ABOUT ISKCON


Since 1966, ISKCON has been sharing India's glorious spiritual heritage with people of all nations, races and walks of life. As a result, the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita has benefited people in nearly every corner of the globe. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has a 50 year history of sharing the glorious Vedic culture of India with the world. Founded in 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ISKCON is a movement with a mission to promote the well being of society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness according to Bhagavad-Gita and other ancient scriptures. ISKCON has more than 650 centers, 65 eco-communities, 54 educational institutes and 110 vegetarian restaurants across the globe in countries including Russia, Canada, Kazakhstan, Poland, Switzerland, Australia and South Africa. These centers are beacons of spiritual enlightenment, bringing peace to a restless world. Below is a brief overview of ISKCON’s accomplishments around the world.

About Swami Prabhupada:

Swami Prabhupada’s greatest legacy was that he was an exemplary ambassador of India’s timeless values. In the years that he spent spreading his simple message, 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.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.

Book Trust

ISKCON’s publishing arm, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, is the largest book publisher dedicated to Vedic texts such as Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Over 500 million of these literatures have been distributed worldwide in every major language.

Study

ISKCON places great emphasis on the ongoing systematic study of Vedic texts beginning from childhood. Bhaktivedanta College, The Vrindavan Institute for Higher Education (VIHE) and other such programs are dedicated to this ideal. ISKCON members also helped found the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies.

Art & Culture

ISKCON perpetuates Vedic culture in the form of music, classical dance, art and drama. Each year ISKCON celebrates the ancient Rathayatra festival in dozens of cities across the globe including New York, Durban, Moscow, London and Mumbai.

Food Relief

ISKCON Food Relief programs such as Food for Life and Mid-Day Meal daily serve 1.5 million wholesome vegetarian meals to underserved children and adults around the globe.

Cow Protection

ISKCON has a number of self sufficient communities and green living awareness programs. They serve as models of holistic societies based on cow protection, vegetarianism and simple living and high thinking.

Medical

ISKCON organizes numerous programs for the community such as Barsana Eye Camp, Bhaktivedanta Hospital, Bhaktivedanta Hospice and family counseling.

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Founder Acharya

An Indian spiritual teacher and the founder-preceptor

For millennia the teachings and the rich culture of bhakti-yoga, or Krishna Consciousness, had been hidden within the borders of India. Today, millions around the globe express their gratitude to Srila Prabhupada for revealing the timeless wisdom of bhakti to the world.

About Swami Prabhupada:

He was a genuine holy person with enormous integrity and compassion, and he had a powerful impact on those who met him. He never claimed authority and respect for himself; what he said and did was always in the name of Krishna...

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins


BIOGRAPHY



When His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada entered the port of New York City on September 17, 1965 few Americans took notice — but he was not merely another immigrant. He was on a mission to introduce the ancient teachings of Vedic India into mainstream America. Before Srila Prabhupada passed away on November 14, 1977 at the age of 81, his mission proved successful. He had founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and saw it grow into a worldwide confederation of more than 100 temples, ashrams and cultural centers.

Srila Prabhupada was born Abhay Charan De on September 1, 1896 to a pious Hindu family in Calcutta. As a youth growing up in British-controlled India, Abhay became involved with Mahatma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement to secure independence for his nation. It was, however, a 1922 meeting with a prominent scholar and religious leader, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, which proved most influential on Abhay’s future calling. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was a leader in the Gaudiya Vaishnava denomination, a monotheistic tradition within the broad Hindu culture, and asked Abhay to bring the teachings of Lord Krishna to the English-speaking world. Abhay became a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in 1933, and resolved to carry out his mentor’s request. Abhay, later known by the honorific A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, spent the next 32 years preparing for his journey west.

In 1965, at the age of sixty-nine, Srila Prabhupada traveled to New York City aboard a cargo ship. The journey was treacherous, and the elderly spiritual teacher suffered two heart attacks aboard ship. Arriving in the United States with just seven dollars in Indian rupees and his translations of sacred Sanskrit texts, Srila Prabhupada began to share the timeless wisdom of Krishna consciousness. His message of peace and goodwill resonated with many young people, some of whom came forward to become serious students of the Krishna tradition. With the help of these students, Srila Prabhupada rented a small storefront on New York’s Lower East Side to use as a temple. On July 11, 1966, he officially registered his organization in the state of New York, formally founding the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

In the eleven years that followed, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe 14 times on lecture tours, bringing the teachings of Lord Krishna to thousands of people on six continents. Men and women from all backgrounds and walks of life came forward to accept his message, and with their help, Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON centers and projects throughout the world. Under his inspiration, Krishna devotees established temples, rural communities, educational institutions, and started what would become the world’s largest vegetarian food relief program. With the desire to nourish the roots of Krishna consciousness in its home, Srila Prabhupada returned to India several times, where he sparked a revival in the Vaishnava tradition. In India, he opened dozens of temples, including large centers in the holy towns of Vrindavan and Mayapur.

Srila Prabhupada’s most significant contributions, perhaps, are his books. He authored over 70 volumes on the Krishna tradition, which are highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, fidelity to the tradition, and clarity. Several of his works are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into 76 languages. His most prominent works include: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the 30-volume Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the 17-volume Sri Caitanya-caritamrita.

To learn more about Srila Prabhupada, please visit prabhupada.net or founderacharya.com.