The lifestyle, practices, and traditional teachings of Krishna Consciousness were first established in the West by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his dedicated students. Srila Prabhupada began his Western mission in 1965 when he came to New York City at the age of 69. There he created the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement.
ISKCON represents an extraordinarily rich and ancient spiritual tradition of Krishna Consciousness, developed in India over many millennia. Bhakti, pure devotion to the all-attractive source of existence, Krishna, is at the heart of this tradition, as described in the Bhagavad-gita, one of the oldest, most cherished treatises on the philosophy and practice of yoga.
Today, ISKCON has over 400 centres and rural communities, schools and restaurants worldwide, with millions of members.
The Seven Purposes of ISKCON
To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.
To propagate a consciousness of Krishna (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, thus developing the idea within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna)
To teach and encourage the sankirtana movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna
To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life.
With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.