ISKCON means International society for Krishna consciousness. It was founded by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta swami Srila Prabhupada in July 1966. When this society was registered in New York, a friend of Srila Prabhupada suggested that it be named the society for God Consciousness ashe thought that the name, Krishna, was sectarian. But Srila Prabhupada did not accept it. Prabhupada explained “yes God has many names and we cannot hit on any one name but Krishna means “all attractive”. God attracts everyone, that’s why srila prabhupada chose Krishna Consciousness instead of God consciousness.
WHY WE ACCEPT ISKCON?
ISKCON is an authorized organization because its Founder Acharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada is a part of a disciplic succession of spiritual masters which starts from Lord Krishna. It is also known as Brahma- Madhva- Gaudiya linage. This disciplic succession of spiritual teachers is vitally important within the tradition because it is considered essential to hear from a spiritual master in order to understand the true meaning and purpose of life. So in ISKCON the same message is distributed to the humanity which was spoken by Lord Krishna without any personal interpretations.
When Srila Prabhupada began the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (in New York City in 1966), he formulated a clear mission statement. Thus the 7 Purposes of ISKCON are as follows:
- 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 the 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 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 Supremepersonaity Godhead (Krishna).
- To teach and encourage the sankirtan movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya 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, natural way of life.
- with a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
Today ISKCON comprises of more than 650 temples all over the world, more than 75000 devotees receives initiation(diksha) within ISKCON, ISKCON has distributed more than 500 million of Prabhupada’s books, over 110 vegetarian restaurants. It also conducts special projects throughout the world, such as “Food for Life”, the only free vegetarian relief program in the world. Over past 50 years ISKCON gave out over 3 billion plates of sanctified food worldwide. It runs 65 Eco villages and farm communities all over the world and It runs 54 educational institutions.