What is ISKCON?

The “International Society for Krishna Consciousness” acronymed as ISKCON,  was founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada in 1966 in New York, U.S.A with the sole aim of bringing people from  all over the world towards Krishna’s service and making them Krishna Conscious there by spreading peace and happiness among people.

ISKCON belongs to the Gaudiya – Vaishnava Sampradaya, a monotheistic tradition within the Vedic or Hindu culture. Philosophically, it is based on the Sanskrit texts Bhagavad-Gita and the Shrimad Bhagavatam. These are the sacred historic texts of the devotional Bhakti yoga tradition, which teaches that the ultimate goal for all living beings is to reawaken their love for Lord Krishna, the “all-attractive one”.

While incorporating ISKCON in 1966, Srila Bhakthivedanta Prabhupada outlined 7 purposes:

  • 1. To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve unity and peace throughout the world.
  • 2. To propagate a consciousness of Krishna, as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-Gita and the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.
  • 3. To bring the members of ISKCON together with each other and closer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is connected to the Godhead (Krishna).
  • 4. To teach and encourage the sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy names of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

  • 5. To erect for the members, and for society at large, a holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
  • 6. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.
  • 7. To publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings with the aforementioned purposes in mind.

ISKCON has disciples all over the world from every race and is mainly focused on offering knowledge of Krishna to whomever is interested in receiving it via the medium of chanting of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, distribution of prasadam, the study of spiritual literature and offering beautiful deity service all over the world. Also it provides opportunity for association of like-minded persons, study opportunities and participation in large festivals like Jagannath Ratha Yathra, Krishna Janmashtami celebrations which are open to everyone.

Here, the devotees are held together by mutual agreement to accept the principles of Bhakti-Yoga or devotional service as the goal of life. By mutual endeavor, the entire Society concentrates on Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, while being engaged in various tasks, cooking, eating, working in an office or chanting the holy names in the city streets. His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee, and those disciples who sincerely follow his instructions have every chance of becoming pure devotees themselves.