Hare Krishna is a popular name for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a Hindu movement founded (1965) in the United States by A C Bhaktivedanta. The popular name derives from the mantra Hare Krishna ("O Lord Krishna") chanted by members of the group.
Devotees of the Hindu god Krishna, the members are divided into two classes: brahmacarin ("students"), who live in temples and vow to abstain from sex, meat, intoxicants, and gambling, and grihasta, or lay members who marry and have families. They are proselytizers who actively seek converts. In the mid 1980s the Hare Krishna movement had more than 200 centers in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In the United States it was troubled by internal disputes that reportedly led to several killings, and was accused by critics of other illegal activities as well.
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