The Hare Krishna Movement

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The Hare Krishna Movement

The Hare Krishna movement can be described by using Ninian Smart's six dimensions of religion. This is a series of six different dimensions that are present in any religion. They are doctrinal, ethical, mythical, experiential, ritual, and social. Each dimension is different, but is a necessary part of religion. In this report I will discuss how the Hare Krishna movement falls into these categories, but first allow me to provide some background information.

Hare Krishna is a relatively new "eastern" religion founded on the backbone of Hindu teachings. It is referred to in some instances as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness denoted ISKCON. The Hare Krishna movement dates back to ancient India although it was technically not founded until 1966 in the United States by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Hare Krishna is based on many of the same concepts of Hinduism as I have mentioned. Hare Krishna is very reliant on Vedic scriptures, which have been around immemorially for longer than we actually know, but were transcribed into in Sanskrit about 5000 years ago. The actual movement for Krishna consciousness was founded in 1486 when it is said that Lord Krishna appeared as Sri Caitanya, an avatar or incarnation of a God, and revealed the recommended method of God realization called yuga-dharma. Yuga-dharma is the chanting of the holy names associated with Krishna. However for all intensive purposes the Hare Krishna movement was not established until 1966 because it was not a separate movement from Hinduism. Nowadays the Hare Krishna movement is a totally separate religion from Hinduism but merely has ties to its predecessor like those of Judaism and Christianity. Working on this p...

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...on. They do not have a cultural religion like the Hindu faith. Their religion is on a much different platform. They intend to spread their religion to the masses, and actively participate in recruitment of new members. But they are not a universal religion either. They are far enough from mainstream that some scholars even refer to the as a religious cult. Their structure is not quite that of a universal religion either. They definitely do seem to be eastern in nature. The movement was founded in the United States in New York, but all of their philosophies are based on and already formed eastern religion. So if I were to describe the Hare Krishna Movement in terms of such classification, I would have to call it an eastern, universal/cultural religion. They are a very interesting group of people who believe strongly in their faith and have a strong social binding.

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