Krishna Consciousness (Bhakti-yoga)
Krishna consciousness means an awareness of and affection for the Supreme Person, Krishna. It is the culmination of all forms of yoga, knowledge, meditation, and religion.
We, and all living things, are eternal, spiritual persons. Krishna consciousness is our natural, original, and blissful state of consciousness. But in this material world we forget who we are and who God is. We think our body is the same as our self, and sometimes we don't believe or even care if God exists at all. In such ignorance of spiritual reality, we live in a more or less constant state of bewilderment and anxiety, briefly interrupted by temporary bodily and mental pleasures.
Without Krishna consciousness, we don't know who we are or what we're supposed to do, so we regularly make mistakes that have far-reaching, upsetting consequences. Our ultimate anxiety is the nagging fear of death, which we try to avoid thinking about. We think death means we cease to exist—a thought nearly impossible to cope with, since it so completely goes against our eternal nature. We try to distract ourselves by intellectual, emotional, sensual, chemical, or electronic means—which often just cause us more anxiety. Among our other anxieties are the death of loved ones, and various other suffering conditions—such as old age and disease—that unfailingly precede death.
The practices of Krishna consciousness, or bhakti-yoga, are meant to free us from the root cause of all anxiety by reawakening our normal, spiritual awareness. The process is simple—meditation on the name, form, activities, and qualities of Krishna, whom the Vedas name as the ultimate, Absolute Truth, the Supreme Person. Of course, the Supreme Person may be known by different names in different religious cultures, but all genuine spiritual traditions agree that there's only one Supreme God. The goal of bhakti-yoga is to regain our natural sense of connectedness (yoga) with that one supreme God by practicing serving Him with love (bhakti).