Asked in Religion & SpiritualityHinduismKrishna
What are the main differences between Hinduism and the Hare Krishna movement?
May 25, 2017 7:58PM
Hinduism is a lifestyle described in Vedas which are considered as the voice of God and the oldest written scriptures in the world. Basically it assumes that God does not have any defined form and is omnipresent. While God doesn't have any form, because of the difficulties when one tries to concentrate on a God without any form; our sages suggested that one can assume God in any form while contemplating on God and any such physical form if assumed to be God, would be indeed considered to be God as valid as the God is in his indefinite omnipresent form.
That's why we found God in a number of physical forms in our culture. The physical form may be Rams or Krishna or Shiva or Goddess and on and on. Later the society divided into sects according to gathering of person who pray to a particular firm of God. Then formed the sects like Shaivites, Vaishnavites, Ramites, Krashnites etc. Unfortunately as in other religions, each sect considered itself superior to others and also his God superior to the God of other sects; and these sects even had wars among each other.
In the Middle Ages, the war saw a sudden rise in the followers of Krishnas who consider Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as an incarnation of Krishna. This sect still continues its activities in world and is behind operated in a guru-to-disciple manner. They consider God to be Krishna as the Supreme Godhead, and their way to pray is completely by devotion to the God. This organisation is International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON. They go place to place and sing Hare Krishna chanting. Several people of other sects and religion can be baptized into ISKCON. This is Hare Krishna Movement. It is a part of Hinduism but far from being the complete Hinduism. Of course for the followers of ISKCON this sect is overall complete Hinduism in itself.