Because the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is a comprehensive worldview, it naturally covers a wide range of topics. I often mention to others how difficult it is to describe in a brief exchange what Hare Krishna is all about. Despite that challenge, one concept, among many other possible ones, I’m sure, goes to the heart of what we’re up to: Krishna consciousness means becoming godly by absorbing one’s mind in God.
There’s a lot packed into those eleven words. First are the assumptions that there is a God and that it’s a good idea to become godly (“conforming to the laws and wishes of God,” the dictionary says). Many of us now practicing bhakti-yoga (Krishna consciousness) didn’t have these assumptions before Srila Prabhupada and his representatives came into our lives.
Prabhupada spoke and wrote hundreds of thousands of words to convince us that God is real – and that He is Krishna. Equally important, he convinced us that we have an eternal loving relationship with Krishna that’s now essentially lost to us. The loss of our connection with Krishna has caused all our suffering, and regaining that connection is the key to the boundless happiness that defines our natural, pure state as spirit souls. In its truest sense, to become godly means to become qualified to be with God.
What I’ve just stated is the philosophy in which the practice of Krishna consciousness is rooted. Once we’re convinced that we must revive our relationship with Krishna, how do we go about it? The answer, as a scientist might say, is elegant: We do everything we can to keep ourselves in Krishna’s company right now.
Fortunately for us, that’s easy to do, in theory at least, because everything about Krishna is Krishna. When we chant Krishna’s name, read books about Krishna, hear classes about Krishna, and so on, we’re with Krishna directly because, being absolute, He’s identical to everything related to Him. We’re trying to live with God – Krishna – constantly so that we become qualified to be with Him eternally. That’s what Hare Krishna is all about.
As Prabhupada would put it, we need to try to keep our mind absorbed in Krishna. We have many ways of doing that because “Krishna” here includes everything about Him – His name, His teachings, His friends and family, His mission in this world, His guidance passed down to us through His representatives, and so on.
Besides regularly reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, I like to listen to recordings of his lectures. One of his persistent entreaties, spoken with a deep sense of urgency, is that those who have taken to Krishna consciousness should not waste a moment doing something disconnected from Krishna. If you have a spare moment, he would say, chant Hare Krishna or read the Bhagavad-gita – always be engaged in some Krishna conscious activity.
Granted, for most of you reading this, your occupation and other responsibilities make “all Krishna all the time” a seemingly impossible proposal. Still, it’s important to understand that the more we take the medicine of Krishna’s association in various forms, the quicker we’ll be cured of the disease of separation from Him. That point explains everything we do as practicing Hare Krishna devotees.
– Nagaraja Dasa