Beliefs

Though all devotees place Krishna at the absolute center of their theology, the movement accepts the existence of numerous divine beings called demigods. ISKCON understands these superhuman beings as created by Krishna in order to serve him, and therefore they function as divine paragons of devotion. Generally, ISKCON equates these demigods with the other deities of Hinduism, such as Shiva, Ganesha, and Lakshmi. In its subordination of such deities to the role of devotees of Krishna, ISKCON differentiates from most other forms of the Hindu tradition.  

ISKCON devotees recognizes other monotheists as fellow worshippers of God, but believe that those outside their own lineage lack access to God in his Supreme Personhood of Krishna. As such, other understandings of the divine, e.g., Allah or Jehovah, lack the same transcendental quality as Krishna. Still, the Hare Krishna movement considers other forms of monotheistic religious devotion valid forms of spirituality, albeit lacking the advantages of knowledge of God in his most intimate form.


Study Questions:
     1.     How do avatars allow ISKCON to remain monotheistic?
     2.     How does Maha-Vishnu separate ISKCON from other forms of Hinduism?
     3.     Who is Radha? What is her relationship to Krishna within ISKCON?
     4.     How do ISKCON followers perceive individuals of other religious traditions?

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