Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!
Hare Krishna devotees believe that Krishna is a literal name of the Supreme. It is said to mean "all- attractive." All beauty is said to derive from the Supreme. The Supreme is also known as "Rama," meaning "highest eternal pleasure." Chanting "Hare Krishna" is supposed to be a way of seeking Krishna directly, partly through the very sounds and vibrations of the words, which serve to mediate divine energy from Krishna directly to the devotee. Devotees refer to "Krishna consciousness." This is supposed to be a natural, pure state of consciousness. This consciousness is not so much developed, as liberated from where it is trapped in side the individual. Krishna devotees believe in an eternal, indestructible soul which is the individual. This consciousness migrates from life to life, improving or declining in circumstances in each existence according to learning, advancement or development (or the reverse) in a previous life. Sufficient enlightenment has the potential to free the individual from the cycle of life and death altogether. The original bearer of the Krishna message to humanity is said to have been Krishna, himself. He lived among men about five thousand years ago with a great warrior named Arjuna, in the form of his chariot driver. He revealed himself, along with special knowledge and insights before a great battle, the prospect of which had overwhelmed Arjuna's courage. Initiated devotees of the Hare Krishna movement vow to follow certain life rules, including abstaining from gambling, intoxicants, meat (including fish, fowl and eggs) and illicit sex. Sex in marriage for procreation is considered right and proper: The ideas of Krishna consciousness were brought to the West from India in 1965 by the movement's prime teacher, referred to by them as His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who was 69 at the time. His given name was Srila Prabhupada. The apellation "His Divine Grace" is somewhat ironic in that Prabhupada laid no claim to holiness or divinity. Prabhupada had writted books on the subject of Krishna concsiousness and had them translated from Sanskrit to English. He began his mission in America by chanting Hare Krishna in a public park and teaching classes in a small store. In the space of about 12 years, his message had attracted a substantial following, and it enjoys at least some popularity today in several countries in Africa, Asia, Australasia, South America, Europe and North America. FORGET WHAT I WROTE! IM STONED!!