- The Seven (7) Purposes of ISKCON
The Seven (7) Purposes of ISKCON
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada incorporated the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1966 with seven explicit purposes.
This list of purposes (below) was one of the official documents incorporating ISKCON as a charitable organization. At the time, the movement had few followers in the West and was operating out of a rented storefront in New York City. One of the pressing needs at the time was to facilitate donors who wanted to give tax-deductible donations to establish a temple for Lord Krishna in New York City.
In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada expanded ISKCON's mission and activities beyond some of the details listed in the incorporation documents, while remaining consistent with its principles. For example, ISKCON has established many more than one "holy place of transcendental pastimes dedicated to the personality of Krishna", with temples in major cities around the world. "To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler, more natural way of life" has inspired the development of self-sufficient farm communities, ashrams and spiritual retreat centers.
Srila Prabhupada's plan to re-spiritualize society through the distribution of sanctified food is not mentioned in the original incorporation documents. Yet he established Food For Life and Govinda's vegetarian restaurants, and the Sunday Feast has become the weekly happening at every ISKCON center.
"I, the undersigned, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, disciple of Om Visnupad Paramhansa 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj Prabhupada, came in the United States in 1965 on September 18th for the purpose of starting Krishna Consciousness Movement. For one year I had no shelter. I was travelling in many parts of this country. Then in 1966, July, I incorporated the Society under the name and style the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, briefly ISKCON. The lawyer was Mr. J. Goldsmith. Gradually the Society increased, and one after another branches were opened." (His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the directive Direction of Management, dated July 28, 1970)
ISKCON, Inc. or ISKCON was formed in 1966, as stated above,
for seven purposes that were originally listed in its Certificate of Incorporation (PDF)
CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION of
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC.
The purposes for which the Society is organized are:
1. To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples 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.
2. To propagate a consciousness of Krishna as it is revealed in the Bhagavat Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
3. To bring the members of the Society together with each other and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus to develop the idea, within the members, and humanity, at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).
4. To teach and encourage the Sankirtan movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
5. To erect for the members, and for society at large, a holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the personality of Krishna.
6. To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.
7. With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
Dated July 13, 1966
Incorporated by :
(signed) Carol Baker
(signed) Raymond Marais
(Note: Signed with Blue ink tip pen by Srila Prabhupada, the original is at the Country Clerk’s Office in downtown Manhattan where one can still go and view it.)
The eight (8) principles of Krishna consciousness
When Srila Prabhupada began ISKCON, he established
that are the basis of the Krishna consciousness movement.
1. By sincerely cultivating a genuine spiritual science, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, unending, blissful consciousness in this lifetime.
2. We are not our bodies but eternal spirit souls, parts and parcels of God (Krishna). As such, we are all brothers, and Krishna is ultimately our common father.
3. Krishna is the eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-attractive Personality of Godhead. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings, and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation.
4. The Absolute Truth is contained in all the great scriptures of the world. However, the oldest known revealed scriptures in existence are the Vedic literatures, most notably the Bhagavad-gitä, which is the literal record of God’s actual words.
5. We should learn the Vedic knowledge from a genuine spiritual master--one who has no selfish motives and whose mind is firmly fixed on Krishna.
6. Before we eat, we should offer to the Lord the food that sustains us. Then Krishna becomes the offering and purifies us.
7. We should perform all our actions as offerings to Krishna and do nothing for our own sense gratification.
8. The recommended means for achieving the mature stage of love of God in this age of Kali, or quarrel, is to chant the holy names of the Lord. The easiest method for most people is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra.
Only five hundred years ago, Lord Krishna descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to teach the most sublime and effective means for spiritual development and enlightenment for the present day. This is the chanting of the names of God, which has been recommended for thousands of years in the Vedic tradition, and used by many other spiritual paths throughout the world. The most important chant is the mantra of: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“Krishna” is one of many Sanskrit names of God, which means “all attractive”, and Rama is another name which means “reservoir of pleasure”. The divine energy of God is addressed as Hare. Vedic knowledge teaches that since we are all constitutionally servants of the God, chanting the names of God is not an artificial imposition on the mind but is as natural as a child calling for its mother. Thus, the Hare Krishna Movement teaches two ways to chant, which is either on beads to chant the mantra a certain number of times each day in the case of mantra meditation (japa), and in congregational chanting or singing (kirtan). In either method, there are no hard and fast rules, and anyone can chant.
CONSTITUTION OF ASSOCIATION
the Basic Principles or Objectives of ISKCON
Below is the "Constitution of Association" – the Basic Principles or Objectives of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada made it in 1966 while preaching from 26 2nd Ave, NY, NY. It was filed with the IRS in November of 1966, as proof that ISKCON’s principles are religious.
The same document was used by Srila Prabhupada while legally organizing ISKCON in England and Kenya. The very purpose of the GBC and TPs is to ensure the organization of ISKCON for the fulfillment of THESE principles. Temple members are to follow THESE principles.
The duties and powers of the managers and the rights of temple members are delineated by Srila Prabhupada via
the "Direction of Management" constitution document, made on July 28, 1970, quoted in the next email "Constitution of ISKCON – part 2")
"10 b. A copy of the Constitution…under which the Society is presently operating is annexed hereto."
(Letter to IRS, November 14, 1966 (attached 1), Steven Goldsmith, Attorney representing International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. Letter authenticated by Gregory Scharf (Gargamuni Das), Treasurer.
