International Society for
In early September of 1965, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada arrived on the shores of America. His mission was to introduce the sublime science of Krsna consciousness to the Western world. By translating and explaining the essence of the Vedic literatures, which are vastly elaborate scriptures of advanced spiritual knowledge, he has made available to everyone a clear understanding of true spiritual life.
In 1966, Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to spread this culture of Krsna consciousness throughout the modern world. With over eighty centers on five continents, ISKCON is practicing and freely distributing the joyful, authorized process most recommended for God-realization in this age--the chanting of the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Furthermore, books such as Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad-Bhagavatam, printed and distributed in over ten languages, establish this sublime and practical science on a strong intellectual basis.
The following is a sampling of letters ISKCON has received from people around the world who have appreciated the teachings of Krsna consciousness.
I am a prisoner at the Royal Gaol, Frederick St., Port of Spain, Trinidad. Being in this condition of life, undergoing wrongful prosecution, I had given up all hopes. Reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is and learning from it that our true identity is spirit soul, a part and parcel of that Supreme Lord Krishna, everyone having equal rights to obtain the Lord's greatest gift, has given me great courage to be most firm and steadfast in my duty towards my Blessed Lord. As a lover of reading God's word, I have never read a doctrine like Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is a transparent literature in which every verse is based on spiritual import, which is the main purpose of the scripture. It contains divine words and expression which would hardly be found in other doctrines, and whatever is found in other doctrines will be found in this.
I find great benefit by chanting the Hare Krishna, Hare Rama mantra. In this condition I can experience peace of mind, just by chanting, praying and thinking of the Blessed Lord. There is no one dearer to Him than those who absorb the nectar of His divine teaching and explain it to His devotees. With these words I pray, may the Blessed Lord strengthen you and the Krishna movement in body and soul and protect, guide and lead you all on paths of safety. Best happiness to eternity, and long life and best service in the name of the Blessed Lord Krishna.
Jai Sri Radha Krsna.
Hare Krsna. All glories to Sri Krsna, to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and to the devotees of the Krsna consciousness movement.
Thank you for the wonderful books, filled with spiritual nectar, which are continually filling me with encouragement and truth.
I am an elementary school teacher, teaching nine- and ten-year-old children in the public schools on St. Thomas. I dedicate each day of teaching to the spiritual Master and Lord Krsna. My job is very difficult and tiring. At times I feel discouraged by the fact that I am too weak to remain steady in Krsna consciousness while at work (not to speak of at home). Yet I feel that my best service to the Lord is to strive for pure devotion in my teaching duties.
I have found it easy to give up my practice of flesh-eating, marijuana smoking, and use of intoxicants. But my mind often seems uncontrollable. I would like to see His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and offer my humble obeisances to him, and I would like to be initiated into the Society, although I know I am too unworthy. Please explain to me what is required and involved in initiation into the Society.
The summer is approaching, and I may be returning to the States. Would it be possible to meet with you, other devotees, and the Spiritual Master? How can I serve Lord Krsna and His Divine Grace Swami Prabhupada in the best way? Thank you for your help. My respects to you.
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
I recently found a book Bhagavad-gita As It Is, (Complete Edition) by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, at the public library, and I checked it out. I had formerly read portions of the abridged Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and I have to admit that it was the pictures that finally urged me to take the Complete Edition.
I have often felt that I must study the Gita, and Swami Prabhupada's seems to be, as stated on the jacket, "The definitive English edition."
I love the way it is presented. The Sanskrit is like a beautiful painting to me; the English transliterations are like a holy chant; the word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents help me become familiar with the language. The translation, of course, speaks for itself; and the purport builds around it.
And now, at last, I may study it and I have been shown a wonderful, beautiful version to use.
Through an unusual combination of circumstances, there recently came into my possession a copy of the book Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Although I am so far only up to Chapter 4, the idea of Krishna consciousness has taken possession of my thinking.
I would appreciate it if you would let me know how one can learn further about this matter. Note: I am age 50 and am not looking for anything complicated, but somehow I feel that this is not complicated.
Hoping to hear from you.
Raymond C. Hill
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
I must admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable in writing this letter.
A couple of weeks ago, devotees of Krsna (from Denver, I understand) were here at the University of Arkansas distributing literature. One young man approached me, with a "hard pitch" for my purchasing a copy of the Prabhupada translation of the Bhagavad-gita; I was initially quite skeptical (so many people are getting rich from selling their versions of "the answer") and told him not to bother me. He insisted, though, and I finally gave in.
I have been reading the Gita, having not finished it yet, and have found it quite rewarding; my mind, shaped in logic and empiricism, seems to find itself barely tasting the transcendental material in the book. I discuss it with others; I find myself remembering certain passages which seem to shed some light (almost literally) on coincidental "everyday" occurrences.
It has genuinely stimulated my interest, to say the least, in a way that my readings in Christianity, Zen Buddhism, the "lower" forms of yoga, etc., have never succeeded in doing.
In short, I think I have finally found the beginning.
With best wishes,
I am 20 years old, living in Stockholm, Sweden, and very much interested in religion. Recently I read Bhagavad-gita As It Is (the complete edition) by Swami Bhaktivedanta. I personally think it is a most glorious book. The idea about Krsna as the Supreme Godhead is invincible.
I am very interested in ISKCON. Is it perhaps possible for me to become a member there? Would you please send me some information about your movement?
Yours very truly,
Last year in June, I came for the first time in contact with your movement. I provided myself with some of your books because I was interested in your bhakti-yoga system. Especially the book Isopanisad struck me very much because of the deep and elaborate devotional purports and the very special translation. I think that the Swami must be a very devoted and educated man, one of the rare true servants of God.
With kindest regards,
V.A. van Bylert