Krishna Consciousness

Definition - What does Krishna Consciousness mean?

Krishna consciousness is a state of awareness in which an individual acts in complete harmony with the Divine or the ultimate reality of Krishna. It is a form of Bhakti yoga (or devotional service) in which the purpose is to devote one's thoughts, actions and worship to pleasing Krishna, who some consider to be the supreme god.

To act with Krishna consciousness is to free the self from the illusion that it is an individual body. It is a way to experience the bliss of one's true, eternal nature. It is said that anyone can do this and that Krishna consciousness is something everyone has naturally.

Practicing yoga can be a powerful tool for stepping outside the ego and cultivating Krishna consciousness.

Yogapedia explains Krishna Consciousness

It is said that Krishna consciousness can be reawakened through Bhakti yoga practices such as hearing and chanting about Krishna. This process brings love (bhakti), which attracts Krishna and allows the devotee to develop their own unique relationship with him.

The practice of Krishna consciousness has been popularized in part through the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Known colloquially as the Hare Krishnas, members of this society spread Krishna consciousness through activities such as singing the Hare Krishna mantra in public, preaching and selling spiritual books to educate the public. Their intention is to share spiritual knowledge with society at large, and to promote Krishna consciousness. The intention is that this will help achieve peace and unity in the world.

The beliefs of ISKCON come from specific Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the "Srimad Bhagavatam." As a movement, it emerged from the Guidiya Vaishnava tradition, which has proponents as far back as the late 15th century in India. Interest in America and Europe began later, in the early 1900s.

Yoga practice has been cited as a means of reaching and understanding Krishna consciousness, especially if the practitioner engages in a Bhakti yoga practice.

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