Who are we?
Who are we really? According to the Vedas we are spiritual beings, originating from Krishna’s eternal spiritual world. In the spiritual world all souls live in deep, loving relationships with Krishna. The reason we, who are in the material world, do not do so, is because we have broken off our loving relationship with Krishna. Love necessitates complete freedom. As soon as there is any amount of coercion or force, we cannot call it love, so all souls can freely choose to either have a loving relationship with Krishna, or not. The few souls who do not want a relationship with Krishna, but prefer to be the center of attention, and enjoy the results of their own actions, rather than live to love and serve God, Krishna, are allowed to be in a world, where they can forget Krishna, and live in the illusion, that He does not exist, or that we have no relationship with Him. That is our situation in this material world, and as a direct result, we are not subjected to the law of karma, in the cycle of repeated birth and death.
The repeated birth and death in this material world can be stopped if we re-establish our relationship with Krishna, and re-awaken our dormant love for Him. The was to do this is called yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Yoga is a Sankrit term, meaning “to bind” or “connect with.” The term Yoga thus aims at any process that re-establishes our relationship with Krishna. The members of the Hare Krishna movement practice bhakti-yoga, which is often translated as “devotional service” to Krishna, especially in the form that was given through the disciplic succession of spiritual masters from the great Bengali master and Avatara, Sri Krishna Caitanya (1486-1538). His teachings and tradition has been propagated by a chain of spiritual masters up until today, and was spread to the entire world in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Srila Prabhupada, whose life’s work is the international society of Krishna devotees widely known as the Hare Krishna movement.