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International Society for Krishna Consciousness

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Founder Acharya: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement, ISKCON is a worldwide confederation of more than 600 temples and centers, 110 vegetarian restaurants, and a wide variety of community projects. ISKCON belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya, or denomination, a monotheistic tradition within the broad Vedic, or Hindu culture.

Based on the Bhagavad-Gita, ISKCON traces its spiritual lineage directly to the speaker of this sacred book, Lord Krishna, who is revered as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The text teaches that the goal of life is to develop love of God, or Krishna, realized through the practice of bhakti-yoga, the science of devotional service. In the latter part of the 15th century, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revitalized the bhakti-yoga tradition by introducing an expansive spiritual movement that swept India. Central to this renaissance was the emphasis on chanting of Krishna’s name. Underlying this simple practice was a profound, rational, and intellectually comprehensive theology.

This nonsectarian, monotheistic movement’s mission is to advance the well being of society by promoting the spiritual science of Krishna consciousness.

Know ISKCON

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Founder

In 1965, at the age of 70, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada journeyed alone from India to America, to bring the teachings of Krishna consciousness to the west. On July 11, 1966, Srila Prabhupada officially registered the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York City, and thus began the worldwide Hare Krishna movement. 
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Participation

Participation

Participation is open to anyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or any other factor. While some “Krishna devotees” live in temples and ashrams (monasteries) as monks, the vast majority of Hare Krishna devotees live and go to work in the general community, practicing Krishna consciousness in their homes and attending the temple on a regular basis.
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Philosophy

Philosophy

The Bhagavad-Gita teaches that people are not their material bodies, but are eternal spirit souls, and that all beings are interrelated through God, the source of all existence. God is known by many names, primarily by the name “Krishna” which means “the All-Attractive Supreme Person.” The goal of life is to develop love of God, realized through the practice of bhakti-yoga, or devotional service.
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Leadership

Prior to his passing away in 1977, Srila Prabhupada established a Governing Body Commission (GBC) to oversee the international society’s activities. This ecclesiastic board consists of several senior Krishna devotees, both men and women, who work together as a body to guide the organization. Each ISKCON temple is individually incorporated and manages its affairs through local leadership
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practices

Practices

In addition to daily meditation by chanting the holy names, ISKCON members practice attending regular worship services, studying scriptures, sharing sanctified vegetarian meals, and fostering fellowship among other Krishna devotees. To focus the mind and senses on spiritual pursuits, practitioners follow strict vegetarianism and abstain from intoxication, gambling, and illicit sex.
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Social Contribution

ISKCON promotes social progress through teaching spiritual solutions to the myriad of problems we face today including war, poverty, environmental degredation, racial and sectarian strife, etc. ISKCON also operates the world’s largest vegetarian food relief program through its Annamrita projects. ISKCON affiliates also operate several hospitals and schools across the world.
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Activities at ISKCON

ISKCON Worldwide

The ISKCON, better known as the Hare Krishna Movement, is the most authentic spiritual movement based on the Indian Gaudiya Vaishnava Philosophy, that sprung in the West in late 1960. Founded in the United States by  A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, it spread throughout most countries in the world. Today, it is present in all the continents.

At this rate it appears that Hare Krishna Mahamantra will be chanted in every town and village as per the desire of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Expressing Devotion Through

Prasadam

Sometimes referred to as “the kitchen religion,” ISKCON temples offer visitors delicious sanctified vegetarian food, and host weekly Sunday open house programs that culminate in a free multi-course feast. The internationally inspired menu can range from Punjabi curried vegetables to eggplant parmesan. To better acquaint people with the benefits of a vegetarian diet, the Krishna movement has also established 100 vegetarian restaurants around the world.
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Literature

With an aim to shed light on the profound philosophy underlying cultural expressions, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), ISKCON’s affiliated publishing house, has printed and distributed more than 500 million books and magazines. These publications often contain translations from Sanskrit or Bengali, reproductions of rare commentaries, and attractive illustrations and photographs. Said to be the world’s largest publisher of classic Vaishnava texts, the BBT is renowned as an excellent resource for the study of Indian culture and philosophy.
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Kirtan

Tradition holds that in Lord Krishna’s abode “every word is a song and every step is a dance.” Music plays a key role in the lives of Krishna devotees. When Srila Prabhupada first brought the Krishna tradition West in 1965, he introduced the art of kirtan, devotional chanting accompanied by traditional Indian instruments. ISKCON devotees have shared this dynamic musical expression with the world, and many have gone on to become accomplished singers and musicians.
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Testimonials 

   I very much welcome events such as this, which will help us all to celebrate the values and benefits of diversity… but also shows the positive expression of belief that is characteristic of the Krishna consciousness movement.

Tony Blair

Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom

   ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada has contributed immensely to the world by spreading the spiritual teachings of India the world over. He is truly a great ambassador of ancient Indian Heritage.

His Holiness Dalai Lama

   All of you associated with ISKCON have dedicated full energy and creativity in taking these eternal values of the Bhagavad Gita to the world or in popularizing the spirit of devotion. ISKCON through its various chapters have done yeoman service to humanity. Gita is a symbol of the devotion and dedication of the followers of Lord Sri Krishna and Prabhupada. You are all praiseworthy for this commendable endeavor. This will further increase the interest of the world in the ancient and divine knowledge of India.

Narendra Modi

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

Swami Prabhupada’s greatest legacy was that he was an exemplary ambassador of India’s timeless values. Swami Prabhupada convinced hundreds of thousands of Indians and westerners about the profound value of his philosophy which they embraced along with a Vedic lifestyle. Throughout his mission, Swami Prabhupada remained faithful to the guidance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who had revitalized the Bhakti-yoga tradition in the 15th Century.

Pranab Mukherjee

Hon’ble President of India