ISKCON Temple: Movement, Beliefs, & Religion

Learn about the ISKCON Temple, the Hare Krishna Movement, and more. Find out about this movement, its inception, rules, and the world-famous mantra.

ISKCON or the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is a religious movement of Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindus. This society informally called the Hare Krishna movement, or Hare Krishnas is spread around the globe, with thousands of devotees for Krishna, their Supreme Lord. They follow the philosophies of the ancient scriptures of Hinduism, Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavata Purana, Srimad Bhagavatam, as well as the Gaudiya Vaishnava traditions. Let us read all about the ISKCON Temple, this movement, society, their beliefs and rules applied on the devotees, and much more.

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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON Temple in 1966 in New York City. This Hare Krishna movement comprises of about five hundred main facilities (centres), temples, and rural communities.

Moreover, they are also associated with about one hundred vegetarian restaurants and thousands of namahattas or local meeting groups. They also have their fingers in all kinds of pies, like a diverse range of community initiatives. Millions of congregational devotees all over the world are associated with this ‘bonafide religion’.

The ultimate goal of this society is to spread the knowledge of Bhakti Yoga throughout the world and reawaken the love of the people for Lord Krishna, Svayam Bhagavan (God Himself).

Lord Krishna & ISKCON Temple’s Maha-Mantra

Lord Krishna is a principal deity of Hinduism, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is worshipped as the Supreme God, Svayam Bhagavan or God Himself. Hundreds of stories are known about Lord Krishna in ancient scriptures dating back to the 1st millennium BCE literature. He is worshipped in all sects of Hinduism in various forms.

His name, Krishna, means ‘black’, ‘dark’, or ‘dark blue’, and the term is also sometimes interpreted as ‘all-attractive’. He is said to have been dark- or blue-skinned, as his name. Lord Krishna is known through numerous titles throughout the scriptures, describing his attributes and nature, like:

  • Mohan: Enchanter
  • Govinda: Chief Herdsman
  • Keev: Prankster
  • Vasudeva: Son of Vasudeva
  • Gopala: Protector of the Gau which means ‘Soul’ or ‘cows.’
  • Makhan Chor: Butter Thief

Paying homage to Lord Krishna or the bhakti movement is spread throughout the world by ISKCON Temple. They communicate all spiritual knowledge about the proper way of eulogizing the Lord, in an orderly fashion to society at large. The devotees have made the maha-mantra popular around the globe, in their attempts to educate the people of the world on Krishna-bhakti. Today, in almost every corner of the planet, people know of this mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

The mantra has even been mentioned in several songs. George Harrison of The Beatles fame also produced a 1969 recording of the mantra by devotees from the London Radha Krishna Temple (headquarters of ISKCON in the UK).

ISKCON Temple: The Seven Purposes

Founder of the ISKCON Temple, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda gave the following factors as the “Seven Purposes of ISKCON”:

  1. They offer spiritual knowledge to society at large, in an orderly manner. They wish to educate all people in the ways of religious life to keep the imbalance of life values in check, and to achieve sincere solidarity and harmony in the world.
  2. Devotees of ISKCON will communicate a consciousness of Krishna to the world, as it has been explained in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
  3. They will bring the members of the ISKCON society together and bring them nearer to Krishna, the prime entity. They will develop the idea, in the members as well as humanity as a whole, that every soul is an integral part of the Supreme Lord.
  4. They will teach and encourage the Sankirtan movement of congregational chanting of the maha-mantra and the holy name of God as described by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
  5. The ISKCON community will build a holy place for transcendental recreations, dedicated to Lord Krishna, for the members and the community in general.
  6. They will make attempts in bringing the members closer together to teach them a more straightforward and natural way of life.
  7. The members of the ISKCON temple will strive towards achieving the purposes mentioned earlier, by mode of publishing and distributing magazines, pamphlets, brochures, books and other writings.

Facts & More About ISKCON Temple

  • ISKCON has temples all over the world supervised and attended by the local people.
  • The International Society for Krishna Consciousness was founded on 13th July 1966, in New York, USA.
  • Members of the ISKCON Temple do the sankirtan, where they chant and sign the maha-mantra and the Lord’s name, to raise awareness about Krishna-Bhakti to the people.
  • All the disciples in ISKCON Temple strictly follow the four regulative principles. They are:
    1. No Meat Eating
    2. No Intoxication
    3. No Gambling
    4. No Illicit Sex
  • All devotees are required to chant at least sixteen times daily and also to study, understand and assimilate the Vedic scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam etc., seriously.
  • ISKCON works on the fundamental belief that the consciousness of God is universal, and all religions are veritable. Thus, many active members of the ISKCON Temple are also fully practising Christians and Moslems.
  • They are affiliated with the largest Vegetarian Food Relief organization in the world.
  • All disciples of the ISKCON temple follow the four principles of religion
    1. Compassion
    2. Truthfulness
    3. Cleanliness
    4. Austerity
  • 108 temples were built throughout the world, within ten years, by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Today there are about 550 temples around the globe.
  • The ISKCON Temple, Bangalore built on Hare Krishna Hill in 1997 is the largest around the world. It has a 56 feet long gold-plated flag post.
  • The Bhagavad Gita Animatronics, Ramayana Art Gallery, and the Mahabharata Light and Sound Show are distinctive features of ISKCON Temple, Delhi. It also houses the “Astounding Bhagavad Gita”, the mammoth religious book ever printed that weighs over 800 kilograms.
  • ISKCON teaches people a more straightforward way of life. There have been 32 spiritual masters there, so far.

We hope that this article on ISKCON temple was informational for you!


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