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THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as the Hare Krishna movement, is the contemporary branch of the millennia-old Krishna religion. ISKCON is a cultural and religious movement that offers people the opportunity to learn, study, and practically apply Vedic knowledge.

In 1965, at the age of 70, Srila Prabhupada traveled to America on a cargo ship to fulfill the mission of his discipleship. He began as a penniless monk, alone and without any support; yet gradually, young people came to him—drawn by his spiritual maturity and charisma.

PRABHUPADA'S
LEGACY

Despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada was tireless in his travels. He established 108 centers in 49 countries, accepted thousands of disciples, and brought the message of Krishna consciousness closer to millions of people. At the same time, he wrote over sixty books with translations and commentaries on Vedic scriptures, which he himself described as "ISKCON's greatest gift to humanity."

ISKCON 
TODAY

600

TEMPLES AND CULTURAL CENTERS

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55

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND SCHOOLS

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516
MILLION

SELF PUBLISHED
PRINTED AND
BOOKS SOLD

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65

FARMS AND ECO-VILLAGES

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100

GOVINDA-RESTAURANTS

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3
BILLION

DISTRIBUTED PORTIONS
VEGETARIAN FOOD

95'000

INITIATED MEMBERS

9
MILLION

COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND VISITORS OF
ISKCON-EVENTS

THE 7 GOALS
THE ISKCON

1

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To systematically disseminate spiritual knowledge within human society and instruct all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life, aiming to correct the imbalance of values in life and achieve real unity and genuine peace in the world.

2

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3

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To spread Krishna consciousness as revealed in the Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

To bring the members of society closer to each other and to Krishna, the Supreme Being, cultivating the view that every soul is a part of God with the same qualities, both among the members and throughout humanity.

4

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To teach and promote the Sankirtan movement, which involves the collective chanting of the holy names of God as revealed in the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

5

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6

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To establish a holy site dedicated to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna for the benefit of the members and human society.

To bring the members closer together with the goal of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.

7

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In consideration of the above-mentioned goals, to regularly publish and distribute magazines, journals, books, and other writings.

These statutes were established by Srila Prabhupada in the founding charter of ISKCON in 1966.

GBC - GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION

THE ISKCON LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

The term "Governing Body Commission" (GBC for short), translated as "Regierende Kommissions-Körperschaft," originates from the 19th-century Indian railways. The British, who were colonial rulers of India at the time, established such a governing body to manage the growing railway network.


Srila Prabhupada then adopted this term when he entrusted the management of ISKCON to his disciples in 1970. He did so in accordance with the instructions of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, who early on recognized that with a larger movement, the capacity of a single leader would be overwhelmed, and therefore a collective governing body should be established.


Furthermore, the GBC appoints from among Srila Prabhupada's disciples a new generation of spiritual masters (currently around 70), who have the responsible task of maintaining the purity of the Krishna-conscious tradition and initiating new disciples. Thus, the Hare Krishna movement is an authentic continuation of the Vedic guru-disciple succession.

GBC REPRESENTATIVE RESPONSIBLE FOR ISKCON SWITZERLAND

H.G. Praghosa Prabhu
GBC ISKCON Schweiz

H.G. Dina Sharana Mataji
Area-GBC for ISKCON Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein

DR. JOACHIM FINGER

Pastor and religious ethnologist, Schaffhausen, in: “Jesus outside the Church” (Zurich 1989)

The International Movement for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was founded in New York in 1966 and is a branch of the Bengali Krishna worship that gained momentum around 1500. At that time, Shri Caitanya taught a loving worship (bhakti) of the Personality of Godhead Krishna that was free of all ritual barriers… This theistic view, which also includes the necessity of divine grace, is the closest to Christianity of all Indian teachings.

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