The lifestyle, practices, and traditional teachings of Krishna bhakti were first established in the West by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his dedicated students. Prabhupada began his Western mission in 1965 when he came to New York City at the age of 69. There he created the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement.
ISKCON represents an extraordinarily rich and ancient spiritual tradition of Krishna bhakti, developed in India over many millennia. Bhakti, pure devotion to the all-attractive source of existence, Krishna, is at the heart of Indian religion, philosophy, literature, poetry, and drama. The tradition finds its most celebrated expression in the Bhagavad-gita, the most widely read scripture of world literature next to the Bible and Qur’an.
Today, ISKCON has more than than 380 centers, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 restaurants worldwide, with millions of members. We warmly invite you to learn more about our ISKCON centers, enjoy their spiritual resources, and grow with fellow seekers eager for joyful, rational, and inspired spiritual life.
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.