initiating spiritual master with us, according to his last instruction of July 9, 1977.

The GBC (Governing Body Commission) is the governing body of ISKCON. It has always caused difficulties and since Srila Prabhupada’s passing away it has absolutely not followed his instructions.

The GBC’s deviations are documented in detail, especially by ourselves here on this website (https://iskcon-truth.com/index-de.html). Essentially, it does not adhere to the administrative guidelines DOM (Direction of Management) issued by Srila Prabhupada and instead of ritviks (priests for the initiation of new members), it arbitrarily appoints “initiating spiritual masters” (diksa-gurus) from its ranks, who fragment the organization, plunge themselves and their “disciples” into misfortune and cause countless scandals, including satanic rituals with children. All these outrages are even covered up by the GBC and the child molesters are not brought to prison but are even hidden in India so that the judiciary in the USA does not throw them into prison. Like in the Bavananda case etc.

You are already in the IHKM (International Hare Krishna Movement). We cannot advertise other ISKCON centers in Germany because we cannot reconcile this with our conscience. We simply do not want to be responsible for new spiritual seekers getting lost in these infiltrated ISKCON centers and falling into the hands of these false gurus and child molesters. Sorry about that!!!

Questions about the regulative principles

A Vaishnava adheres to the following four regulative principles of being human:
1. Do not eat meat, fish or eggs;
2. no intoxicants (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, caffeine, etc.);
3. no unregulated sexual intercourse (i.e. sexual intercourse only for the procreation of children in a marriage) and
4. no gambling.
However, the regulative principles of devotional service are different and here they are:

Good things take time. Patience and determination are necessary to adhere to the regulating principles. One must realize that the regulative principles are not harassment, but on the contrary, serve to lead a life that is as carefree, healthy, successful and above all spiritual as possible. The most important thing is not to give up; one should sharpen one’s intelligence (read Srila Prabhupada’s books!), seek the association of advanced Vaishnavas and simply try to engage in devotional service in some way. This is most important.

Devotional service can be performed in all circumstances and is not dependent on regulative principles. Srila Prabhupada says, “Svami and gosvami are called those who are able to control their senses. We need not think that we are incapable. It is possible for everyone. Chanting gives us the power to do so. Chanting “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” will help us. We must not despair because we think we have no strength. The strength will be given to us. We just have to keep going. Kirtanam sravanam means chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare and hearing or reading some of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. We must utilize these two opportunities and we will be given the necessary strength to lead a spiritual life. At the level at which we are able to restrain our senses, we must then become completely stable. (from: The Source of Absolute Knowledge)

Questions about India

No. But the holy places like Vrindavan and Mayapur are of course places where Sri Krsna personally appeared and you should go there sometime but you don’t have to go there at all to successfully progress in Krsna consciousness.

Questions about the Vedas

Vedas comes from “veda” (knowledge) and the Vedas are the scriptures of knowledge written down by the Vedic seers and teachers, which include the oldest literary works in the world. The so-called original four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva) are understood as Vedas in the narrow sense, and in the broader sense also all subsequent writings and commentaries (Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana etc.) In this sense, the writings of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and the books of Srila Prabhupada also belong to the Vedas, for example. The Bhagavad-Gita belongs to the 5th Veda.

The one Veda – the science of sound vibration

When we speak of the Vedas, we are primarily referring to the written form of the Vedas that is available to us today in the form of books. However, this form has only existed for around 5,000 years, when Srila Vyasadeva divided the original Veda into four parts and had them written down.

The Veda is originally spiritual sound vibration and as such exists in four phases, which are very difficult to perceive. Three of these phases are within the living being, and only the fourth phase is manifested outside the living being as speech or audible sound vibration. The four phases of Vedic sound are:

(i) para: The Vedic sound that manifests at the most subtle level of life force or prana in the adhara-cakra is called para. The adhara-cakra supplies prana to the entire body, and the Vedic sound manifested at this level modulates the vibrations of the life force that carries out the activities of consciousness and enlivens the senses.

(ii) pasayanti: The Vedic sound manifested at the subtle level of the mind in the manipura or navel cakra is called pasyanti or the mental phase of Vedic sound.

(iii) madhyama: The intellectual phase of the Vedic sound is called madhyama and manifests at the level of intelligence in the anahata or heart cakra, where the spiritual soul and the Supersoul are also transcendentally situated.

(iv) vaikhari: The audible phase or sensual phase of Vedic sound manifested to the senses is called vaikhari and is manifested in gross matter as sound. However, for the exact understanding of this manifested Vedic sound, a large number of aids are required, which are presented as a separate science in the supplements to the Vedic scriptures known as Vedangas.

Vedic sound is called ananta-para because it exists beyond space and time and encompasses all the creative forces of the universe and beyond. It is not material and is never affected by the three modes of material nature.

