Our Philosophy

Bhakti Yoga

Krishna consciousness means an awareness of and affection for the Supreme Person, Krishna. It is the culmination of all forms of yoga, knowledge, meditation, and spirituality.

Krishna consciousness is the natural, original, and blissful condition of every individual. Only when we’re covered by maya, illusion, do we forget who we are and who the Supreme Person is. We want happiness, but without Krishna consciousness, we don’t know who we are or what we’re supposed to do. We try to enjoy life through the body and mind, with hit-or-miss results. And we fear death since we don’t know what happens afterwards.

The practices of Krishna consciousness, or bhakti-yoga, are meant to free us from the root cause of all anxiety by reawakening our normal, eternal spiritual happiness. The process is simple—meditation on the name, form, activities, and qualities of Krishna. Krishna is the Vedic name for the Supreme Person, the source of our existence and the source of all pleasure. He’s known by different names in different cultures, but all genuine spiritual traditions agree that there’s only one Supreme God. The goal of bhakti-yoga is to recover our natural sense of connectedness (yoga) with that one supreme God by serving Him with love (bhakti).

Karma

“Karma” means “activity”, and the law of karma is the law that regulates the reactions to our activities. The law of karma is the natural law of action and reaction. In physics this is expressed by Newton’s law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Or, in Christian theology, “As ye sow so shall ye reap”.

From a practical point of view this means that good actions give good results and bad or destructive actions give bad or less fortunate results.

It should be noted here that all souls are essentially good. This means that just because someone gets a bad reaction it does not mean that they are a bad person. Another important point is that karma is temporary. This means that although we may be experiencing a particular set of circumstances right now those circumstances will change in the future. This could happen in this life or even future lives. Not only is karma temporary it is also possible to change one’s karma, or even get rid of it altogether by acting spiritually in the service of God.

Good reactions include things like wealth, beauty, intelligence and happiness. Bad reactions include things like poverty and disease. In order to fully understand how karma works the concept of reincarnation must also be looked into. See the page on Reincarnation for more information.

Karma (good or bad) creates a continuous cycle by which one is entangled in repeated actions and subsequent reactions. As long as one is in this cycle one will naturally experience both happiness and distress. The philosophy of the devotees of Krishna teaches how to break this cycle and achieve a state of eternal happiness known as liberation in a pure relationship with Krishna (God).

From the spiritual point of view, that of eternity, it doesn’t really matter if one has “good” or “bad” karma. This is because past material karma does not impede one from making spiritual advancement.

Karma

“Karma” means “activity”, and the law of karma is the law that regulates the reactions to our activities. The law of karma is the natural law of action and reaction. In physics this is expressed by Newton’s law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Or, in Christian theology, “As ye sow so shall ye reap”.

From a practical point of view this means that good actions give good results and bad or destructive actions give bad or less fortunate results.

It should be noted here that all souls are essentially good. This means that just because someone gets a bad reaction it does not mean that they are a bad person. Another important point is that karma is temporary. This means that although we may be experiencing a particular set of circumstances right now those circumstances will change in the future. This could happen in this life or even future lives. Not only is karma temporary it is also possible to change one’s karma, or even get rid of it altogether by acting spiritually in the service of God.

Good reactions include things like wealth, beauty, intelligence and happiness. Bad reactions include things like poverty and disease. In order to fully understand how karma works the concept of reincarnation must also be looked into. See the page on Reincarnation for more information.

Karma (good or bad) creates a continuous cycle by which one is entangled in repeated actions and subsequent reactions. As long as one is in this cycle one will naturally experience both happiness and distress. The philosophy of the devotees of Krishna teaches how to break this cycle and achieve a state of eternal happiness known as liberation in a pure relationship with Krishna (God).

From the spiritual point of view, that of eternity, it doesn’t really matter if one has “good” or “bad” karma. This is because past material karma does not impede one from making spiritual advancement.

Mantra Meditation

There are two types of mantra meditation, Japa and Kirtan. Japa is a quiet and personal meditation where one chants on beads. Kirtan, on the other hand, is the singing of mantras with others, often with musical instruments.

