They are featured as pedestrians in the original Grand Theft Auto and then become a gang that Claude Speed can take missions from in Grand Theft Auto 2. Krishna's leader, Sunbeam, is one Claude's three potential contacts in the Industrial District. The Krishna are at war with The Zaibatsu Corporation and the Russian Mafia and hang out in Nayarana, Maharishi and the Vedic Temple.
They are known to have problems with the Anywhere City Police Department, with Sunbeam tasking Claude to crush several of their cars at their car crushers. Next, Claude is asked to destroy the Zaibatsu Corporation's construction site, which he successfully does. In the next missions, Claude is tasked to kidnap Russian Mafia members so they can be converted into Hare Krishna members, lure out Russian assassins who are planning to kill the Grand Master and rescue several Krishnas who were kidnapped by Zaibatsus in order to test drugs on them. The last 2 missions involve Claude saving some more Hare Krishnas and destroying the Russian-owned Power Plant.
In return, the Krishnas are targeted by the Zaibatsu Corporation leader Uno Carb, who tasks Claude to steal their Jefferson. Later, an associate of the Krishnas is poisoned by Claude with hot dogs on their territory and 50 of their members are murdered by him in order to further increase gang violence between the Hare Krishna and the Russian Mafia.
The Russian Mafia leader Jerkov in turn asks Claude to kidnap Hare Krishna members via their Karma Bus and take them to a meat processing plant, where they are turned into hot dog meat which will be eaten by his troops. This mission only appears on the PS1, in other versions, it's regular pedestrians who have to be kidnapped. Jerkov is later targeted by the Krishna hitman Nova Bright, who is killed along with some of his hitmen by Speed. The last time they appear is during the mission Vedic Massacre!, during which Claude mercilessly murders hundreds of Hare Krishna members with Ivan's crew.
- In GTA 1, the player received a 'GOURANGA' bonus for running over an entire procession of Hare Krishna. 'GOURANGA' is actually a term that was popularized as use by the Hare Krishna movement during the 1970s. It is often used to describe happiness. This is also a cheat code in the PC version of GTA 2.
- 'GOURANGA' can also be achieved by lining up the Hare Krishna and gunning them down with a machinegun, also resulting a full wanted level from the police as if doing it with the car. (GTA 1)
- If you get close to the lead member of a group you can run around him or stop and have him walk up behind you. If done correctly he will begin to follow you and the rest of the group also follow. They will leave you if they get scared by gunfire (By you or anyone else) or if they get scared from vehicles (By you or anyone else again) and they won't follow you again after they flee in fear. (GTA 1)
- When they are following you, you can lead them into danger such as falling off a height or onto rail tracks. But be careful, you can also die depending on what you lead them into. (GTA 1)
- You can also have fist fights with them and end up having a massive brawl with Krishna even fighting each other. As fists do not hurt the fight can last for ages. This will happen if they follow you or not. Also after a fist fight they won't hold anything against you and will follow you. If they already were following you, they will continue to do so. (GTA 1)
- They won't follow you into vehicles or trains if you get in them, they will hang around it trying to get in until the vehicle or train moves, this will scare them away. (GTA 1)
- In the GTA 2 manual, it is said that their criminality is entirely based around stealing and destroying technology, due to the fact that they are tired of being run over by cars with nothing but tambourines to defend themselves (a reference to the first Grand Theft Auto, where the player was rewarded for running them down).
- When the player drives a RC Car into them in GTA 1, the player will gain a much bigger amount of money.
- The name Hare Krishna is derived from Hindu gods Lord Hari and Lord Krishna.
- Their favorite radio station is Heavenly Radio.
- A group of men dressed as Asian monks appear briefly in GTA 2: The Movie, as passengers in a step van that Claude Speed commandeers. They are presumably meant to represent the Hare Krishna gang.
- When dialing '1-999-GOURANGA' in Grand Theft Auto V, players will hear a dial-up tone.