Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; — This movement is a Western outgrowth of the popular Bengali bhakti devotional yoga tradition, or Krishna Consciousness , which began in the 16th century. As a young man, Bhaktivedanta was instructed by his teacher to carry Krishna Consciousness to the West. After fulfilling family obligations, he took the vows of a sannyasi a religious ascetic who renounces the world and moved to the United States. His first converts were hippies in New York City , who shaved their heads and adopted Indian clothing as signs of membership.
Sri Krishna and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu both taught Bhakti yoga, the spiritual practice of connecting with God through devotional service to Him. Based on Their teachings, in A. Srila Prabhupada and his disciples popularized the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in the s and s, and it spread to countries around the globe. Though the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is the legal name for the movement Prabhupada started, most people know it as the Hare Krishna movement. All rights reserved. Dear Krishna. May you stay healthy and safe.
The Hare Krishna mantra , also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra "Great Mantra" , is a word Vaishnava mantra which is mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad and which from the 15th century rose to importance in the Bhakti movement following the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, one's original consciousness and goal of life is pure love of the god Krishna. The actual mantra in the Upanishad is as follows: . Sanskrit is a polysemic language and as such, this mantra has multiple interpretations all of which may be considered as correct.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The organization was formed to spread the practice of Bhakti yoga , the practice of love of God in which those involved bhaktas dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing Krishna , the Supreme Lord. Today, it has around a million congregational members worldwide including 15, in the United Kingdom as of June ,  and despite the "relatively small number of followers in the West around a few thousand fulltime practitioners ", it has been described as influential. Gaudiya Vaishnavism has had a following in India, especially West Bengal and Odisha , for the past five hundred years. Gaudiya Vaishnavism was founded by the saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who rapidly spread his form of ecstatic bhakti devotion throughout Bengal. He established Sankirtan, the practice of publicly expressing devotion to Lord Krishna, the Supreme God, through dance and song. This form of communal worship responded to rigid caste structures by engaging all people in worship regardless of caste and creed.