The letter to IRS was accompanied by this Constitution of Association(attached 2))
1. The name of the society is The International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
2. The headquarters of the Society are located at Radhakrishna Temple , 26 Second Avenue , New York City , 10003, USA .
3. The objectives for which the Society is being established are:
(A) To educate the greater human society in the techniques of spiritual life as the basis for a balanced psychic and biological development, and thereby achieve for the first time in human society a real peace and unity among the contending forces in the world today.
(B) To propagate the Sense of Godhead, the all attractive Personality of primal and eternal Form, as He Himself revealed in His own words in the Bhagavad Gita, the Holy Scripture of the Lord Sri Krishna, the Godhead.
(C) To bring together individuals in a Society, regardless of nationality and irrespective of creed or caste, in order to develop a nearness to the Godhead and thereby the idea that within the members and humanity-at-large there is an infinitesimal soul-spirit that is part and parcel in quality with the Godhead, and that all life is meant for the satisfaction of said Godhead, the Supreme Soul
(D) To encourage the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who demonstrated practically the transcendental process of approaching the absolute Personality of Godhead by His acts of congregational chanting of the holy name of God, a process known as Samkirtan.
(E) To prove by active work and preaching that Lord Sri Krishna is the only enjoyer of all the outcomes of individual and collective sacrifice, penance, meditation, arts, culture, science, because He is the Supreme Proprietor of the whole universe, eternally apart of Him everyone knows Him as a friend. Real peace can be attained when this is realized, in fact.
(F) To assist whenever and wherever possible in the building of a social structure on the real foundation of spiritual progress and establishment of peace and unity between men throughout the world.
(G) To attempt to save men individually from the chain of victimization the ongoing trend in modern civilization operates by, in the name of ideologies of false sentiment, so that Man may again be a free soul, to act and live freely with spiritual vision. This is possible by individual spiritual initiation, Diksha, when a man can see everything in Godhead and Godhead in everything.
(H) To further toward realization this highest truth as revealed by Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamins headed by Srila Rupa and Sanatana Goswamins.
(I) To have for its objectives amongst the others four principles which the Goswamins had in view. They are the following:
1. To erect a holy place of transcendental pastimes as well as a place where members of the Lord Sri Krishna can flourish.
2. To propagate all over the world in the form of missionaries the process of devotion, the transcendental service to the Godhead, and to make known that this devotional service is the main function of the human being.
3. In order to accomplish this, to adopt proselytizing methods of peaceful means and to establish a broader society of association for all members, including scholars and admirers, to engage in this service as put forth in the Srimad Bhagwatam.
4. To install, wherever it is possible, the worship and temple of Radhakrishna and that of Sri Chaitanya, and to give facility to everyone to become trained in the modes of Archan or preparatory principles of devotional service.
(J) To introduce to the members of the Society and humanity-at-large a simpler and more natural purpose in life by means suitable to the particular place and time, and as enjoined in the Bhagavad Gita.
(K) To organize educational programs, such as classes and lecture tours, and to institute services, such as mailing, for the benefit of the members of the Society and humanity-at-large.
(L) To publish periodicals, books and/or pamphlets in all important languages in order to reach human society and give an opportunity to same to communicate with the Society.
(M) To invoke the quality of goodness particularly in every member of the Society, individually by the process of Diksha and by establishing one in the status of a Brahmin (good and intelligent man) on the basis of truthfulness, knowledge and faith in the transcendental service of the Lord.
(N) Among the secondary objectives of the Society, it shall undertake the following activities:
1. To revive the scientific system of social orders of classification based on intelligence, martial spirit, productivity and common assistance, generally known as the four castes with reference to quality and worth for the common cause of world society.
2. To discharge as a matter of course the vitiated system of supremacy of one man over another by false prestige of birthright or vested interests.
3. To popularize the vegetable-grain diet under approved methods in order that full value of protein, carbohydrate, fat and vitamin benefit may be derived therefrom.
4. To discourage intoxicating or addicting habits of all descriptions and dimensions and to expose such persons thus afflicted to approved methods of spiritual realization.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Acharya
(SIGNED) Raymond Marais (Rayarama das)
(SIGNED) Michael A. Grant (Mukunda das)
(SIGNED) Robert Lefkowitz
(SIGNED) James S. Greene
“I am little concerned about your attempt to form ISKCON Ltd. My idea is that we should not form a separate organization in London. The same International Society for Krishna Consciousness as we have branches in different places in USA, a similar branch may be opened in London or in Germany . The basic principle of our preaching work, methods and management must be the same.
So my final desire is that whatever you do, you must do it strictly on the principles of our society as we are doing in the US.
So I hope you will take necessary precautions in the matter of registering ISKCON Ltd. ISKCON is the short cut of our society’s name, but when you actually register, the full name, the aims and objectives as they are stated in our prospectus, must be mentioned. “ (Letter of Srila Prabhupada to Mukunda in London on October 1, 1968(attached 3))
“So far the original text of our aims and objects of the society, I have read it and I don’t think there is any need of changing the preamble. But so far section of the law is concerned, that has to be altered according to the English law.” (Letter of Srila Prabhupada to Mukunda in London on October 13, 1968 (attached 4))
Please also see:
Direction Of Management
What is the Direction of Management [DOM] ?
Direction Of Management For An Elected GBC