INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
FOUNDER ACHARYA : His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
International Society for Krishna Consciousness belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradāya, a monotheistic tradition within the Vedic culture. Philosophically ISKCON is based on the Sanskrit texts Bhagavad-gītā and the Bhagavat Purana, or Srimad Bhagavatam. These are the historic texts of the devotional bhakti yoga tradition, which teaches that the ultimate goal for all living beings is to reawaken their Love for God, or Lord Krishna, the “all-attractive one”.
The mission of this non-sectarian, monotheistic movement is to promote the well-being of society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness according to Bhagavad-Gita and other ancient scriptures.
Members of ISKCON practice bhakti-yoga in their homes, ashrams and in temples. They also promote bhakti-yoga, or Krishna Consciousness, through festivals, yoga seminars, public chanting, and the distribution of the society’s literature. ISKCON members also run hospitals, schools, colleges, eco-villages, free food distribution projects, and other institutions as a practical application of the path of devotional yoga.
God is known across the world by many names including Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Rama, etc. ISKCON devotees chant God’s names in the form of the maha-mantra, or the great prayer for deliverance: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder Acarya, incorporated the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) with seven explicit purposes.They are as follows.
1)To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people 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 (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
3)To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing 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 sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya 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, more natural way of life.
7)With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
Founded in 1966 in New York in an humble store front, today, by grace of Lord Sri Krishna, ISKCON has achieved several milestones in the past 50 years.
650- ISKCON temples worldwide
52 crores– number of books and magazines publishes by Bhakti Vedanta Book Trust and distributed by ISKCON devotees worldwide
300 crores– number of free plates of sanctified food ( prasadam offered to Lord krishna) distributed worldwide since 1966
12 million– number of people who worship in ISKCON temples around the world every year
1.2 million– number of meals distributed every day to needy school students in India by ISKCON’s Food Relief Foundation , also popularly known as “Anamrita” as a part of the Government’s Mid Day Meal programme
3.4 lakhs– the number of patients treated by ISKCON Bhakti Vedanta Hospital in Mira Road , Mumbai , The Bhaktivedanta Hospice in Vrindavan,mobile clinics and eye camps
2.6 lakhs – devotees walked 2,60,000 kms visiting 52,000 towns and villages in 170 countries as a part of the worldwide Padayatra to distribute the Holy Name to every town and village around the world
1,00,000– number of devotees who have taken spiritual initiation in the Gaudiya Tradition since 1966
6000 and more– festivals held in various ISKCON centres all over the world every year
3600– number of family gatherings ( Bhakti Vriksha groups) held around the world every week
110– number of Hare Krishna restaurants serving delicious karma free sanctified food around the world
65– number of eco- friendly self sustained farm communities run by ISKCON , mainly to adopt a life style that is “SIMPLE LIVING AND HIGH THINKING”