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Welcome to the world of Vaishnava culture and Vedic learning, the home of Radha and Krishna. Welcome to the world of tranquillity, beauty and spiritual bliss. Welcome home.

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Founder & Spiritual Master - Srila Prabhupada

srila-prabhupadaHis Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (who later became known as Srila Prabhupada) founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON); he officially registered his organization in the state of New York on July 11, 1966 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 practicing Hindu family in Kolkata. His spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, 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. He 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, who became known worldwide as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and as Srila Prabhupada, spent the next 32 years preparing for his journey to the Western world.

In the 11 years that followed, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe 14 times on lecture tours, bringing the teachings of Lord Krishna to thousands of people on 6 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, and 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, Shrila 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 Vrindavana 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 university courses. His writings have been translated into 76 languages. His most prominent works include: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the multi-volume Srimad-Bhagavatam and the set of Sri Caitanya-caritamrita books.

Philosophy

What is the Hare Krishna Philosophy?

The term "Hare Krishna", or The Hare Krishna Movement™ Organization, formerly The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), is the orthodox core of Hinduism. It was registered in the West (in New York) in July 1966, but dates back over 5000 years. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1532) popularized the movement all over India. Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion with over 900 million adherents, second to Christianity and Islam (according to various leading encyclopedias, websites and almanacs). The principal scriptures are The Bhagavad-gita (The Song of God), and the Srimad Bhagavatam (the story of the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna Bhagavan). Krishnas believe in one God.

The basic Hare Krishna beliefs can be summarized as follows:

  1. By sincerely cultivating true spiritual science, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness in this lifetime.
  2. We are not our bodies but eternal, spirit souls, parts and parcels of God (Krishna). As such, we are all brothers, and Krishna is ultimately our common father. We accept the process of transmigration of the soul (reincarnation).
  3. Krishna is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-attractive. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings, and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation. He is the same God as The Father Allah, Buddha and Jehovah.
  4. The Absolute Truth is contained in the Vedas, the oldest scriptures in the world. The essence of the Vedas is found in the Bhagavad-gita, a literal record of Krishna's words.
  5. One can learn the Vedic knowledge from a genuine spiritual master - one who has no selfish motives and whose mind is firmly fixed on Krishna.
  6. Before one eats, one offers to the Lord (Krishna) the food that sustains all humans; then Krishna becomes the offering and purifies the offered.
  7. One performs all actions as offerings to Krishna and does nothing for one's own sense gratification.
  8. The recommended means for achieving the mature stage of love of God in this age of Kali, or quarrel, is to chant the holy names of the Lord. The easiest method for most people is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Founder's Statement

Kolkata-born A.C. Bhakitivedanta Swami (1896-1977), also known as Srila Prabhupada, who founded The Hare Krishna Movement™ in New York in 1966, wrote a statement that was used in the religion’s initial incorporation. This statement is still relevant for ISKCON, and sometimes serves as a Mission Statement.

It reads 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, especially Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. We accept the principle of transmigration of the soul (reincarnation).
  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 and to create websites that help realize these purposes.

* Located in Mayapura, West Bengal India.

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