KRISHNA WEST GUIDELINES

  1. Mission
    1. To promote mainstream Krishna Consciousness, a spiritual science, in the Western world.
  2. Rationale
    1. Krishna West serves the world through intelligent, appropriate, non-sectarian spiritual activism that powerfully addresses, with spiritual wisdom, issues of social and economic justice, the global environment, and spiritual fulfillment.
  3. Approach
    1. To share the knowledge and practices of Krishna Consciousness, a spiritual process technically known as bhakti-yoga, which is dedicated toward inspiring and cultivating a meaningful and personal relationship with God, Krishna, and all living beings.
    2. To make bhakti-yoga easy, relevant, accessible and enjoyable for people living in the Western world by offering essential spiritual teachings and practices within an external culture that is comfortable and natural for them. Krishna West pursues this by providing:
      1. Educational platforms for the dissemination and cultivation of knowledge about the philosophy and practices of bhakti-yoga;
      2. Guidance and opportunities for integrating and applying the complete principles and techniques of bhakti-yoga within a culture-friendly framework that is amenable to Western societies.
  4. Theological Foundations
    1. Krishna West is a spiritual project founded on the principles of bhakti-yoga, an ancient tradition commonly known as Krishna Consciousness, as enunciated in the Vedic texts known as Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, and taught by Srila Prabhupada.
  5. Institutional Structure
    1. Krishna West is a project inaugurated by Hridayananda das Goswami within ISKCON (the ‘International Society for Krishna Consciousness’), or the ‘Hare Krishna Movement’, founded by Srila Prabhupada.
    2. Krishna West is authorized by the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON.
    3. Krishna West is globally regulated by the Krishna West Council (KWC).
    4. Krishna West is locally managed by Krishna West Project Leaders.
    5. Krishna West Liaisons provide support and advice to Project Leaders and Council Members and also provide guidance to persons interested in Krishna West.
  6. Regulatory Framework
    1. The Krishna West Regulatory Framework (KWRF) is designed to support the Krishna West Mission and Approach stated above.
    2. The KWRF operates a balanced regulatory structure intended to facilitate local autonomy and global collaboration.
    3. The KWC is responsible for establishing and communicating the globally shared Principles, Values and Standards that support and promote the Krishna West Mission and Approach.
    4. The Krishna West Project Leaders are responsible for adapting and applying the shared Krishna West Principles, Values and Standards within the context of local cultural environments.
  7. Principles, Values and Standards
    1. Krishna West programs and representatives are united by shared principles, values and standards that promote the Krishna West Mission and Approach stated above.
    2. The KWC recognizes and advocates local flexibility and judgement in applying the shared principles, values and standards of Krishna West, within defined boundaries that protect the Krishna West Mission and Approach. These boundaries are defined within the following domains:
      1. Krishna West programs
        1. Require authorization from the KWC to be recognized.
        2. Must advocate the Krishna West Mission and Approach.
        3. Must facilitate regular programs, e.g. monthly, bi-monthly, weekly etc.
        4. Must promote teachings based on the Theological Foundations.
        5. Must promote the essential practices of Krishna Consciousness stipulated in the Theological Foundations, in particular:
          1. Hare Krishna mantra meditation;
          2. spiritual vegetarianism;
          3. cultivation of spiritual knowledge;
        6. Must not promote lifestyles that are counterproductive to the spiritual practices and teachings referenced in the Theological Foundations, including adherence to the four regulative principles of ISKCON, namely the avoidance of:
          1. non-vegetarian diets;
          2. intoxicants;
          3. gambling; and
          4. sexual relationships outside of marriage;
        7. Must facilitate the integration of the spiritual practices and techniques of bhakti-yoga with the features of local cultures and lifestyles that are conducive to the cultivation of bhakti-yoga.
        8. Must support respectful and responsible behaviors and attitudes toward others, both those within and external to ISKCON.
        9. Must consult the KWC in cases of events or interactions that could harm or undermine the Krishna West Mission or Approach noted above, Krishna West’s reputation within ISKCON or its relationship with other religious, social or political bodies and groups.
      2. Official Krishna West Representatives (Council Members, Project Leaders and Liaisons)
        1. As official representatives of Krishna West, Council Members, Project Leaders and Liaisons are entrusted with protecting and promoting the Krishna West Mission and Approach.
        2. Official representatives are therefore required to exemplify high standards of character and behaviors in their lifestyles and interactions both within ISKCON and in relation to other religious, social or political bodies and groups.
        3. Essential competencies and attributes for official Krishna West representatives are indicated below:
          1. Spiritual qualifications
            1. Commitment to and familiarity with the Theological Foundations;
            2. Established in the advanced spiritual practices of Krishna Consciousness, in particular:
              1. Chanting a minimum of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra daily (each round comprising 108 repetitions);
              2. Cultivating and maintaining a lifestyle and character consistent with the Theological Foundations and recommended for dedicated practitioners of Krishna Consciousness, including adhering to the four regulative principles of ISKCON mentioned above.
          2. Behavioural qualifications
            1. Advocate of the Krishna West Mission and Approach.
            2. Respectful toward and compliant with these Krishna West Principles, Values and Standards.
            3. Demonstrates respectful, sensitive and responsible behaviors and attitudes toward others, both those within and external to ISKCON.
      3. Krishna West online presence
        1. All official online activity and communications, including websites, social media forums, YouTube and print should:
          1. Communicate content that is consistent with these Krishna West Guidelines, in particular the Krishna West Mission, Approach, Theological Foundations and Principles, Values and Standards stated herein.
          2. Communicate content in a manner that is respectful and sensitive toward any intended and non-intended audiences;
          3. Demonstrate respectful and sensitive attitudes toward those whose opinions oppose or are inconsistent with the Krishna West Mission or Approach. In particular, not damaging the reputation of or relationships for Krishna West by provoking or fueling sustained conflicts through inflammatory or combative behavior or responses;
          4. Be managed via dedicated Krishna West platforms only, whether social media forums, YouTube channels, websites or print;
          5. Be openly and readily identifiable as part of Krishna West, for example through use of ‘Krishna West’ in titles or through use of the official Krishna West logo;
          6. Pay due regard to the guidelines noted herein.

 

The KW Guidelines are subject to regular review.

Any questions, comments or concerns about these Krishna West Guidelines should be directed toward the Krishna West Council.