ISKCON – International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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 10,000 temple devotees and 250,000 congregational devotees.
Better known as the Hare Krishna movement, ISKCON is comprised of more than 350 centers, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 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, Srimad-Bhagavatam and other ancient scriptures.
Read on and find out about the seven aims that Srila Prabhupada set out for ISKCON’s Mission.
Srila Prabhupada gave a clear mission statement for ISKCON which is outlined in the following seven points:
The Seven Purposes of ISKCON
- 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.
Most ISKCON members practice Krishna consciousness in their homes and live and work in the general community. They also congregate in temples for worship.
Most temple-based members are in training, or serve as clergy engaged in ministerial and missionary work. Some members also help maintain ISKCON rural communities throughout the world.
Governing Body Commission (GBC)
In 1970 Srila Prabhupada formed a Governing Body Commission (GBC) to help manage an expanding ISKCON. Before Srila Prabhupada passed away in 1977, he requested that executive authority for ISKCON be passed to this Commission. The GBC decides ISKCON’s major strategies and guidelines by democratic voting and in consultation with Temple Presidents and other leaders. The GBC meets every year at the Mayapur Temple – India.