Japa
Japa is counted on a japa mala, the sanskrit word for prayer beads. These beads are used to count the number of mantras chanted. One chants the Hare Krishna mantra on each of the 108 beads of the mala to complete ‘a round’. The focus while chanting is to hear the sound of the mantra. If the mind wanders to other thoughts (which it will!) gently bring it back to the mantra. Though one can chant japa at any time of the day, the morning hours around dawn are recommended. The stillness and peace compliment focused and contemplative chanting.

Kirtan
Kirtan is another way to practice mantra meditation. There are lots of types of kirtan. Some can be quiet and soothing, some more energetic with various musical instruments.

The Hare Krishna mantra is made up of three words – Hare, Krishna, and Rama:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

“Hare”, “Krishna” and “Rama” are all names used in the Vaishnava tradition that refer to God and His energies. Because God is spiritual and all-powerful if someone chants His name then they will become purified – materially and spiritually. This chanting is also considered a form of prayer whereby the devotee is appealing to the Lord to please engage the devotee in the Lord’s service.

We chant the Hare Krishna mantra to draw out the spiritual happiness that is inside all of us, and to develop our Bhakti Yoga.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the process by which the spiritual essence of any individual (commonly called “the soul”) passes from one body to another in a repeated cycle of birth and death.

In the Bhagavad-gita this process is explained using the following analogy, “As the embodied soul passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.13)

Because the soul eternally exists then this process, if unchecked, is also eternal. In everyday life there is always some degree of distress and suffering & because the soul is eternal, as long as he is in the cycle of reincarnation, then he will be eternally suffering. The Hare Krishna philosophy explains how one can break this cycle of repeated suffering. This is exemplified in the Bhagavad-gita which, in essence, is an explanation of how to break this cycle and achieve liberation.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the process by which the spiritual essence of any individual (commonly called “the soul”) passes from one body to another in a repeated cycle of birth and death.

In the Bhagavad-gita this process is explained using the following analogy, “As the embodied soul passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Bhagavad-gita 2.13)

Because the soul eternally exists then this process, if unchecked, is also eternal. In everyday life there is always some degree of distress and suffering & because the soul is eternal, as long as he is in the cycle of reincarnation, then he will be eternally suffering. The Hare Krishna philosophy explains how one can break this cycle of repeated suffering. This is exemplified in the Bhagavad-gita which, in essence, is an explanation of how to break this cycle and achieve liberation.

Harinama

Harinam is the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord as shown to us by Srila Prabhupada. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the sankirtan movement 500 years ago and it is the spiritual process recommended in the Vedas for the age of Kali, the age we now find ourselves in. From the beginning of the Krishna consciousness movement in the West, Srila Prabhupada directed the devotees to chant congregationally in the temple as well as in the parks and streets of the towns and cities.

In Wales, weather permitting, the attempt in being made to go out every Wednesday in Cardiff and Sunday in Swansea. On special festival days like Gaura Purnima, Janmastami, etc. we also go out in Cardiff and/or Swansea. Everyone is invited to come along and participate.

To find out exactly when and where Harinams will be going on please contact us by phone: 01792 468 469 or by e-mail: info@iskconwales.org.uk

Ceremonies

As a spiritual institution we facilitate many Vedic ceremonies, for occasions such as weddings, funerals or even something like moving into a new house.

The temple Brahmins are well versed and trained in performing specialised yagya ceremonies for new homes, birthday celebrations and other occasions as well as perform samskara ceremonies on the birth of a new child and other events throughout its life.

If you would like to arrange for us to come do a ceremony at your house, or would like to hold one in the temple, please contact us.

Ceremonies

As a spiritual institution we facilitate many Vedic ceremonies, for occasions such as weddings, funerals or even something like moving into a new house.

The temple Brahmins are well versed and trained in performing specialised yagya ceremonies for new homes, birthday celebrations and other occasions as well as perform samskara ceremonies on the birth of a new child and other events throughout its life.

If you would like to arrange for us to come do a ceremony at your house, or would like to hold one in the temple, please contact us.