Navigate the JREF Website Join Now
James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Hare Krishna A cult originated in 1948 by a mystic of Calcutta known as A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, born Abhan Charan De in 1895. It was introduced to the Western world in 1965, and by 1968 the first saffron-robed disciples were swaying down London streets chanting and ringing cymbals in a now-familiar orgy of magical bliss.
      (Krishna (also, Kistna) is one of two incarnations of Vishnu, the Hindu god. The story goes that Vishnu plucked out two of his hairs, one white and the other black. The black one became Krishna. No one really believes this, but there it is.)
      The object of the “Ha-re Krish-na” chant, repeated endlessly, is to bring to the attention of the world the teachings attributed to Krishna. The actual Krishna philosophy, as outlined in the Bhagavad-Gita, calls for an end to wars and for universal love and food for all. No modus for achieving these ideals is given. Except chanting.
      The actual, complete chanted mantra used by the Hare Krishna disciples is:  


      Hare Krishna/ Hare Krishna/ Krishna Krishna/ Hare Hare/ Hare Rama/ Hare Rama/ Rama Rama/ Hare Hare.

      It is repeated 1,728 times a day by each devotee, who keeps count by means of 108 beads carried in a pouch around the neck. There are sixteen “rounds” of 108 “sets” each. It is very boring.



[Encyclopedia Cover]

Click here to order a copy of the original hardcover edition of this Encyclopedia.

Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.

Created and maintained with the dictionary compilation software TshwaneLex.