14 July 2020
The incorporation of ISKCON in New York
Hare Krishna. Welcome to you all. Devotees are participating from 846 locations. All glories to the devotees! All glories to the Sankirtana Movement!
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
param vijyate sri krsna sankirtanam
Jaya to the sankirtana movement and for those who participate in this movement.
Everyday there are some incidents on different dates. Today is also a special day. Today, 14 July 1966, is the ISKCON incorporation day. Srila Prabhupada registered ISKCON today. Around 55 years ago Srila Prabhupada founded ISKCON in New York in a formalised way. Srila Prabhupada had received instructions from his spiritual master in 1922 to preach in English in the Western world. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur had said to him "You look very intelligent. Why don't you preach Krishna Consciousness in the western countries in English?"
Srila Prabhupada was preparing for this for a lifetime and he completed all his preparations today, on 14 July 1966. ISKCON was founded. At that time Srila Prabhupada would say that there are many temples throughout the world. He was visualising it, actually seeing that there are many temples throughout the world, many devotees chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and book distribution is going on. He was saying this to an American gentleman in 1966, with confidence, "I will have many temples throughout the world."
At the time of Srila Prabhupada’s birth, the astrologer was making his horoscope, and he had predicted,”This child will establish 108 temples throughout the world." This was inevitable. What we are doing today, chanting together, was seen by Srila Prabhupada then already. Srila Prabhupada knew everything because he was always in touch with the Lord. He also knew the past, present and future. He had a vision. He wrote the 7 purposes of ISKCON.
When he was in Jhansi in 1954-55, he established the League of Devotees. At that time he wrote the seven purposes for the Sarvabhauma Sabha and in future this will become the international society. He had thought about the purposes of such a movement. He was thinking to establish and register the movement over there in Jhansi, but it didn't work out. Many devotees at ISKCON Jhansi say that ISKCON was conceived in Jhansi and delivered in New York. The dream and vision of this movement was created in Jhansi and was established and registered in New York. I keep visiting ISKCON Jhansi. I have an interest in that temple, because Prabhupada stayed there and wanted to inaugurate the movement in Jhansi.
Today ISKCON was registered in New York. He didn't write new purposes. Many purposes were there at the time of the League of Devotees in 1954-55. These were edited by Srila Prabhupada and he registered them, almost the same. Srila Prabhupada was thinking about this for a long time. Few days ago Gopal Bhatta Prabhu was saying in SPT that every follower and member of ISKCON should remember the 7 purposes of ISKCON. I won't be able to explain them to you now, but we will post them on Loksanga or you may find out.
The seven purposes of ISKCON :
1)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.
2)To propagate a consciousness of Krishna (God), as it is revealed in the great scriptures of India, Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
3)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).
4)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.
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, more natural way of life.
7)With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings.
We should know these seven purposes. We should learn it off by heart. The seven purposes of that organisation for which we have dedicated our life and whose founder Acarya is Srila Prabhupada, whose centre is Lord Krishna. Surrender and service to ISKCON is service to Krsna. ISKCON is non-different from Krsna.
You can read about the 7 purposes and preach about it. You can think how you can fulfil these purposes:
• 1st purpose is to educate people with spiritual knowledge systematically. • 2nd purpose is that the basis of our preaching should be Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. • 3rd purpose is to bring the people of the society closer and then near to Krishna. Just see how Prabhupada thought. • The 4th purpose is to preach about the holy names, teach the holy names, make others understand the glories of the holy names and preach and establish the holy name. I am also trying to preach to fulfil this purpose. The purpose behind the japa conference is this purpose. The 4th purpose is being fulfilled over here in the Japa conference. When we all come together and chant we fulfil this 4th purpose. You are also contributing in this.
Prabhupada left for America at the age of 70 and he faced a lot of difficulty, challenges and struggle on his journey. Generally people don’t even leave their homes at the age of 70. But Prabhupada went to America, not by plane but by cargo ship. En route he had 2 heart attacks. Srila Prabhupada has written about it in his Jaladuta diary. You should read Prabhupada Lilalmrta. You should know Srila Prabhupada by reading this book. We should all properly know about this Maha-bhagavat. He is a real Bharat ratna. Others didn't understand Bharatiyata. They didn't understand the culture of Bharat and they don't follow Bharatiyata. When others go to America, they went to beg. Such was the case earlier. I also went to the same place in New York.
I was guided by Puru Prabhu to all the places throughout New York. He showed me all the places where Srila Prabhupada had stayed. At 26th 2nd Avenue Srila Prabhupada rented a place and established ISKCON. You can see that place behind me. ISKCON was registered over here. Prabhupada was saying that it was an International Society, but there was nothing international about it. The shopkeeper who had been there earlier had left the sign. The disciples had asked Prabhupada whether should they remove it? Prabhupada said, “No. Keep the sign board, because it is related to our movement.” He gave sanatana dharma culture to the world. It was a matchless gift for the world.
Today we are celebrating foundational day of ISKCON. At that time Srila Prabhupada was alone and hippies and uncultured people were there. But by the mercy of Gauranga, this team which is Prabhupada and Gauranga’s team became param vijayate. They distributed Krishna Consciousness all over the world.
yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir dhruvā nītir matir mama
Translation: Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion. [BG 18.78]
There would have been no ISKCON, if there had been no Prabhupada. We owe him everything. Let us offer our life - with our body, mind and words unto the divine lotus feet of ISKCON and Gauranga.