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KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
A MILLENIA-OLD TRADITION

ISKCON

Abbreviation for International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the official name of the Hare Krishna movement.

FOUNDED

1966 in New York by the Indian dignitary, monk and Sanskrit scholar AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977).

STATISTICS

Over 500 temples, cultural centers, farms, restaurants and schools on all five continents; 120 in Switzerland, 300 in Germany, 50 priests and full-time members in Austria, 25,000 worldwide. In addition, there are over five million friends and community members.

TRADITION

ISKCON is the contemporary branch of the millennia-old Krishna religion. The Krishna religion (also called "Vishnuism") is one of the main currents of Hinduism and is considered the oldest monotheistic religion in the world.

PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATION

The 5000 year old Vedas, the holy scriptures of India, especially the Bhagavad-gita and the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.

KRISHNA

“the all-attractive one”; name for God in the Sanskrit language.

TEACHING

All living beings - humans, animals and plants - are souls, that is, parts of God. Just as the origin (God) is eternal, the soul is also eternal. In the cycle of birth and death (reincarnation), the immortal soul wanders from one body to another according to its actions (karma) until it reaches the highest goal through purification - love for God and return to the eternal kingdom of God.

HARE KRISHNA AND THE OTHER RELIGIONS

God is unlimited, both in time and in geography. That is, God reveals himself in all ages and in all places. ISKCON does not restrict God to a single religion or scripture, but accepts them all as the revelation of the same God, whether one calls him Krishna, Yahweh, Manitou or Allah. The different religions are nothing but different ways of elevating people to higher and highest levels. The highest level, the Bhagavad-gita teaches, has nothing to do with denominational affiliation, but with a level of consciousness: an inner attitude of pure love and devotion to God. The Krishna Consciousness movement strives to make people aware of this common goal of all religions.

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