ISKCON Bangalore is a charitable society with the following objectives:
Spreading the Holy Name
It is our first and foremost objective to inspire people to chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. Chanting the holy name is the Yuga-dharma; and Supreme Lord Sri Krishna descended as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to inaugurate this dharma and propagate the Sankirtana Movement. He desired that the entire world be inundated with the chanting of the holy name. Srila Prabhupada the founder-acharya of ISKCON accepted this as the mission of his life and established the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement to spread the holy names. Following in his footsteps, we, the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, have initiated various programs like Chanters Club, Harinam Festival, Hare Krishna Flash Mobs, etc., to spread the holy names and inspire as many people as possible to chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.
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Gorgeous Deity-Worship and Opulent Festivals
The second objective is to maintain opulent and gorgeous Deity worship along with festivals on a grand scale throughout the year. The Supreme Lord Krishna has appeared before us in the form of a Deity to accept our services. Srila Prabhupada established Deity worship as an important part of the Krishna Consciousness movement. He had set-up temples around the world so that his disciples can serve the Deities every day. He also emphasized on decorating the Deities and celebrating festivals in an exuberant manner throughout the year. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna is present in the Deity form. By serving Him, we can purify ourselves from material contamination. By engaging all our senses in directly serving Him, we can get rid of our non-devotional tendencies. It also brings steadiness to our materially agitated mind.
Create Awareness about Srila Prabhupada
The third objective is to increase the awareness and appreciation of Srila Prabhupada – his message, his saintly personality, his character, his mission and his institution. Srila Prabhupada is the spiritual ambassador who visited this mortal world to show us the path back to Godhead. As his disciples, it is our duty to create awareness about him. He is a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession originating from Brahma. A bona fide spiritual master is not an ordinary man. Just as an ambassador is an authorized representative of his country, similarly, a spiritual master, who comes in the disciplic succession, parampara, is an empowered representative of God. Ordered by his spiritual master, he embarked on his life’s mission to spread the message of Krishna to the English-speaking community. He built a house in which the whole world could live. Read his biography to know more about him.
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Distribution of Scriptures
Our spiritual master’s mission was to spread the transcendental message of Krishna as recorded in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam through his books. He founded the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust in 1972. He wrote more than 70 books which have been translated into 57 languages. To understand any philosophy, reading books form an important tool of comprehension for a reader. Srila Prabhupada encouraged his devotees to circulate books among different communities. Reading books form the basis of understanding the Hare Krishna movement. You can access the catalog of his books. Some of these books are also available for download. We also encourage devotees to read and distribute these books. Srila Prabhupada said that this service of book distribution makes him happy.
The fifth objective is to maintain and nourish a vibrant, inspired and committed community of missionaries with mature understanding of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions for his Krishna consciousness movement. Aspiring devotees who want to dedicate their lives to serve the mission of Srila Prabhupada are given basic facilities to be part of the community, get trained in a disciplined way of life, and serve the mission for the greater good of the society.
The support for the mission comes from donors and patrons and they are one of our major stakeholders. It is due to their support that we are able to render our services to the society. We provide various opportunities for our donors and patrons to advance in their spiritual life by educating them on the principles of spiritual life through the books written by Srila Prabhupada. The patrons are also invited on special occasions like their birthday or marriage anniversary, to visit the temple and take the blessings of the Lord. We also invite them for major festivals at the temple. You can also be a patron of ISKCON.
To increase Krishna Consciousness
People from all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed and gender are encouraged to participate in our programs to develop their understanding of the spiritual practices that will help them in leading a peaceful life filled with happiness and prosperity. To increase God consciousness in the society, ISKCON Bangalore conducts specific programs for children (Cultural Education), youth (FOLK Programs), professionals (Life Sublime) and other members of the society (Krishnashraya). These programs are conducted free of cost, you need not pay for it. Next time you visit the temple; enquire at the Temple Reception to know more about these programs and how you can be part of this.
Special Purpose Enterprises
Touchstone Foundation, an independent trust associated with ISKCON Bangalore, has been involved in various ventures to generate the funds required for sustaining our charitable initiatives. As you exit the temple hall, there are various counters selling prasadam (food offered to the Lord) and devotional artifacts. There is an exclusive section for handicrafts called Dakshinakriti. The food court offers varieties of delicious sattvik preparations to satisfy your taste buds and for a heavy meal you can stop at the Annakuta Restaurant or the Higher Taste Restaurant – God’s own Cuisine. The profits generated from these initiatives support our charitable programs.
The next objective is to present, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of India through new projects and capitalize on such opportunities to further the mission of Srila Prabhupada. Krishna Lila Theme Park is one such project which is magnificent in scale. This project is likely to be completed in the year 2021-2022. It is an initiative to present the culture and heritage of our country, as described in the Vedic Scriptures, to the contemporary society in a compelling manner using a narrative strategy – technology assisted multi-sensory immersive and experimental story telling. Disney World and Universal Studios use this kind of communication strategy. We want to use this technology to impress the younger generation with the glories of our heroes like Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, etc. The cost estimate of this project is Rs.350 crores. This Theme Park will be a landmark destination in cultural and religious tourism in Bengaluru.
Life in Harmony with Nature
Another objective is to bring about a way of life that is in harmony with nature and offers a sustainable alternative to the dominant consumerist and materialistic world. Srila Prabhupada always instructed his disciples to accept a simple life style. He always stressed on simple living and high thinking. He initiated the farm project at New Vrindavan, United States. ISKCON Bangalore has its farm in Mahadevapura where there are hundreds of cows and bulls. There is also a goshala in the temple premises at Hare Krishna Hill which maintains around 25 cows.
Food distribution is considered to be the supreme of all charities. Srila Prabhupada wanted everyone to taste the nectar of devotion. The food that is offered to Krishna is considered the divine nectar that can alleviate our suffering by freeing us from sins. Srila Prabhupada insisted that everyone who visits the temple must get some prasadam. We have been distributing kichadi prasadam to every visitor since the inception of the temple and in the year 2015 we have also started the Nitya Annadana program which provides sumptuous lunch prasadam to visitors every day from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.
We practice sustainable and socially responsible practices in achieving the above objectives.