The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a world-wide movement dedicated to the philosophy and practice of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of service to the Supreme in the mood of love and devotion. The philosophy of this movement is rooted in ancient Vedic texts, particularly the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God), which contains the essential teachings of Lord Krishna on how to achieve the highest perfection of life.
Also popularly know as The Hare Krishna Movement or The Krishna Consciousness Movement, the members are known throughout the world for their melodious chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, which the Vedas declare as the most sublime and effective means for spiritual enlightenment in the current age:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Krishna is a name of God meaning “the all-attractive one,” and Rama is another name meaning “the reservoir of pleasure.” Hare invokes His presence in our lives. This Maha (great) Mantra is chanted either congregationally (sankirtan), or individually (japa), as a meditation. Since each of us is constitutionally an inseparable part of God, the chanting of His holy names brings one innate satisfaction and the highest pleasure.
The Founder Acarya
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedant Swami Prabhupada is the founding spiritual master (Acarya) of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). His books (translated from the original Sanskrit) and teachings serve as ISKCON’s guiding principles.
At the age of 69, Srila Prabhupada set out from India to teach Bhakti Yoga in the western world. From a small store front in New York City in 1966, a movement blossomed all over the world. Temples, schools, farms, and restaurants developed under his guidance and direction. In eleven years he circled the globe fourteen times, met scholars and statesmen, and inspired men and women from all walks of life to take to Krishna Consciousness.
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.
Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977. He touched the hearts of those he met and left a legacy of spiritual teachings that continue to inspire dedication and devotion throughout the world.