A Quick Introduction
Under Srila Prabhupada’s (Founder Acharya’s) guidance, ISKCON has grown from a small group of disciples assembling in a New York City store front into an international society with scores of centers. At present, there are more than three-hundred ISKCON centers worldwide.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is the spiritual institution founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in July 1966 as a continuation of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. ISKCON was personally directed by its Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada until his departure on November 14, 1977. According to Srila Prabhupada’s will, ISKCON continued thereafter under the ultimate managing authority of the Governing Body Commission (GBC).
The organization was formed to spread the practice of Bhakti yoga, the practice of love of God in which those involved (bhaktas) dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing Krishna, the Supreme Lord.
Its core beliefs are based on the Hindu VEDIC scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavata Purana (Srimad Bhagwatam), and the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and American and European devotees since the early 1900s.
The 7 Purposes
In ISKCON’s incorporating document, Srila Prabhupada imparts the “Seven Purposes of ISKCON”:
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 real unity and peace in the world.
2. To propagate a consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
3. To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus to develop the idea, within the members, and humanity, at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
4. To teach and encourage the Sankirtan movement of congregational chanting of the holy name 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. With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta swami srila prabhupada
his divine grace
Making these Vaisnava texts available is one of Srila Prabhupada’s greatest contributions. Apart from the masses, his books have also reached well into academic circles and have spurred academic interest in the Chaitanya tradition …