The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) – Chennai

Krishna literally “dark, black, dark-blue” is a central figure of Hinduism. He is known as the eighth and “complete” avatar (As per Gaudia Vaishnavism while other beliefs including Madhva sampradaya consider all forms of Lord Vishnu to be equal) of Lord Vishnu,( As per the North Indian belief, Krishna is the eighth avatar, while as per south Indian belief, Balarama is considered as the eight avatar and Krishna as the ninth) come to restore Dharma to the earth in a time of great dharmic imbalance. Krishna is identified as a historical individual who participated in the events of the Mahabharata.

Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to ...

Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in Kurukshetra.

The Bhagavad Gita, also referred to as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Due to its presence in the epic, it is classified as a Smṛiti text. However, those branches of Hinduism that give it the status of an Upanishad also consider it a Śruti or “revealed text”. As it is taken to represent a summary of the Upanishadic teachings, it is also called “the Upanishad of the Upanishads.”

The context of the Gita is a conversation between Krishna and the Pandava prince Arjuna taking place in the middle of the battlefield before the start of the Kurukshetra War with armies on both sides ready to battle. Responding to Arjuna’s confusion and moral dilemma about fighting his own cousins who command a tyranny imposed on a disputed empire, Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince, and elaborates on yoga, Samkhya, reincarnation, moksha, karma yoga and jnana yoga among other topics.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. It was founded in 1966 in New York City by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.Its core beliefs are based on traditional Hindu scriptures such as the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and the Bhagavad-gītā,both of which, according to the traditional Hindu view, date back more than 5,000 years. The distinctive appearance of the movement and its culture come from the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had adherents in India since the late 15th century and Western converts since the early 1930s.

ISKCON’s Bhajan during Navratri Golu at Coimbatore, India
ISKCON was formed to spread the practice of bhakti yoga, in which aspirant devotees (bhaktas) dedicate their thoughts and actions towards pleasing the Supreme Lord, Krishna. ISKCON today is a worldwide confederation of more than 400 centers, including 60 farm communities, some aiming for self-sufficiency, 50 schools and 90 restaurants.In recent decades the movement’s most rapid expansions in terms of numbers of membership have been within Eastern Europe.

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