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.
Husband & Wife Team
Gaura Bhagavan dasa (Örn Ellingsen)
Örn Ellingsen first saw a group of Hare Krishna devotees chanting in downtown Reykjavik in 1988. After reading from their book The Science of Self-Realization, he was convinced about their philosophy. As there was no ISKCON community in Iceland, at the age of 17, Örn decided to move to Heidelberg, Germany where he could join an ISKCON spiritual center and further pursue the wisdom and practice of bhakti-yoga with full-immersion.
In 1991, Örn received the spiritual name Gaura Bhagavan das after becoming an official student/disciple of H. H. Suhotra Swami, and later H.H. Radhanath Swami. For 13 years he traveled as a monk, living in various centers throughout Europe, gaining valuable experience and a solid understanding of Krishna conscious philosophy. After that he lived in India for 7 years and received brahminical (priestly) training at Gurukula (Vaishnava seminary) in West Bengal, India.
In 2011, Gaura Bhagavan entered the next stage in his life: he married Dayarupa and resumed his education, completing a B.S. & M.S. in Accounting. Gaura is an Accountant by profession and leads the local ISKCON center here in Iceland.
Dayarupa Devi dasi (Dhvani Ellingsen)
Although Dhvani was born of a traditional Vaishnava family in India, it wasn’t until 2005 in Connecticut, USA that she took serious interest in bhakti-yoga after her father introduced her to a branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
While working in Hartford, CT, USA, Dhvani began to study and practice bhakti-yoga at the ISKCON Temple in East Hartford under the guidance of Pyari Mohan das and Jivanaushadhi devi dasi, both direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada.
After a few years of dedicated service, practice, and study, Dhvani became a disciple/student of H.H. Niranjana Swami, receiving the name Dayarupa Devi dasi. Her 13 years of experience at the East Hartford Temple inspired her desire to establish a similar center in Iceland.
Dayarupa is an IT professional by occupation, but her true passions are vegetarian cooking, baking, and bhakti-yoga.
Dayarupa and Gaura Bhagavan’s areas of expertise complement each other well as they strive to share the wisdom and practice of Krishna Consciousness with the people of Iceland.