In its various phases it can only be understood by self-realized souls like Narada and Vyasadeva, who have purified their own existence from all material influences and can thus directly perceive the Vedic sound in its original form. These self-realized souls make the Vedic sound accessible to those who cannot perceive it in its various phases because their consciousness is subject to material influences.

Their aim is to purify the materially conditioned living entities through their teachings and thus also enable them to perceive the Vedic sound directly. To this end, through the process of initiation, they give the conditioned souls so-called mantras, Vedic sound sequences that have the power to free the person’s mind from material influences. When such a mantra is passed on by a genuine spiritual master and uttered by the disciple in accordance with the accompanying instructions of the master, the Vedic sound thus produced has, in addition to the audible phase, the three inner phases, whereby both the gross and subtle planes are filled with spiritual sound and purified.

The vaikhari phase of Vedic sound corresponds to the modern limited conception of sound as a purely physical phenomenon. The three subtle phases have an additional semantic quality that is not accessible to modern physical understanding. Because the subtle body and thus also the citta element resonate in the subtle phases of sound, the meaning of sound as its subtle form is contained in the sound to varying degrees on these levels and is not distinct from the sound itself.

On the para-sound level, the separation between symbol and meaning is completely eliminated, while this separation is already manifested on the pasyanti level and is only fully completed on the madhyama level. The sound on the madhyama level thus has two components, one of which is the physical sound vibration and the other its meaning. These distinctions play a major role especially in linguistics, but also have an impact on the understanding of the physical world.

Vedic sound is purely spiritual because its origin is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is represented by it in the material world and gives form and structure to material energy. The information and intelligence underlying the material world thus affects matter through the Vedic sound.

The syllable Om, the Vedic omkara, contains all Vedic sound vibrations and is therefore also a complete representation of God. This omkara is manifested in every living being in its subtle phases and can be perceived through meditation.

In the Bhagavad-gita, one of the most important Vedic texts, Shri Krsna explains: “If one is fixed in this yoga process and chants the holy syllable Om, the highest combination of letters, and if one then thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when leaving the body, one will certainly attain the spiritual planets.

As a sound representation of the Absolute, omkara also exists in three phases, which means that it not only represents spiritual oneness but also refers to the transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead beyond the localized aspect of Godhead and thus also has a transcendental personal form. It is said in the Vedas that with respect to the personal aspect of Godhead, the omkara is identical with the maha-mantra, which is known as the great mantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

Above all, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who lived in West Bengal about 500 years ago and is the most important teacher of the Gaudiya-Vaisnava-Sampradaya, has recommended the chanting of this mantra as the most powerful way to realize Vedic knowledge, because it very quickly frees the consciousness of the person who chants this mantra from all material influences and reawakens the original pure consciousness of the living being. In this enlightened state, he taught, the successful transcendentalist feels pure love for God and offers Him devotional service with transcendental joy.


This text has tried to make it clear that Vedic culture can indeed provide the framework for a spiritual science that is broad enough to promote all kinds of knowledge that will help mankind to progress both materially and spiritually.

Spiritual development has been considered more important than temporary material progress.

Vedic knowledge has helped people to walk the path to spiritual realization for many millennia and can help to open up the spiritual path to more and more people, especially in modern times, by forming the basis of a spiritual science that transcends the boundaries of nationality, religion and ideology.

Questions about ISKCON reform

There are two main areas: 1. getting ISKCON and GBC to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and 2. exposing miscreants in and around ISKCON and bringing them to justice.

IRM is also a movement that has published the magazine “Back to Prabhupada”.

Very different people in, around or outside ISKCON in all possible variations. The best known associations at the moment are PADA, which is the Prabhupada Anti Defamation Association around Puranjana dasa (Prabhupada disciple, former ISKCON member, San Francisco) and the IRM (ISKCON Revival Movement) with Adridharana dasa (Prabhupada disciple, ISKCON temple president in Calcutta) as leader. In a broader sense, independent temples and organizations such as the Prabhupada Sankirtana Society can also be counted as part of the ISKCON reform movement, because they try to realize what ISKCON is supposed to do.

Questions about Gaudiya Math

The mission founded by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, the spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada, in India at the beginning of the 20th century. After the passing away of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta (1936), it was split into many small branches and no longer exists today. The splintered branches are often referred to as “Gaudiya Math”, although they actually have nothing to do with the original Gaudiya Math and also do not follow Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s instructions concerning the Gaudiya Math.

What is Bhakti-Yoga?

Bhakti yoga means “yoga of devotion”, i.e. devotional service or practiced Krishna consciousness. The scholars divide devotional service into 9 categories: 1. hearing (or reading), 2. chanting, 3. remembering, 4. serving, 5. worshipping, 6. praying, 7. carrying out instructions, 8. making friends, 9. complete surrender. In short, it means following the instructions of Krishna and the real spiritual master. There are countless forms and variations of devotional service, which are divided into pure devotional service (without material motivation) and mixed devotional service (with material motivation).