MORE ABOUT ISKCON
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was established in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Srila Prabhupada). ISKCON has since developed into a worldwide confederation of a million devotees. Better known as the Hare Krishna movement, ISKCON is comprised of more than 600 centres, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 100+ restaurants worldwide. The mission of this nonsectarian, 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.
Srila Prabhupada gave a clear mission statement for ISKCON which is outlined in the following seven points:
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.
To propagate a consciousness of Krishna (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
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)
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.
To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.
With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, appeared in 1896, in Calcutta, in a family of Krishna devotees.
His father, Gour Mohan De, named him Abhay Charan. His father’s only wish was that Abhay would become a devotee of Srimati Radharani.
Abhay studied under British colonial rule, finally going to university to read chemistry. At university, he became a supporter of Gandhi’s movement to gain independence for India. As a measure of this support, he would only dress in white handloom cloth, woven in India and furthermore, he declined to accept his degree from the university.
Abhay married and went into business as a small pharmaceutical firm to support his wife and family. He met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, for the first time in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, took a liking to Abhay and told him to devote his life to teaching Vedic Knowledge; more specifically to preach Lord Caitanya’s message to the English speaking world. Although, Abhay accepted, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta within his heart as his spiritual master, it was not until 1932 that he became initiated. He then received both harinama and mantra diksa at his initiation.
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