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The Hare Krishna religion is an ancient monotheistic variant of Vedism that originated in c. 1,500-1,000 BCE, although Hare Krishnas believe that their deity, Krishna, came to Earth in c. 3,000 BCE to share the doctrine, called Bhagavad-gita, with his great warrior friend named Arjuna.  As a prominent facet of many cultures throughout India (and some parts of adjacent countries), the Hare Krishna religion has also gained some popularity in Western Civilization, particularly in parts of Europe and North America.

Deities:   Supernatural agents:   Beliefs:   Traditions:
  • Krishna (a.k.a., Godhead)
  • Govinda (primeval Lord, first progeniter, caretaker of cows)
  • Karma
  • Ahisma (non-violence)
  • The soul is the consciousness, and sits in the heart of the human body (the body is just a complex machine)
  • Sex is a distraction that wastes human energy and should only be used for procreation
  • Morality has no value without Krishna
  • Killing innocent animals is equivalent to killing one's brother or sister
  • Sexual abstinence
  • Yoga
  • Vegetarianism

Vegetarian diets that exclude meat, fish, and eggs are followed because the Vedic scriptures advocate non-violence as the foundation of vegetarianism.  The Godhead is believed to be the father of all humans and animals, hence it is also a commonly held belief that killing an innocent animal is akin to killing a brother or sister, or a very close cousin.

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