The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) belongs to the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya (denomination or tradition), an ancient monotheistic tradition within Vedic or Hindu culture. ISKCON was established on July 11, 1966 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (affectionately called Srila Prabhupada). It began in a small storefront in New York and has since developed into a worldwide confederation of over 11,000 temple devotees, 980,000 congregational devotees, and is comprised of more than 350 centers, 60 rural communities, and 55 restaurants worldwide.
The mission of this nonsectarian, monotheistic movement, popularly known as the Hare Krishna movement, is to promote the well being of society by teaching the science of Krishna consciousness according to the Bhagavad Gita and other ancient Vedic scriptures of India
With the growing influence and awareness about ISKCON, have also come many misconceptions, some of them trivial, bordering humorous (like do I have to become bald to join ISKCON?) to much more serious (like does ISKCON deny the existence of other religions?). In this article, we will examine the more common myths related to ISKCON and explain the facts.
Myth: ISKCON is an American organization.
Fact: ISKCON is non-sectarian in all respects, including nationality. It has temples all over the world managed and attended by local people of that region. Devotees often travel to different temples all over the world serving the deities, preaching and performing temple services as and when needed.