Hare Krishnas

Hare Krishnas (härˈē krĭshˈnəz) [key], communalistic religious movement, officially known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Founded in New York City (1966) by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896–1977), the movement was based upon the philosophy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1533). He taught that the Hindu god Krishna is the supreme personal God. The movement practices an ascetic lifestyle, vegetarianism, and devotion to the Hindu god Krishna as a means of attaining spiritual enlightenment, particularly through the practice of chanting the mantra Hare Krishna [O Lord Krishna]. The movement has spread to other U.S. cities and to England, Australia, Latin America, and India.

See E. B. Rochford, Hare Krishna in America (1985); L. Shinn, The Dark Lord (1987); D. G. Bromley and L. D. Shinn, ed., Krishna Consciousness: The West (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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