ISKCON Mandir Chicago
The Hare Krishna movement has its roots 5000 years ago in the teachings of Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead. The movement was introduced to the western world by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1965 and it rapidly spread all over the world in a matter of 12 years and we have quadrupled in size since then.
The main features of this movement include mantra meditation (japa), music (kirtan), food (prasadam), philosophy and festivals. It is a part of our daily lives!!
The Hare Krishna movement focuses on the spiritual nourishment of the soul thereby guaranteeing inner happiness and contentment. The simple process is to connect our daily lives with the supreme spiritual personality, Lord Krishna. So the food we eat, the music we hear, the object of our meditation and the basis of our relationships with one another are all centered around the same focal point.
The basic philosophy begins with the understanding that we are not this body, rather we are the conscious spiritual beings residing in these material bodies resembling humans, aquatics, plants, etc. Moreover the spiritual beings residing in all these varieties of life-forms are parts and parcels of the supreme being Lord Krishna. Just like a fish out of water can never find happiness even provided with the highest levels of luxury, we can never derive happiness from matter. Our happiness comes from relationships with other spiritual beings and thus to love and be loved is only natural to us.